Breaking the Victim Chain

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Emotion, Mental, Spiritual | 3 comments

There is a concept that we are all just victims of victims. This intrigues me greatly because it opens up the possibility of breaking the chain to find acceptance and forgiveness; both of which allow us to heal and move on. You will notice that I will not say it excuses abusive or detrimental behavior, it does not. It does, however, explain it just a bit, allowing for empathy.

Excuse vs. Explanation
They can sound the same, but are very different things and based on your individual perspective sometimes it is hard to know which one is which. I have a dear friend who has said many times that he is sad because I have yet to visit his home several states away. He and his family have lived there for close to 20yrs and it is true I have not made the trek. What always fascinates me is when the topic comes up I remind him why a trip like that is not exactly easy for us and he always says to stop making excuses. He always gets offended that he believes me to be making an excuse, while I get offended that he isn’t hearing my explanation and being more empathetic and understanding.

Explanations are basic and usually factual. The car is in the shop so I have no transportation for a day or two. Excuses are often based in fact but are lies in one way or another, used with the intent of getting out of saying no to something we don’t want to do and are too uncomfortable to actually say no to doing.

What’s the big deal?
When we issue excuses we are basically saying that the person we are making the excuse to doesn’t matter enough to us for the truth. It is disrespectful and selfish. There is no ownership or taking responsibility of one’s part in the moment. Excuses are made to get ourselves off the hook in the easiest possible way. Sometimes they aren’t even factual they are just straight up lies. I recognize that there are times when discretion is the better part of valor, but when you become someone who would rather make an excuse than make eye contact and connect to someone with the truth you take on the air of someone dishonest and false. Often people like that will look around and wonder why they have 200 Facebook friends but nobody who will take them in if they are hurt or in trouble. These people tend to repeat over and over things that hurt them, and they bemoan about why me? I have no luck if I didn’t have bad luck! I am such a good person, always there for everyone else, why isn’t anyone here for me?! It is hard to be there for someone who doesn’t ever let you see them in all their morning after glory. It is almost impossible to find empathy for them; instead we feel sympathy, which is akin to adding gasoline to the martyr fire they are already burning. Then we are around them we tend to make excuses and spiral right down with them into that place of chaos and blame and owning everything or owning nothing of what we are part of.

We can’t control what people hear, we can control how we speak and what we say.
When we explain something to someone we give them information and hopefully expand their view of the situation. We show respect with an explanation. We take ownership and responsibility of our part of the encounter. It still might be a completely sucky situation, yet with a larger view it might just be easier to put ourselves into the shoes of the other person and from there create understanding, empathy and even compassion. When we feel empathy and compassion for another, we can also feel it for ourselves. Giving ourselves a moment in which to say, I don’t like this and it isn’t for me, however I can see how they ended up doing it. With empathy, compassion and some kind of explanation we can see clearly how a situation is about each individual in that situation – it isn’t personal and we all have our own view of it. We can in fact give people the space and respect to live their own life with no judgment, no enabling, no taking over ownership of their, for want of a more technical term, stuff.

Victim of a victim or survivor who broke the chain?
Let’s be honest, we all have stories, our parents had them, their parents had them and so on; thusly the idea that we are all just victims of victims. The things is, we don’t have to perpetuate that idea. We have the power to break the chain and to put it simply; we have the ability to see ourselves truly and make choices based on that. It isn’t always comfortable, it is always empowering.

It is never too late, that statement is false. It is always the right time to wake up to your truth. Now is the pivotal moment in your life.

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3 Comments

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