I’ve written lots of educational and inspirational blog posts but recently decided to start writing a weekly coaching related post on Mondays. This is the third week. If you’re just tuning in now, check out the first two posts: Cut Yourself Some Slack for Being As Good As You Are Now and Take Back Your Power: Plug the Leaks in Your Life.
The leaks in your life are a symptom, or an expression, of how you feel about yourself. So if we’re going to get real about leaks and really take our power back, we have to talk not just about your leaks but about how you feel and think about yourself as this is the perspective you live your life through.
Victim is a feared word because it so goes against our “I’m fine, thanks” mask. You know, the one you put on to try to feel safe and secure in the world. Nobody wants to be seen as less than the perfect, wise, wonderful, loving, funny, etc. person we want to be seen as. But we are full-specturm beings who have been marinated in the collective consciousness of this planet which is DEEP in victim.
Centuries of violence, institutions that have systematically killed millions of people over centuries, endless genocides, the attempted destruction of the sacred feminine, and probably a million other things have led to a collective of people who feel insecure and believe they’re helpless to change things, that their efforts won’t make a difference.
But it’s not COOL to talk about it. It’s COOL to “be brave, look strong, put on a good face, play the game well”.
But this is such bullshit. In our hearts what we know is truly cool is to be undefended and REAL. So let’s drop the denial or posturing persona stuff we may have going on and own that throughout the course of a day there are probably 50+ moments in which you come into direct contact with the insecure feeling of victim inside of you. You find you can’t make a decision. You feel less than. You blame someone, your body, or an event about why you can’t feel good, be happy, or don’t have what you want. When this comes up, you don’t want to feel it so you get on Facebook, get something sugary to eat, over-stimulate yourself with texts, busy-ness, or whatever to try to numb the feeling.
This is running to stand still. This is lying to ourselves. This is a trap.
So let’s call a spade a spade and call out the conditioning that has each and every one of us set to a default setting of victim orientation. It’s like a lens or filter we see ourselves and life through. It uncomfortable, limiting, and also completely untrue… but KNOWING this isn’t enough. We have to put our knowing that this is a bunch of lies into action to really be free of it. And not just once, but over and over to reset our default orientation and identify from victim to creator.
THE VICTIM TRIANGLE / THE DRAMA TRIANGLE
I’ve sat through hundreds if not thousands of counseling sessions. Regardless of what each person’s stated reason is for seeking support, there is one thing every person, without fail, speaks about… which is that they are caught up in the victim triangle. It goes like this:
Victim – Poor me. I am not to blame.
Persecutor – The person, job, situation, event, circumstance, habit, inheritance, etc. you’re blaming to justify being a poor me. When you’re living in the victim triangle, you need the persecutor. Without it you have no justification or excuse to be a poor me. When you’re being the persecutor, you feel right.
Rescuer – What the victim goes to to seek relief from the persecutor. When you’re being the rescuer, you believe you’re doing something good.
We play all three roles. And all three roles are faces of a victim.
For example, you feel persecuted by someone else being a big victim. You know the friend, coworker, or relative who will not, for the love of all that’s divine and magical, stop complaining about their drama. You get sick of listening to this so you try to “help” them. And even though it’s clear they don’t really want to do anything about it, you keep helping. But the reason you’re helping, ie. rescuing, is because you feel persecuted by their victimization. But the person who’s getting false power and attention from being a victim continues being a victim, ignores your advice, and continues to complain to you (because you’ve made yourself available for it) and after awhile you get really pissed off! You’ve had it with their drama and you turn into the persecutor yourself. You make them wrong and yell at them… all because you felt persecuted by their victimization.
Or, it could be more like you feel wounded and broken from your past. You wouldn’t call yourself a victim exactly, but whether you want to say it or not, that is the orientation you’re living from. You had a rough beginning and/or something really invasive happened to you (the persecutor) and you feel like you’re operating with a deficiency that will not, despite your best efforts, go away. So you smoke pot or take pills or drink regularly or overeat or shop excessively, etc. (the rescuer) but that only felt like a relief in your early 20s. Now you’re older and you’ve developed health problems, weight gain, depression, paranoia, or huge debt and now what was once a source of relief, is now also persecuting you.
Any which way you look at it, it’s the same thing again and again. And while there may be one of these roles you may go to more than another, we all play out each of these roles – victim, persecutor, and rescuer – repeatedly.
(Sidenote: My experience is that rescuers tend to have the hardest time seeing this. They really think they’re being helpful and even though they constantly complain about how resentful they feel, they have an extremely hard time SEEING how they’re actually playing a part in the victim triangle. If this is you, if you find yourself in a the role of the “helping friend” to people who are constantly in drama and complaining about what relentless, ungrateful, blood sucking vampires they are, you need to have a truth session with yourself. Just sayin’.)
So here EVERYONE is, in the victim triangle and living out a huge, distracting, disempowering drama. Oh, wait a minute, did I say everyone? Yes, everyone. That’s me, you, and everyone we know. Seriously – I have yet to meet anyone who is outside of this on a full-time basis. Don’t believe me? Then I invite you to take the next 24 hours (or week) to observe what people speak about. Listen… to your coworkers, the people in line at Peet’s, to your friends, to the people you live with, and your neighbors. What you’re listening for is that regardless of the CONTENT of what they talk about, what they’re really talking about is the drama and suffering they’re experiencing as a byproduct of living in the victim triangle. It will be something like “I am a victim”, “Someone or something is pissing me off” (I’m a victim who’s identified as a persecutor), or “I just want to help so and so but it’s not working and I feel resentful” (I’m a victim who’s identified as a rescuer).
I swear 99% of conversations are this. Until….
More on that in next week’s post!