When bad things happen in our lives it is easy to fall into the trap of blaming our current circumstances on those things. It is easy to live with a victim mentality that keeps us trapped in the past and unable to live life to it’s fullest. Taking the time to overcome victim mentality and heal from the inside can help us live an amazing life!
We all have trauma, we all have things that have happened in our lives that have affected who we are and how we view life. They become our scars and can color the way we see life in general. Sometimes those things make us stronger, we become overcomers or helpers, we encourage others in the same circumstances or know how to support someone going through something similar.
You know the phrase that life isn’t what happens to you, but how you react to it. Sometimes things happen to us that are hard to get over, or that leave such an impression it is hard to move forward and leave those things in the past to look forward to the future.
For years I let myself fall into the victim mentality of being the daughter of an addict. My family broke apart when I was 18 years old. After years of being part of a normal well-balanced family, not only was I pregnant but my father a recovered alcoholic had become a crack addict. My world turned upside down and was forever changed.
For a very long time, I sunk into the mentality of being a victim. My life would have been better, different, not as stressful etc. if things had happened differently. Although day to day I was happy whenever challenging times would hit or I would be upset about something I allowed myself to be pulled into a downward spiral of victimization. If my dad hadn’t done what he did this would all be different….
I played the blame game, pointing fingers at everyone, I sat in self-pity wishing that things were different, the victim mentality made me feel helpless, hopeless, and like life was happening to me and I wasn’t an active participant.
Today I am here to tell you about the freedom that comes from letting that mentality go. The amazing feeling of being an active participant in your life instead of letting victim mentality dictate your feelings. Moods, and actions. There is nothing we can do to change our past or things that have happened to us. But we can change how we react, how we move forward, and how much power we give to those people and events. It’s not always easy but breaking up with your issues and moving out of that victim mentality is so worth it. It opens your life up in ways that you couldn’t imagine and gives you back your power to be who you are truly meant to be.
First, ask how your story is serving you- This is where you are going to need to get brutally honest with yourself. How is your victim story serving you? You see we don’t do things or hold on to things that aren’t serving us in some way.
You might say, “You’re crazy, it doesn’t do anything for me, it traumatized me, it ruined my life, it still hurts to think about it.”
Yes, that is true, but now, in this part of your life, holding on to it is doing something for you. It may be that it is keeping up a wall you have built that you are terrified to let down. It may be that people around you treat you differently because of it. It may be that you are blaming current circumstances on the past and you don’t want to take the responsibility to fix them.
This can be a hard pill to swallow. For me, it was the blame. Anytime things weren’t going my way, even 10 years after the fact, I could blame it on my dad. When I lashed out at my husband for something because I was stressed I could blame it on being the daughter of an addict. I carried my “issues” around like a badge of honor and a shield, a card to pull when things got rough.
Often it is easier to use our issues as a crutch to keep from doing the work to change things. Change is hard and staying put with the anchor of victim mentality is sometimes easier.
But when we can address why we are holding onto these stories, how we are being served by our victim mentality, we can start to heal the real problems, and take responsibility for our happiness and our lives in ways we never did before.
So, take some time. Think about it, write it out, talk to a good therapist. Figure out how your victim story is serving you, what you need to address to let it go, and begin the process of healing.
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Now it’s time to let go of blame- Along with letting go of those issues is letting go of blame. Who are you blaming for your issues? Is it someone else? Is it yourself? Is it a group of people or a situation that is out of your control?
As long as we are focused on blaming someone for our current state we cannot move past it. We are so focused on making sure that someone is held responsible that we don’t realize we are also holding on to all the negativity associated with what happened. By continuing to hold onto blame we are giving all our power to who or whatever has hurt us.
Releasing blame starts with forgiveness. You see forgiveness isn’t about letting someone get away with something, it is about releasing yourself from the negativity associated with what happened. It is about saying that it no longer holds power over you and your life because you’ve let it go.
Sometimes when we are working on healing our victim mentality we have a lot of blame to let go of. We must let go of blaming people or situations that have heart us and forgive ourselves for holding on to it for so long.
With the release of blame comes the taking back of our power. We remove it from the hands of situations that have hurt us and bring it back to ourselves so that we can live the full life we want to have!
Watch what you say– There is so much power in our words. As we begin to move out of the victim thoughts and take back our power our self-talk and what we say out loud becomes so important. For years I would say, “I am the daughter of an addict.” Now I say, “My father is a recovered addict.” Do you see the difference? When we say I am (fill in the blank) we are claiming that as who we are. By shifting our thoughts and speech and being conscious of what we claim it can make an enormous difference psychologically.
Even things like “I am a victim of abuse” can be made better by saying, “I am an abuse survivor,” and even better by saying, “I was abused.” Each is a step toward no longer allowing that negativity to be a piece of you but simply a part of your past.
I think each of us has a story that can be helpful to others, that can encourage and support but that doesn’t mean we have to sit in it and own it as a big piece of us. We can separate it from our center selves through our thoughts and speech in a way that gives it less power.
So, start watching what you say when you are talking to yourself, and about yourself. Does your speech support being a victim or being an active participant in your life?
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When we start on a journey of healing and overcoming a victim mentality we start sensing the freedom and wanting more of it.
Taking back your power, taking your life into your own hands, and becoming happier, more whole, and in tune with what you want from life is freeing and beautiful. Our lives are, ours to live and our power is ours to keep and use for good. So, start becoming aware, begin the process of finding who you are and what you want. Release the victim mentality and begin reaching for bigger and better things in your life!