“Those with a perpetual victim mindset tend to create the situations from which they suffer.” – Steve Maraboli
“In every moment you have a choice to be a victim or a creator.” – Deepak Chopra
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung
Lately, it seems the world has no shortage of victims.
The oppressed, from a gender and racial perspective, have been systematically victimized by the oppressor – who in turn have become the victims of “cancel culture” and reverse discrimination. The vaccinated perceive themselves to be victims of the unvaccinated who are being blamed for the ongoing strength and duration of the pandemic. The unvaccinated believe they are victims as well – a casualty of government overreach and diminished personal freedoms.
Small businesses and large retailers have become victims of looting and crime in many of our major metropolitan areas, while those committing the crimes feel victimized by social inequity and police brutality – justifying the theft and vandalism in their minds.
College students need “safe spaces” and view the stated opinions of others counter to their own as hate speech – victimized by these microaggressions. Universities used to be places where thoughts and ideas were freely exchanged and expressed, but now this victim mentality has shut down the dialogue all together,
High gas prices have victimized us all – driven by pipeline shutdowns, unstable commodity prices as well as ineffective government policies and intervention. But our current policy leaders believe we are all victims of climate change – especially if we fail to curb our consumption of gas and oil. The supply chain issues – Are we victims of port mismanagement and labor shortages or have we victimized ourselves by selfishly buying and spending too much as some have suggested – overtaxing the system?
Do you see the trends here?
Becoming the victim is easy. It allows us to relinquish personal responsibility and gives us a sense of virtue. It feels great to point our finger of blame toward someone else – releasing ourselves from any burden of guilt for the dilemma we face. We become the center of attention in our plight – basking in the sympathy we receive from others due to our misfortune. We can take a breather from any accountability or personal action, repose in all the pity and sympathy we receive from others and comfortably relax in the midst of our own imperfections.
We do this in our personal lives all the time. The unhappy marriage is our spouse’s fault. The job isn’t fulfilling due to evil, overdemanding companies with inept leadership. Our finances are a mess because everything costs too much nowadays. Our health is in shambles because the food supply is filled with inexpensive items that have no nutritional value while all the healthy foods are too expensive.
We’ve been a victim of divorce, abuse, discrimination, financial schemes, unhealthy genetics, politics at work, uncaring parents, poverty, spousal neglect, racism, transphobia, government overreach, medical malpractice, inequitable wealth distribution, systemic injustice, siblings who our parents loved more, an affair, a hate crime, the stock market, and the list goes on!
When you think about it, every one of us is a victim of life. No one escapes victimization. If you have so far, either you’re fairly young or you’re beating the odds. If you’re human, breathing, and six feet above ground, becoming a victim to someone or something is a sure bet!
I am not suggesting that all suffer equally. There are some forms of victimhood that are quite severe, horribly devastating, serious in nature, and come with negative consequences that last for years or even a lifetime.
Isn’t it sad that a victim mindset can perpetuate victimization as Steve Maraboli suggests above? Think what will happen if the world continues to be full of people who embrace their victimization?
People will continue to be angry. Society won’t heal. No one will take personal responsibility for the circumstances they find themselves in. We’ll all want to be sympathetically coddled and nurtured in our self-exaggerated suffering.
How do I know? For years I played the role of a victim. In some ways I was victimized, but no different from other humans – some suffering far greater than I and some less.
All the while I embraced my victimhood, my emotional scars wouldn’t heal. How could I become happy again when I kept hanging on to all the injustice and hurt? How could I grow as an individual and take personal responsibility for my future when I kept blaming my misfortune on someone else? How could I stop being a victim as long as I kept identifying myself as one?
Can you relate to this at all? Can you see the impact victimization is having on our society?
Can you see the impact it is having on you?
We begin to rise above it when we connect with the power behind our own choices, our own actions, our own mindset, and the ultimate power of the God we serve.
Each of us cannot control our circumstances, but we do have control over our own actions and decisions as we face them. A victim sees themselves as helpless. Taking personal action and personal accountability within your victimhood is like a knife that cuts the cord keeping you connected to suffering, apathy, and feeling stuck.
The most life-changing thing a victim can do is to embrace the power behind the next step they take, the next decision they make, and the personal responsibility they possess to move from a state of victimhood to a healthy and productive state of being.
“For we are each responsible for our own conduct. So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6: 5 and 9 NLT
Secondly, the mindset we embrace has tremendous influence and clout over our state of victimhood. If we see ourselves as a victim, we remain a victim. If we choose to see ourselves differently, we will embrace and act on that new paradigm. As Carl Jung suggests above, we are not what has happened to us as much as we are what we choose to think and become.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. “– Romans 12:2 NIV
Third, we need to look for God within the areas of our life where we have fallen victim to someone or some circumstance. He has a deeper, grander purpose for you within it! His sovereignty controls the length, the intensity, and the outcome. Only He can vindicate us, heal us, and make us whole again 😊
“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.” – Romans 11:36 NLT
“You have taken notice, for you always see one who inflicts pain and suffering. The unfortunate victim entrusts his cause to you…” – Psalm 10:14 NET Bible
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19 NASB
We have the power my friends to stop being victims 😊 May each of us see the power of our God and the personal power we possess to become victorious in all we face!
“The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.” – Romans 8:37 GOD’S WORD Translation