By Suzanne E. Harrill       

I recently read an interview with the popular country singer, Naomi Judd, promoting her best seller, Naomi’s Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life. She illustrates perfectly how one changes a life of victimization to one of empowerment by understanding how life works. It is easy to feel like a victim when painful, challenging, out-of-control things happen in our lives. In addition, the support you receive from most others actually fuels feelings of powerlessness and fearfulness, which in turn keeps the patterns repeating themselves. It is almost an automatic response to feel victimized until we learn to consider new interpretations of reality which give us clues to what the pain is all about and how to change the patterns. This article is not a discussion on children, but how we as adults can change our consciousness to empower ourselves and to change the results we experience in our daily lives. We must learn to update our thinking and take responsibility for our choices, which moves us out of victim thinking and victim experiences.

How do we move out of being a victim? We must change our thinking before anything in our outer world changes. We must step outside the boundaries of our belief systems to understand the bigger picture. For example, many believe things just happen to us, out of the blue, and that we are at the mercy of what life gives us. To move out of the mode of thinking, we need to become aware that we repeat patterns and beliefs modeled to us by our parents and society, and that we are constantly making choices based on our belief systems. We need to understand that energy follow thought, so control over our thinking is paramount. We move out of victimhood and create new situations by updating our beliefs and taking risks to make new choices that move us out of old patterns. To begin, I will introduce a couple of ideas that will help you to see a bigger picture of reality. 

 The first idea is that there are no good or bad experiences. Yes, some feel good and some feel bad to us; however, each affects us in ways we cannot initially determine as good or bad.  Let me repeat an ancient story that illustrates this point:

There was a wise, old man who lived in a tiny mountain village.  He was very poor, and it was suggested he sell his one possession, his faithful horse,  for food.  He, however, could not bear to sell his friendly horse that had been with him on many life journeys.  A week later his horse got away.  The village people said, “That is bad.  You see, you should have sold the horse.”

He replied, “It is not good and it is not bad that the horse got away. It just is.” 

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses, which the old man and his son rounded up and put on their fenced property.  The village people said, “That is good that you now have the riches of many horses.”

He again answered, “It is not good and it is not bad. It just is.”

Some time later the son fell off one of the wild horses and broke his leg.  The village people said, “How unfortunate your son is injured.  That is bad.”

The wise old man just said, “It is not bad and it is not good that my son fell and broke his leg.  It just is.”

A while later, war broke out and all the young men of the village were called to defend their country.  The wise man’s son, however, was not called because his leg did not heal straight and he had a crippled walk. The village people said to the old, wise man, “That is good that your son is crippled.”

His reply, “It is not good and it is not bad.  It only is.”

This story illustrates that if one could know what was coming next, one would see it is of no value to judge an experience as good or bad.  All experiences are neutral in the long run.  However, in the moment, some feel good and some bad.  The same is true with events and experiences in your life.  If you knew the whole picture, you would not judge what you experience; you would simply grow in awareness.  This is one way of thinking that moves you along in consciousness and out of feeling victimized by life circumstances.

The second idea I would like you to explore is that no one ever does anything to you. It would be very natural for some of you reading this to say impossible and think of many examples why this is a false statement. Maybe your mind is discounting this with a response like, “Well, what about my first marriage where this bad thing happened.” If you want to expand the boundaries of your world, it is important to consider that the opposite is true.  Stay with me here to explore this concept, as a new idea like this can be easily pushed out of your world.

How could it be true that no one does anything to you? Every person is having a different experience of life even when there is a shared event. You interpret events from your frame-of-reference, which is based on your early conditioning;, everything that has ever happened to you; and every thought, feeling, and action you have ever had.  It is based on your experiences, which are just that your experiences. It is impossible for any two people to have the same experience of anything, even encounters of a close intimate kind.  Each person perceives reality differently from every other individual. The more we explore another’s world, the more we discover the different interpretations they have of shared experiences. People interpret reality through the filters of their own mind or belief system.

Now to go further, each person is traveling through life expressing him/herself and is constantly making choices both consciously and unconsciously.  These choices are based on the internal state of the individual, not on a consensus reality. When my husband, for example, gives me a hug and a kiss, it may not be for the same reasons I would be giving him a hug and kiss at that moment.  I will have the tendency to interpret his actions with the intentions I would have if I were he. If I wanted to explore further why he just gave me a hug and a kiss, I may find that he had a good day at work and feels good about how he handled an employee problem.  So when he sees me, he automatically expresses how good he feels about himself and his day at work.  The hug and kiss pop out of him when he sees me.  In my mind I think, “Wow, he really loves and appreciates me.  I wonder what I just did to remind him how wonderful I am.” You see we both had a common experience, but each of us had a different interpretation for what was taking place and reasons for participating.  Experiment with your own relationships and you will begin to see this is true.

For another example, when someone hurts you, it may look like s/he is intentionally out to get you personally.  If you were to peel back time and view that person’s whole life, you would see you were simply the one on which s/he acted out the hurtful act.  If it were not you, it would be someone else.  The less aware one is, the more likely that s/he goes through life doing her/his own thing, motivated by her/his own internal frame-of-reference without much, if any, awareness of you or her/his affect on you. I am not saying I condone negative actions or words projected on others or deny the damage or pain it causes. I am simply teaching that there are thinking patterns that need to be changed or we will repeat similar hurtful situations.  It is very important to dialog with yourself and get to the bottom of why you are in the path of such a destructive and unaware individual, who will continue their negative behaviors with the next person and the next when you are out of the picture.

Next, I ask you to explore whether or not you believe events, both positive and negative, just happen randomly or whether there is a reason for them at some level?  Do you believe these things are God’s will and, therefore, you must accept and not challenge them, or do you believe you have something to do with these events?  Maybe some of both? Consider that you are co-creating your life with God. Without going into too much detail, it is helpful to understand that a lot of what happens to you depends on you and your free-will choice. We are creating our life from our internal thoughts and beliefs. We are the main character, the scriptwriter, director, and editor and have much power with our free-will choices We are in charge of our thinking, interpretations of and reaction to people and events, and how we choose to express verbally or through our actions. Getting to know your spiritual Self is important here, whether through meditation, prayer, study of spiritual Truth, or spending time alone to contemplate and ponder your life.

To take some of this out of theory and put into practice, I will illustrate part of my journey where I benefited from updating my interpretations of my life.  I have changed some of my perceptions by discovering the larger perspective of why some experiences were needed in my life.  My intention is to show that you can uncover deeper meaning and purpose for some of your negative feeling circumstances.

I uncovered in my detective work on myself that as a child I wanted to have parents who would teach me about God and how life works. I had this awareness in meditation. I learned that I was disappointed that I did not have spiritually-oriented parents to show me the “right” way to find God.

 I made some critical judgments about my parents at that time in my life that made me feel victimized.  I have since grown to appreciate the lack of spiritual discipline from my parents.  This allowed me to go through a period of feeling disconnected from God. I experienced what is often spoken of as the "dark night of the soul."  I have since learned that this is a point of crisis on the spiritual journey and a very important part of the soul’s journey.  Here one does not know what to believe, feels isolated, abandoned, and alone, essentially feeling the despair of the human physical experience of individuation or being separate from God. This realization was a necessary stage in my healing, but it was not a final truth.  I had more to uncover and understand. 

I learned I needed to update my interpretation of my current life, to stop feeling victimized at a subconscious level.  I now am grateful that my parents allowed me to break from “The Rules” and to have the freedom of choice to explore, without guilt, the right spiritual path for me. What looked like a problem from a three-dimensional world point of view was really a gift on my spiritual journey.

Now, back to you.  Take a moment now to think about one of the issues or problems that has plagued you in life.  Pretend for a moment that you agree with the concepts presented in this article, that there is really no right and wrong, that no one is really doing anything to victimize you, and that you have power to change your life and co-create your reality because you have free-will choice and a spiritual relationship with God. Use your imagination to make up a new interpretation of your issue, one that could come from your spiritual self or God.  Play around with your creative mind to help you see possible meaning behind some of your painful experiences. Then you can begin to see that life makes more sense when you learn to see it from the Big Picture.  Then you will know that you are not a victim.


Recommended reading:

Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankle

The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts

The Force by Stuart Wilde

The Seat of The Soul by Gary Zukov

The Course in Miracles





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