Photo credit:  nosha

Photo credit: nosha

We live in a society that encourages victimhood. A place where nothing’s your fault and you can sue anybody over anything. A land where life happens to you, not because of you. An imaginary world where there’s nothing you can do about anything, so just throw your hands up and give in to the inevitable misery of life. Complete and total disempowerment is not only indoctrinated here, it’s celebrated.

A “great” place to live if you’re weak, lazy, passionless, and angry.

It’s amazing how people react when I talk about “being a victim”. They think when I say “Stop being a victim, you are responsible for your life. Blaming somebody else for what’s wrong in your life isn’t going to change anything” they think I’m “victim blaming”.

Excuse me? No, this has nothing to do with saying a rape victim was “asking for it” by her clothing. Give me a break.

The destructive meme of “Well if it’s not their fault, it must be mine. If it’s not my fault it must be theirs. If it’s not either of our faults then who’s to blame? It must be somebody’s fault! I don’t know how to see a ‘wrong-doing’ without placing blame.”

The entire paradigm of placing fault or blame is based on a false premise that given two opposing parties, one must win and the other must lose – or one must be in the right and the other at fault. This way of thinking leaves no way to handle the idea that if something bad happens, neither has to be right or wrong. Realizing that there’s no real right or wrong way to begin with, is even more difficult.

Let’s define and clarify what these things are so you can see the difference:

Being a victim is where people blame others for what’s happened to them, continuing to be helpless to what happens in their life. They see themselves at effect of the world; simply the result of what their environment produces. They have no control over what happens in their life, and thus are powerless to change it. This also allows them to not take any responsibility for the misery in their lives because it’s always somebody else’s fault. They’re quick to place blame or fault on others. Often bitter, resentful, lost, and angry.

Victim blaming is where people place fault onto the person who was hurt to essentially disempower and make them feel shameful. It’s the idea of “they were asking for it”. It’s also driven by the need to blame and make somebody at fault – the person who was mistreated. It has a very vindictive and taunting feel to it. More blame and shame, no responsibility and empowerment.

Being at cause for one’s life – or taking responsibility for everything that happens – is where the person feels empowered to change their position in life without feeling helpless, shameful, or the need to place blame. They may not be able to control everything around them, but they decide to act and think differently to change their results. There’s no need to blame anybody for anything, as having your own personal power requires no fault, only taking responsibility for where you’re going.

See the difference in these approaches?

On the opposite end you have people who blame themselves for everything. This stems from lack of self worth, low self-esteem, accepting the blame of other people, lack of clear boundaries, and good ‘ol fashion fear. Often times they had domineering parents who were victims themselves and blamed everything on them, the child. They take on the world’s problems as their responsibility, without ever being able to solve them. Thus causing them to feel that much more helpless. They are actually victims as well, who instead of blaming others, blame themselves.

If something horrific happens, people want justice. They look towards payback and making the person who’s at fault pay for their wrong-doing. This is understandable, but it’s still not solving the problem. It just promotes more hate, rather than forgiveness and compassion.

I have a better idea. Let’s see how we were responsible for whatever happened – without shame, guilt, blame, or fault – and simply learn, heal, and become empowered from it in whatever way possible.

We can take any horrible event and turn it into a blessing. People lose their limbs and go on to develop prosthetics for others. People get raped and go on to inspire thousands of others to learn self defense trainings, saving many lives. People get dumped over and over again and learn to become better with dating and teach it to others. Some even live as victims their entire lives and then discover they can empower their lives, change everything, and teach that to others… ahem.

It takes a lot of strength and love to take this road, no doubt. I can completely understand the desire to feel sorry for yourself for years and to spiral downwards into the blame game about everything in life. Why? Because I’ve been there. I spent 20 years of my life being a victim. I have every right to talk about being abused, bullied, discriminated, and why it’s such a shitty approach to life.

But I changed all that. I decided to take responsibility for everything that happened – the good and the bad – and started to do something about it. Once I stopped blaming others and myself, I could start forgiving and moving forward towards what I wanted to create… instead of wallowing in my misery, letting the world create me accidentally.

Amazing things started to happen. People stopped bullying me. I stopped being abused. I was accepted more. The world around me started to change because how I treated myself and the world changed. I loved myself more. I forgave more. I stopped emotionally abusing myself and my health. I accepted my strengths and weaknesses. My life improved not because the world magically changed, but because I started thinking, feeling, and acting different myself.

I forgave myself. I saw I was just acting out of fear and ignorance before, and now that I knew better, I could act better. There was no need to further any negative feelings through shame or blame. It’s that exact cycle that keeps us trapped in misery, waiting for somebody to save us because we don’t think we can save ourselves. But get this – if you’re the one that caused your miserable or harmful life, you’re the one that can change it!

In fact, you’re the only one who can change it – nobody else will or can. At most they can inspire and facilitate, but it’s up to you, and only you, to stop being a victim and start being the creator of your life. If I can escape from a lifetime of self-fulfilling destructive thoughts, so can you, and anyone else – to think otherwise is more disempowerment!

Seeing others as victims only reenforced the idea that they can’t take responsibility for themselves. Stop worrying about “victim blaming” and start creating positive change. If you believe others are helpless victims, you are teaching victimhood. We need more people to start seeing the strength in themselves and others, rather than defending the perceived weaknesses of others. Will you join me in this?

Overcome victimhood yourself? Turn a horrible situation where you were “victimized” into a learning experience or greater gift for others? Let me know in the comments!

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