According to Abraham Maslow’s ground breaking work in the field of psychology and human behavior, it is noted that some of the top needs of all humanity are significance and security. This is why a traumatic experience can be difficult to overcome. Once you have been victimized it affects you in both of those top two areas. When your well being has been compromised, you must begin a journey toward wholeness that has no set time of completion. At times it will be lonely and confrontational. But if you endure the process, you can enjoy the promise of a better ‘you’.
Often when a court case is being decided, the issue before the judge is twofold; first, what are the punitive damages suffered and what will it take to make this person ‘whole’. Wholeness is at the root of all decisions exacted in the proceedings. The thought is to put a price tag on this person’s suffering in an effort for them to return to the state they were in before the incident happened. That may work well for the exterior issues, but how can punitive damages speak to the wrong suffered internally? There are things we all have gone through that no amount of money or property recovered will ease the pain. The fact is, only we ourselves hold the key. Here is a road map out of ‘Victim Land’ for those who have wandered too long:
- The hardest part is the decision to leave: It surprises me how many clients I coach who have yet to make a decision that it’s time to move on. There is an affinity with the act that keeps them mesmerized and unable to get up. They have completely begun to identify with the role of the ‘victim’.
- Flip the script and turn the page: Listen to how interwoven we are with our stories. That’s what gives it the flavor. We own them. That’s a major problem when exiting ‘Victim Land’. We have to put the sequence of events into the context of our past and associate with a better story for our future. A great quote to remember is, “The beginning of wisdom is to call a thing by its proper name.” The past is the past and this is now.
- Exercise your right to forgive: Being the constant victim is so dangerous because it causes you to stay in a present state of victimization and you never move on to recovery. The difference between being victimized and being a victim is all in one’s perception. How you overcome is by releasing the person who hurt you and forgiving them.
Everyone has had something happen to them that affected their emotions. But as long as we hold closer to the reason and not a new reality we will stay a victim. The fact that you are still here is proof that your DNA is infused with the ability to conquer anything. The only limitations that exist are in our own thinking. In the opening lines of his poem aptly titled ‘The Victor’, C.W. Longenecker wrote these words:
“If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellows will.
It’s all in the state of mind.”
See you at the TOP!