July 01, 2015
Romanticizing the Victim
Within each of us lives the potential to feel helpless and powerless as we navigate a world where our safety seems tenuous at best. Events are forever out of our control. Our foods are sprayed with pesticides and infused with hormones, unscrupulous people hide in the anonymity of an over populated world, stealing our identities and scamming money out of our elders. Dangerous pedophiles stalk our children. It is easy to see ourselves as victims. In fact, the Victim archetype is an integral part of the cultural paradigm we all have been taught to unconsciously construct our worlds around.
The seeds for this thinking start early. Most of us were raised on old stories of Heroes and Villains. We have Superman, Prince Charming and the X-Men all coming to save the day; we have the Wicked Witch, Evil Stepmother, and the Joker trying to destroy some form of our innocence. Implicit within each of these stories is a Victim that needs to be saved. They have been tied to train tracks, locked in stone towers, and fed poisoned apples. As we grow into adults we hear these stories morph into victims of crime, natural disasters, and disease. In a very reflexive way we romanticize the victim, we feel sorry for it and want to save it from its pain.
The Victim’s shadow side, however, is a seductive vortex of endless suffering. The mentality is one of helplessness and rage; this creates more pain and suffering for those people in the Victim's life, continuing the cycle outward. In time, a victim often finds that from their position of helplessness they can procure more love, sympathy and attention than they would otherwise receive. This gives them an unexpected power that keeps them locked into the victim mentality. Rather than standing up and taking the next step themselves, they find it easier to ensnare unsuspecting Heroes into their story. At their worst, through the use of guilt, shaming, and blaming, they manipulate others into catering to their every need.
Pain happens, no doubt about it. We all have choices, however, as to how we work with it. The downside of being a victim is that ultimately, the power that comes from manipulating others erodes our self esteem. Instead of fending for ourselves we become dependent upon others to make or break our day. This perpetuates the cycle of helplessness and rage. To step out of this tangle we must each take responsibility for our selves and let others take responsibility for theirs. We must work through our pain and find an appropriate outlet for our rage. If we have become fearful about being in the world, we must do the personal work involved in dismantling old fears and imprints and reclaiming our personal power. Sometimes we do need help. If we want to heal, however, we must ask for a hand up, not another handout to enable our lying down.
Watch your language! Are you personalizing an event and suffering in pain, or are you moving through it? How do you talk about what happens? Are you a victim of cancer or a survivor? Did that person do something to you or did it just happen and you were there? When we personalize it, we put it on and wear it. Holding onto pain makes us victims.
We all have the power to navigate these waters of uncertainly, pain, and illness without resorting to helplessness and rage. Yes, there is whitewater at times. Yes, we can feel out of control and unsafe. Yes, people hurt us. We can flail on the rocks like a bug on its back or we can ask for a hand to turn over, find a raft and oars, and maneuver through it to stiller waters. Your choice, your power!
Christina Allen’s work as an Intuitive, Healer, Teacher and Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center combines a strong science background (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, and profound Shamanic Healing based on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). Available by private appointment at (512) 391-9829. Learn more about sessions and upcoming classes at Austin Shamanic Center.
© Austin All Natural, July 2015