I have been gone awhile… I know. With the best of intentions for sharing what life has been laying before me, I have been struggling with fear. And it stopped me in my tracks – or rather at my keyboard.
Fear of being seen… of being known… of being judged… of disappointing. But the voice in my head that wants to talk to you through my fingers won’t leave me alone. At the most random times, an entire conversation fills me, struggling to erupt and be released.
And that is what happened the other day. This topic, though percolating for a while, has lain dormant until triggered by a conversation with someone I care deeply for… It was so compelling, resonated so deeply, my emotional reaction felt so strongly, that THIS message has thrust itself to the forefront. This story needs me to tell it first…
The background… This spring, I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago. The culmination of a year of travel. A life-changing challenge and resultant feat for me in so many ways. Many pilgrims walk the Camino for the physical challenge. Some walk for enlightenment. Many walk for religious purposes or because they need clarity. Some walk in the hopes of experiencing healing. I walked for all of those reasons. And I was gifted with several important moments of insight along the way. And they were all significant. But, one message, in particular, has been one that I find I have to revisit almost on a daily basis. It has refused to just be heard once. As I walked along what seemed like yet another endless kilometer toward Santiago, alone in my head, thoughts cleared from the clutter of daily existence, there it was. As if there was someone standing next to me screaming in my ear.
“Let Go of Your Victim Story”
We have all been through something. Injuries. Death. Divorce. Emotional and/or physical trauma. Sadly, you are not unique. Regardless of how it may seem from the outside looking in, none of us are immune to the wounds inflicted by pain, disappointment, regret, sadness, frustration, or the longing for dreams unrealized. And I support and encourage you to do what you need to do to process the emotions and their physical manifestations in a constructive way when they happen. My intent is not to minimize your experiences or withhold compassion and empathy. We are all entitled to be “victims” at some point.
But, have you become a perpetual victim? Have you attached so deeply to and identify so completely with your “victim story” that it has become who you are??
I have learned, as I am sure you have, that life does not always show up the way you expected it to. But, is it an injustice to your happiness and those around you to draw the conclusion that the one that DID show up is not the life you were meant to live??
What if you shifted your perspective? What if you accepted the premise that what you want and what you were meant to do or be may be different? What if you looked at your circumstances as the Universe intentionally supporting you with what you need? What if the life you have been offered is the life that is designed to enable you to fulfill your purpose? With this perspective, how differently might you interpret how life unfolds for you moving forward?
Constantly breathing life into your victim story carves thought patterns and belief systems into your brain. By reinforcing the negative energy of the past, you shift the energy that creates your future. It causes you to continually re-experience the emotions and stress of those past perceived and actual wrongs, prohibiting you from truly processing and releasing them. Your identity becomes so attached to the story that it takes up residence and often expresses itself in your body through undesirable physical, emotional and mental symptoms and illness. And you suffer yet another consequence…
By staying stuck in the past, you avoid the present. You miss the gifts being presented to you in this moment, this day, by this person and this unique experience. You become blind and deaf to what is.
So, I implore you…
Trust the Journey
You cannot go back. You cannot undo what has already been done. You cannot change the actions, thoughts or perceptions of others. You only have control over your actions, thoughts and perceptions.
When you fall into your victim story, you give up control to others. You give past individuals and experiences and emotions power over your current existence. You accept the premise that life happened to you. But, you do have power. The power to consciously choose what you will or will not allow in your life. You are allowed to have boundaries. So, if there are current circumstances that you cannot live with, consider what action you can take to affect change that supports you in a healthier way. If you choose to not change them, then offer yourself peace by understanding that you are making a conscious choice to accept them. And in all circumstances, choose to look for and experience the snippets of joy.
Yes, unexpected, unplanned for, tragic things happen to wonderful people. All the time. I know they have happened to you. They have happened to me. You can choose to live there, as I used to. Or, and it takes some work, you can choose to experience them, process them, and learn from them. You can choose to shift your perception of how your path is unfolding. How you respond – with acceptance or resistance – directs your journey. Choose wisely.
**** If you are struggling to deal with your past and move forward, please seek out a qualified professional to help you. There are many wonderful resources available including mental health therapists, alternative healers, and EFT practitioners, to name a few. I found this book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. David R. Hawkins, particularly helpful.