“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Nowhere in there does it request the support to accept the unacceptable, yet I see rampant acts of just that in the USA & internationally. Let me follow the above statement by referring readers to the wisdom portion of the prayer. We need to know what we can change. I feel these days that many, if not most, people have kowtowed to the archetype of the victim and accepted this role within their soul. As a victim they tell themselves that they cannot change anything and that they must accept the unacceptable.
I on the contrary, having played the victim role as a means of survival for many years, came to realize that the victim roles can outrun its course and cause me a daily small death.Having experienced this first hand, I do not believe that playing the victim is the wise option. I believe that developmentally typical adults are always capable of either changing or accepting any given situation.
By all means, if someone is sincerely being victimized on a daily basis and has no means to accept or change their situation (ie. children, developmentally disabled adults, underprivileged, marginalized. The list goes on and if you are wise you know where it ends.) I am fully in support of them comforting themselves and coping by internalizing the victim archetype. However to those of you who have the means by which to practice acceptance or change and the wisdom to know which practice is appropriate when, but still play the victim, you infuriate me.
For me, a former victim, there is nothing more infuriating than watching someone, anyone really, but more so someone I love, play the lesser role out of laziness, attachment to things or false identities, or due to complete faithless abandon. In doing such I feel individuals are doing the entire human race a disservice. I believe each person has a gift that they are meant to share with the world. I feel this gift will never be able to be expressed in its fullest form when the bearer of it arrives wearing the victim costume.
I don’t know about you, but I would not willfully receive any gift being offered to me by the character that I see within me when I drum up an image of my inner victim.
People are fully capable of manifesting their gifts products from within the realm of victimhood, oh I know this all to well. I wrote many a poem while shrouded in my cloak of victimhood. About four years ago I removed those poems from my streams because I realized that all I was delivering to my audience in those pieces was sludge covered muck that could only feed their inner victim. This is true because that is where I lived at the time that I created my work; in my victimhood. We can only give of what we know.
I know an artist who is well acquainted with their victim and although someone who has really identified with their victim is never entirely rid of it in my opinion, this artist’s work is like a literal ray of light that slaps my heart and screams “Live!”. This is true art, a true gift being shared and far more beneficial to this world than the various pitty ridden dump diving, woes of outdated victimhood.
You may be wondering how this artist I speak of manages to live amid their victim but not identify with it. I couldn’t tell you because I am not this artist. However, I know that for me acceptance of the pain that I had been quelling with my victimhood allowed me to set my victim role aside and embody my empowered self when I so chose.
To this day my victim still manages to take a joyride in my being when I allow myself to engage in environments, circumstances, and relationships that remind her of the times when I truly needed to be a victim to survive. No longer however does my inner victim want to dash my dreams, nor do I allow her to, because I chose to feel the things that she helped me not to feel when I wasn’t yet ready to feel them. After feeling those difficult sensations and emotions I didn’t need her to run the show anymore because I had it under control and I started taking care of myself in healthy ways.
Conclusively what I am hoping to share with you in writing this piece, is that I find it unacceptable to choose victimhood when one has the means to choose change or acceptance. Not only that but I beg of you to seek guidance from a source you trust on exactly what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
In my experience this determining the difference between the acceptable and the unacceptable is the most difficult part of retiring one’s victim. All I had in the beginning of recovery from domestic violence, sexual assault, addiction, and post traumatic stress disorder was my victim perspective of acceptable and unacceptable. I am still developing a healthy individuated sense of these things, individuated being used loosely as all moral code is merely an elaboration on the wisdom of ancestors. That being said, I know I must effort to learn what is truly in alignment with my body and my mind, because if I only use what was offered to me by my early dysfunctional environment, I will never truly live as I see fit.
Thus far the role models I have chosen to learn
various versions of acceptable and unacceptable
The Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud & Jessica Macbeth
The monks of Pine Mountain Village Buddhist Temple/ Order of Buddhist Contemplatives
Rev. Sandy Jabo & Rev. Melanie Jabul/ Open Door Sitting Group/Five Mountain Zen Order
The ministers of the Won Dharma Center in Claverak New York
The many wise healers at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health (Shoutout to Jennifer Reis, Micah Mortali, Aruni Nan Futuransky, and Edi Pasalis )
Many professional therapists including the angels of The Bridge to Recovery
Tommy Rosen and the Recovery 2.0 community
Melody Beattie author of Codependent No More
Khalil Gibran author of The Prophet
Jacquelyn Small author of Psyche’s Seeds
Anodea Judith author of The Sevenfold Journey
Clarissa Pinkola Estes author of The Women Who Run With The Wolves
Sandra Cisneros author of Woman Hollering Creek
Mark Wolynn Director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco California
Lion Goodman creator of The Belief Closet exercise
And literally most importantly Bill W and my 12 step recovery home group
Please feel free to message me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org to ask anything about any of these particular teachers and please comment below or direct message me to tell me who you have sought guidance from thus far in order to
bolster your knowledge of the acceptable and unacceptable.
I know I have more to learn and it will benefit me to know what teachers have taught you.