The more honest I am with myself, the more I realize that I’ve had a tendency to play the role of The Victim. It was always someone else’s fault that I was angry, someone else’s rejection that caused me to turn bitter, or cynical. I held other people responsible for my fate, my status in the world and in society, in general. It was God’s fault that my brain was all messed up, I was destined to be broken, forever. It was that sort of victimology (I doubt that’s a real word, but it’s certainly a real condition) that allowed me to spiral downward in addiction, depression, rage and apathy. I was on a one-way express ride to a very Bad Place; I was just a helpless victim carried along a raging river of helplessness and irresponsibility. I fell pretty hard, pretty fast into that Bad Place and through some miracle that I have yet to explain, I was able to ask for and receive help. I was able to put aside my childish tendency to blame everyone else and finally accepted that I was in this place because of all the choices that I had made. No one held a gun to my head and told me to drink myself into oblivion or to numb myself to the unpleasant feelings that are a part of life. Disappointment, hurt, rejection, depression and even a little bit of childhood terrors. These are the fires that forge our soul, strengthen our faith in ourselves and test the limits of our endurance. To avoid them is to avoid growing, conquering and discovering who we really are and who we wish to become. Once these feelings have been felt, the healing can begin and the progression to our True Self is possible.
So, I asked for help and my request was answered and then some. I met some incredible people who I would call my Life Teachers because they not only helped to educate me about addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness, they educated me about Life and myself. Taking responsibility for myself, my actions and turning that critical eye inward instead of trying to change the world to fit my expectations. One of my teachers gave me the most simple, yet effective tool for controlling my anger at the world and I’m going to share it with you now. Put your arms in front of you, fingertips touching (like you’re making a big circle in front of you) This is your Hula Hoop; everything that is within this Hula Hoop you have control over. Everything outside of this Hula Hoop is not your concern and you have no control over. So, whenever you find yourself getting angry, look to see where it falls in relation to your Hula Hoop. If it is outside, let it go. If it falls inside, decide what you need to do to make that change and then do it.
I am now able to catch myself when I start thinking like a victim and I make a conscious decision to stop that thought and take full responsibility for my actions and to avoid judging others for theirs. I am frequently looking at my Hula Hoop to remind me where my focus needs to be and where I shouldn’t be looking.
I’m looking forward to meeting my True Self and celebrating the death of the Victim and the birth of the Victor. I hope you’ll travel with me on this journey.