Definition of a victim: a person to whom life happens.
-- Peter McWilliams
A strong, successful man is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires.
-- Orison Swett Marden
Some invisible force inside is urging me to write. So here I am. Writing.
As a kid, one of my pet hates was people failing to take responsibility for their behavior. This included family members, friends and many others. I couldn't comprehend why one would shirk from taking crystal clear responsibility. I mean, if you do it then you own it. No? In theory this is certainly how it should go down. However, as we all know theory rarely translates into reality.
Then one day it hit me. In the face. Hard.
The virtue (lets call it a virtue) I wanted people to indulge in was in fact something I was unwilling or unable to do myself. I did not own my behavior or my actions. Ever. The supposedly simple act of looking at myself in the mirror and accepting my frailties was too much for me to handle. It all seemed so alien. Me, responsible? Surely not! I had in fact become what I had railed against all my life.
Why was that? Was it my ego holding me back from accepting that I was in the wrong? Was it my old pattern of falling into victimhood?
I decided to find out by embarking on a mission: A secret one.
I purchased books. Lots of them. I read online chats, spoke to trusted friends all in an attempt to change the way I functioned in this world of ours. I wanted to embrace responsibility, and ultimately, find a path out of all the madness.
It took me many years. But, I think I may have figured it all out: My struggles stemmed from spending so much of my life in victim energy. Stuck. Damned. Lost. Everyone else was responsible for my pain. For my failings. Critically I had also made others responsible for dragging me out of my sadness. It was all your fault. Yes, you! Slowly, I started to realize that even though other people may actually have a part to play in my pain I was responsible. Even if I didn't want to be.
I am the one that has to live my life, and living entrenched in victimhood was emotionally catastrophic (note: use of the word "catastrophic" not chosen lightly). It was keeping me tethered to my painful past. It was keeping me tethered to my sadness. It was keeping me tethered. End of story.
The beginnings of a new life began when I started taking full responsibility for my actions. I was free. I was free to live my life. I was free to soar. I could take the punches life pulled with dignity and grace. I could look at myself in the mirror and say, "Although I am not perfect (who is?) I am worthy." I was my own best friend.
Other people were there on my journey but they were not the arbitrators of my destiny. They were there to help and teach me. Through the good and the bad.
My goals in life have changed since I found a freedom from debilitating victim energy. I want to take responsibility for all my actions good and bad. I want to be the bigger man, someone who owns up to his responsibilities in life. This is what I want.
What do you want?