When Are You Really A Victim?
It’s about perspective. If I believe I am a victim, then I have the experience of feeling like a victim and of actually being a victim.
When you have had the experience of being a victim, it is of utmost importance to allow that experience to run its course by expressing it in a safe container, for example, with someone who is trained in holding space for the expression of extreme and disturbing emotions. This process usually takes time, it occurs in layers, and it cannot be successfully rushed.
Too often, we encounter the strategy of attempting to use our minds to “overcome” the experience of having been a victim. This is not helpful. There is no “getting over it” until we allow ourselves to admit how we really feel about it fully.
If the experience happened, and it is not fully processed, it will stay in the body and attempt to work itself out of your nervous system, like a splinter works itself out of your foot, in various ways, often by attracting increasingly amplified, similar victim experiences. This may seem cruel, however, it is ultimately helpful.
This happens because the subconscious actually wants to be conscious. It requires an enormous amount of unsustainable energy in order to suppress an experience. Suppressing, walling off, pushing away our experiences is stressful to the body, and in the long-term creates physical imbalances and dis-ease. The body/mind/spirit actually wants to heal though, so it brings us opportunities to experience what our mind and our conditioning is attempting to push down or away.
Turning toward our pain proactively through embodiment practices like meditating with the body, yoga, qigong, dance, or any effective embodiment practice, with the the ultimate intention to LET GO, that is, to forgive–this is the answer and antidote to the counterproductive, exhausting work of subconsciously attempting to push away our painful, traumatic experiences. This is, if you want to heal, of course. And not everyone wants to heal or is even ready to begin the process, which is ok. It’s not helpful to try and force healing in ourselves or in others. There is a greater story at play in which we all are participant-creators, and there is a divine timing to the unfolding of life.
As you process the experience of being a victim, you are likely to start seeing opportunities to recognize and remember your empowerment and responsibility. We start to see how we may have allowed, participated or even created the victim experience. This is extremely difficult to hear for people who are deeply attached to their victim story, before they have forgiven the perpetrator in their experience.
When people are not ready to hear about their responsibility, what they usually need is space to express the reality and gravity of their victim experience. Their inner child is wounded and needs care. This does not mean for us to hold weak boundaries with them. This also doesn’t make us responsible for helping them heal. As we heal, we recognize more and more of our personal responsibility.
Responsibility means the ability to respond. We can respond by offering to hold space, or we can respond by compassionately walking away or asking for space. There are many ways to respond, as long as we are aware of them.
Suffering sucks. However, it is not our responsibility to save anyone. Of course we may choose to offer help in a way we imagine would be effective, but I see no moral *obligation* to rescue another who chooses to stay stuck in suffering. Of course there is an impact to whatever our choice may be.
The more deeply we heal, the more deeply we feel, and the more poignant the suffering of others becomes to us because we sense more clearly through the illusion that they are separate from ourselves. In other words, we see them as other-selves, as ourselves, as not separate from ourselves. This, for me, has helped open my heart and inspire passionate empathy for the state and condition of those who suffer around me, and increasingly so, I want so much to help alleviate the suffering, as if my own arm or heart is crying out in pain when I feel the suffering of my other-selves.
You ALWAYS Have A Choice
What I invite you to recognize here is that you ALWAYS have a choice. I offer the perspective that there is no situation where you are truly a victim unless you believe that you are.
Yes, the stakes are high and the pain may be excruciating, and, I ask you, is it possible that at some level of your Being that you are participating in the creation of this scenario?
We imagine that we are who we think we are and nothing more. We imagine that we are not so powerful. We turn our backs on the One Self, from whom we are never truly separate, that is, to the extent we indulge ourselves and deny Ourselves.
The way to remember, bit by bit, layer by layer and in due time, is to practice turning toward those parts of ourselves which imagine our Divinity to be not true. Those parts are in pain.
Do not condemn those parts of yourselves or others. Let them express themselves. Let those dark parts be transformed by the light of awareness. Recognize that these parts of ourselves are in pain to the extent which they deny their true Identity, as they continue to create and sustain the illusion, for as long as they can, that they are anything but What and Whom they really are.