I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences about ‘victim mentality’. How to identify it in yourself and others and why there is no reason for it’s existence beyond a lesson.
I used to be a very stubborn individual. In fact I still feel like I can tap into that aspect of my personality under certain situations. Once I latch onto a certain idea, I find very difficult to accept or even consider alternatives. I defend my points of view ferociously.
I bring this up because once I realised that this stubborn temperament was a result of my need to be seen as a figure of authority, I understood what I was not getting; and this was attention from a sense of identity.
Human beings are interesting creatures, we carry our complaints and negative beliefs about ourselves like a badge of identity. You know people like this in your life. These individuals will speak to you from the perspective of the hard life they have lived. A life that has endured many troubles and cruelty.
So many stories of injustices. From the many partners that have cheated on them, the injuries they have experienced and the broken family they have been raised in.
They might conclude their monologue with a phrasing along the lines of “some people just have it easier” or “that’s why I am the way I am”.
We must be very cautious when this commentary appears in us. I have observed in myself similar thoughts when I see someone I know broadcasting the trappings of success on social media.
“Well I didn’t have the head start their parents gave to them”
The goal here is happiness not materialism. If we stray too far down this path we will lose both, if we only care about the latter.
The Dichotomy of Memory
The first thing to understand about memories is that they are not real. They are purely psychological, meaning they have no weight in the current moment. Memories are abstract and not discernible by our senses.
However, let me not undermine the power memory can have over us. They appear in two forms. The first is empowerment in the form of lessons.
There have been many instances in my life which have been very unpleasant for me to experience. Memories that I would not wish to live through again. Namely my parents divorce.
Would I change the experience if i could? No
Do I feel burdened and victimised by the experience? Absolutely not.
I feel EMPOWERED.
Many of you will resonate with the feeling I am sharing. Like me, there will have been moments in your life, unpleasant as they were that you are grateful for in hindsight.
I’m thankful for my parents divorce.
I’m grateful everyday. For my life up until that point was a dream; and then I woke up.
It was a rude awakening; and for many years I indulged in the second form memory can occupy in your life. This is a distortion of your present reality. Suddenly you’re looking at the world through different lenses.
The glass is half empty, as it were.
There is ONLY Choice
Pessimism is a dangerous thing. If we continue to live now, wearing the glasses that have been stained with the pain of the past, then we are blinded to the joy of the present.
For the longest time, the mechanisms behind by parents divorce made me look at women a different way. I had a deep distrust for them and I shunned every prospect of a relationship. For perspective I was viewing them in was poisoned by my memories.
I realised that these moments are there for us to grow very wise. If terrible things have happened to you, especially when you’re young and conscious, you are very lucky.
Being exposed to truth of pain equips you with the necessary skills and attributes needed to face that challenge again.
My experience taught me that you can’t control people, but that’s no reason not to trust them.
Others do not see it this way, they see them as excuses and crutches to lean on when things aren’t going to plan.
It’s very comical the way I carried myself several years ago in this wounded, damaged fashion. The non-committal poor me. My parents didn’t stay together, therefore all hope is lost.
It gives me nausea.
This choice and victim mentality not only hurts you, but it hurts others who are going through that pain right now. Recognise we have so much experience to offer in this way.
We can be a wise battle-worn, teacher.
Choose wisdom over wounds.
Life is ALWAYS your reaction.
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Grateful for your presence,