Part of loving ourselves is stepping out of the role of the victim. Many of us think we do not have a victim mentality when in fact we do. It’s easy to slip into the belief that we aren’t in control of our own lives, but whenever we don’t see that we are in control of our own lives, we get stuck in the role of the victim.
The Perks Of Being a Victim
Being a victim does have some nice perks though. First of all, it allows us not to have to take on responsibility, which can feel like a burden and can get very, very heavy when we are adding blame on top of that responsibility. Interestingly, the universe does not recognize blame. Blame is something that originates from the human psyche.
Yet another perk of being a victim is that you don’t have to take responsibility for your future. It’s hard to realize that no one is going to save you from your situation. One of the most painful realizations you can have is the realization that no one can rescue you from yourself.
When you feel powerless already, the awareness that there is no one to help you but you is enough to push you right over the edge. Many people commit suicide when they come to this realization. I almost did myself. Those of us who feel the most powerless are faced with the decision either to commit to life and do what we can, with what we have, from where we are, or to commit in the other direction and choose death.
Taking responsibility for our future means we have to drop the thoughts, words, and actions that aren’t getting us anywhere. It means we have to change, and let’s face it, change is scary. It’s scary to hold the weight of your own life in your hands. But our lives will only become lives of joy, freedom, and peace when we can own the responsibility not only for what was, but also for what is and what is to come.
Another perk of being in the victim role is that we get attention and validation for it. We mistake the concern and pity we get from others for love. It begins to become the only way we feel love. We become very scared that if we gain autonomy or our problems go away, we will be all alone. People get tired of giving us attention and validation for our pain after a while. They begin to gravitate away from us and we feel abandoned. Our only hope is to find someone new to validate and pity us.
Here are 5 Tips To Finally Move Away From The Victim Mentality
1. Owning Your Own Life – The truth is no one can control your life, because no one can control your thoughts. It’s always your choice to believe or not believe a given thought. When you realize that you adopt your thoughts, you also realize that you can adopt different thoughts. At that point, you can stop living your life according to how things are, and begin to live it according to how you want it to be.
Living a good life, then, begins with realizing that you are not really a victim, and it ends with learning how to be the true owner of your own life.
2. Learning Gratitude – One of the best ways to step out of a victim mentality is to develop gratitude. Gratitude is simply appreciative notice and conscious acknowledgment of what brings you joy to focus on in the present moment. Focusing on gratitude shifts you out of self-pity.
3. Learning Forgiveness – Forgiveness is the practice of making peace with where you were, thereby releasing you from the bondage that prevents you from touching happiness. When you forgive someone, it’s as if you are setting a prisoner free only to discover that you were the prisoner all along. The negative emotion no longer exists. Instead, we sense a deep feeling of peace. Because of this, forgiveness is freedom.
4. How to Forgive Yourself – Be aware that this process can be very difficult. It can be like uncorking a dam that has been building up pressure for years. It can make you aware of your deep wounds and vulnerability. It can even make you break down. Just remember that breaking down is better than the pressure you were living with, because what you are in fact breaking down is everything that is preventing you from loving yourself.
5. Words of Forgiveness – Write a letter (no matter if the person is alive or dead) either offering someone forgiveness or asking for it from him or her. You can send this letter if you want to, or you can partake in a very cleansing practice of going somewhere, where there is no risk of anything catching fire, and burning the letter. You can watch the fire consume the words you have written, knowing everything you have said is being absorbed by the universe. Let the fire pull away the pain in you as it pulls the words and the paper into itself.