If youve ever fulfilled or checked out about individuals who have gone through a significant spiritual awakening, or if you have actually experienced one yourself, it is generally the outcome of the former, and that “experience” is generally pain and suffering.
While that might sound like splitting hairs, the word “take advantage of” describes a moment in time, not a person. It properly depicts a truth without turning that truth into an all time by specifying someone as a victim. It truly positions emphasis more on the individual who should not have done that rather than the person who shouldnt have let it happen, as if she or he had any choice in the matter.
And yet, the truth is that many individuals have actually been victims. Actually, its most likely fair to state that everybody has been a victim of something or somebody at some time in their lives. How can we reject being a victim without rejecting reality? On the other hand, if we accept being a victim, arent we then giving up our own power and independence?The answer I believe lies in part in a subtlety of language, a little distinction with a huge distinction. Rather than defining ourselves as victims, why not simply state that we have been taken advantage of?
As unpleasant as it might be to experience, discomfort deepens individuals. To hurt and to be ill is to commune with all of those individuals who are ill and harming and who have ever been sick or hurt or ever will be ill or hurt.
That stability fends off the ultimate fear– that of lifes ever-changing uncertainty. However, at the same time, clinging to this stability triggers us to eliminate with life, and thus results in suffering. It is a rejection of life.
In suffering, one is offered the chance to suffer in addition to everyone else who is suffering, to be gotten in touch with a large selection of people facing many different scenarios. To suffer is to be human, part of a much greater whole.
This is a lesson I have found out however agonizing experience.
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When weve been victimized, we acquire some power and some insight. We can acknowledge those individuals who are or have actually also been preyed on, or perhaps who are just harming, and quicker empathize with their experiences. We are more able to be that assisting hand, that listening ear, that open heart.
More than anything, I found myself drawn to the outsider. Deep down my harder self had seen the outsider with contempt, probably because I might recall how agonizing it was to be the outsider maturing. Now, I had the ability to feel sorry for that outsider as I totally incorporated the whole and accepted of my experience, including my youth of victimization.
While on its face a victim identity is not a happy thing, the victim story does have its allure. It definitely can be a way to prevent duty and curry compassion from others. More than anything, it supplies the stability of an invented identity, which is exactly what the ego is.
Since they are certainly true, statements like this have become commonly accepted knowledge today. If you see yourself as a victim, you will be one. You will be someone who has actually been beat, someone who is at the mercy of another, which is no other way to live.
See yourself as a victim and you turn into one. Determine as a victim and you give your tormentor power over you, the very power to define who you are.
After years of disease, a challenging career, disasters among my buddies and household, it all end up being too much. It was at that time, when all my defenses fallen apart, that I experienced a total change of heart. It was a bottomless well of goodness that I never even understood was there.
One woman in the group came from an extremely different set of situations than I did. Im a white person from the suburbs who matured in stable family and went to a distinguished university. She was a mixed-race African American and Hispanic female who matured in a single mom household in the Bronx and returned to get her degree as a grownup.
What that woman in the cancer group said to me that day was much better, more meaningful, and more rewarding than any prize, award, acknowledgment, or award I have actually ever gotten. It was a compliment very much bought, for without my childhood victimization and the suffering I d experienced in my adult life, I never would have earned it.
And yet, the reality is that lots of individuals have actually been victims. Actually, its probably reasonable to state that everybody has been a victim of something or someone at some point in their lives. It accurately portrays a reality without turning that truth into an all time by defining someone as a victim. The telling of that story is what produces our ego, and indeed, for numerous people, that ego is a victim story.
“victimize” is a verb, and simply utilizing it seems to bring a sharper focus on the subject rather than on the object. When I hear the word “take advantage of,” my very first idea is “Who did that?” not “Who was the victim?”
While on its face a victim identity is not a happy thing, the victim story does have its appeal.
When I look back, would I wish to live through all of it again? Absolutely not, however Im pleased it happened that way and glad for those experiences.
A victim I am not. For that to be real, I d still require to be unfortunate or resentful. I d need to be residing in some maladapted method, enduring through coping systems and pain management. Is it distressing when I think of that innocent, delighted, carefree youth I never ever had? It sure is. My previous brought me to my delighted present and taught me heart lessons that I never ever would have otherwise gotten.
When coming out the opposite, we have an option. We can forget our suffering and find out absolutely nothing, staying the same. Or, we can define ourselves as a victim and gather another sad story to cling to. The informing of that story is what creates our ego, and certainly, for many individuals, that ego is a victim story.
About Joshua Kauffman.
A few years back, I was in a cancer caregiver assistance group when my mommy was going through her cancer journey starting simply a couple of weeks after my dad died. I returned home from very far and had served in part as caretaker to both of them– a really difficult experience.
Something this immediately does is to explain the act, not the individual. It suggests someone was taken advantage of, mistreated, bullied, tricked, or whatever the offense was. It does not disempower that person thereafter by defining him or her going forward after the event.
What she couldnt tell was that the picture-perfect rural upbringing I had masked an uglier truth. Unfortunately, my childhood story was among frequent abuse– physical, psychological, and even on a number of occasions sexual.
“The struggle of my life produced empathy– I might associate with pain, being deserted, having people not like me.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Joshua Kauffman is a recuperating over-achiever and workaholic. Leaving a high-powered life in company, he has ended up being a world tourist, striving coach, and entrepreneur of pretty things. Amateur author of a current narrative Footprints Through The Desert, he is searching for methods to share his awakening experience, especially to those lost in the rat race like he was.
While being nobodys victim, I do not decline– certainly I accept– my victimization. Its part of my story, perhaps the most vital part.
I grew up in a family of 4 kids, the scapegoat of the household. It was a relationship dynamic that my parents taught to all of my siblings. Reflecting on my youth, nearly all of my pleased memories occurred outside of the house– at school, at friends homes, by myself, anywhere however home. I was alone in a house filled with people.
Nevertheless, there is a much more important point here than those semantics, which is this: While we do not want to specify ourselves as victims, we likewise do not desire to remove a fundamental part of our story, a part that might have played more of a role in our individual development and advancement than anything else.
And yet, having actually matured the way I did and even after the big “shift” triggered by my breakdown, I still didnt actually think about myself as a “great” person. Since I didnt believe people believed of me that method either, I suppose my external reserve remained undamaged.
I remained in the group till my mom was miraculously recovered and it was time for me to get on with my life, maybe after a duration of sixteen months. Various members would go around in the circle a say a sort of little homage to the person leaving when somebody left the group.
However, there is a 3rd way, which is to accept what occurred to us and find out from our suffering to end up being a wiser, kinder, and more compassionate person. It is to embrace our victimization without becoming a victim.
While I d enjoy to state that implanted an inflammation in me, an intrinsic empathy for the downtrodden, it didnt. It hardened me and made me uncharitable. I could difficult it out. I could push past it all. Why could not other individuals? That was my attitude.
Suffering is the excellent teacher and the terrific uniter. There is an ancient spiritual mentor from India which asserts that there are three methods to get spiritual understanding: through experience, through reading books, and through an instructor, or someone who understands about it.
She had a confession to make. She said when I initially concerned the group, I simply appeared like a privileged white man from the suburb where I was born. As she got to know me and heard me in the group, she knew there was “something” about me– that I could listen to people and hear their discomfort and somehow relate to them. I might hold space and provide excellent recommendations at the same time, and she knew it was from the heart. It was not something she expected of “somebody like [me]”.