I know I’ve been guilty of feeling like a victim when things haven’t gone my way, and I’ve subsequently held my very own “pity party” (because that’s what victims do) with myself as the only attendee, only to end up feeling worse than before. Ugh!
Here’s the thing… we get to choose how we respond to events, and we get to choose how we feel. I know it doesn’t seem that way at times, but it really is true.
When I finally realised I was buying into my own “victim mentality” and allowing myself to spiral into a negative space, I knew I had to do something different. Blaming others for what’s happened to me was not going to achieve anything, nor was it going to stop my negative spiral, so I had to do something.
And here’s what I did:
I replaced “Why is this happening to me?” with “What is this trying to teach me?”
That’s it. It’s nothing too profound, but it was most certainly life-changing.
When you ask “why is this happening to me?”, you’re in a victim mentality – it’s like you have no control over a situation, but you DO have control. Not necessarily of the event in question, but most definitely in how you respond to what has happened.
So as for how you respond, ask yourself “What is this trying to teach me?”, and the answers may surprise you, and you may actually gain from the experience instead of feeling the pain you’re feeling.
To put things into context, here’s how I can relate to this:
I was once married to a man who verbally and emotionally abused me. For a long time, I asked “Why is this happening to me?” and the issues between us continued – for years!
But one day, I asked “What is this trying to teach me?” and I didn’t like the answer, because the answer meant I would have to stop sweeping things under the rug and admit that this was a situation I had allowed for much too long.
So my lesson in all of this was “You teach others how to treat you through what you will tolerate”, and because I had stuck with this dude for so many years, I was basically telling him through my actions (staying) that his treatment of me was perfectly ok.
I eventually took that lesson on board and walked away from that “man”, and I have never ever looked back. xx