There are usually two ways to look at things, either the glass is half empty or half full. Ultimately the way you experience life and your interaction with the world is all about your mindset: are you an optimist or pessimist? It all boils down to this simple concept, and there are no grey areas. I once heard that there’s no such thing as a ‘realist’ since realists are really just pessimists.
So what does this have to do with a victim mentality? Everything! People can either play ‘victim’ to their circumstances, or take control and react in a positive way to whatever comes their way. The victims always find an external source to blame for their woes. They are full of excuses of ‘would have, should have, could have,’ and the common denominator is that nothing is ever their fault. Perhaps they think that not taking any blame will absolve them from feeling negative emotions. However, it also prevents them from learning from their mistakes.
Going through life as a victim or as a pessimist can be quite depressing. Viewing everything as outside your control leaves you flailing like a leaf at the mercy of a gust of wind. If you never take responsibility for the things that happen to you, then you can’t grow, evolve and change into a better being. Sure, some things really do fall outside the realm of control, but it’s the way you react to those things that define you. The things you can control matter a lot more in the grand scheme of things.
Suppose something bad happens to you, or someone says something to offend you. You can be pessimistic and absorb all of the negativity, perhaps even spewing that negativity back to the source or onto completely unwitting objects (say something nasty back, throw a tantrum, kick something…). Or you can evaluate the situation from a higher state of consciousness, and let the insult roll off you like a water droplet off wax paper. The choice is yours.
Most people don’t even realize they have this choice. They react instinctively and quickly, and sometimes vindictively – unapologetically so. In an argument, or in a physical fight, you may be tempted to immediately retaliate rather than take a step back. Then it’s a matter of ‘s/he started it,’ and we’re back to the second grade schoolyard. Who is more wrong, the person who ‘started it’ or the person who continued? It doesn’t matter, because once both parties are engaged, they are both wrong.
Do you believe in the adage, ‘an eye for an eye?’ Sure, sometimes a defense requires some drastic measures – when your human rights are being violated for example. But in most everyday situations, violence and drama can be avoided. The cycle of negativity can be broken, and it only takes one person to stop: you. You are the only person that you are capable of changing.
Unfortunately, you cannot change anyone else, and your responsibility lies in controlling your own actions and reactions. Everyone else will learn their own lessons and get their own karma in due time. Your priority is to accept the things that happen to you, and choose how to react. In playing victim and pointing fingers you are giving up your power. When you don’t take responsibility for your role in the ‘snowball’ effect of events, you also don’t get to take control of the situation. Next thing you know, there’s an avalanche!
Maybe someone was mean to you, or you missed the bus this morning. Do you let that influence your view of the glass being full? Do you escalate an argument, or stub your toe in frustration? These actions would lower your vibrations and drag you away from the path to true enlightenment. As humans, we are capable of so much light and love, and only we can hasten or delay our ability to experience it.
So please, next time you feel an injustice and are ready to retaliate, pause for a minute. Think about how you can respond to the situation with grace and compassion. If someone is rude to you, understand that it’s a reflection of their own troubles, and has nothing to do with you…until you respond with the same rudeness. Always be true to who you are, and don’t mirror the less-than-pleasing events in your life.
Allow even the unpleasant moments to teach you and transform you. You will find that it’s easier to see the glass full when you take every opportunity to project love and kindness, even in response to instigation. Rather than play a victim of your circumstances, become the master of your destiny.