"A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of the truth...Once you know that, you also realize that YOU are responsible for your inner space now- nobody else is- and that the past cannot prevail against the power of the Now." Eckhart Tolle
As I read these words in the middle of a busy coffee shop, my eyes lit up. I quickly underlined the paragraph and drew stars around it to be really really sure it sunk in. Eckart Tolle is one of my favorite authors and his words in The Power of Now moved me to no end.
In the past, I was a perpetual "glass half empty" type of girl. I was quick to compare my situation with those of other's and wished things were different in my life. I constantly focused on what lacked in my life, rather than on the abundant gifts that were all around me. The "victim" identity had a tight grip on me and I wasn't even aware of it.
It wasn't until a few years ago when I began seriously practicing yoga, seeking spiritual direction, and reading reading reading (!!), that I realized I have the power of determining my circumstances. No, I couldn't control what life threw at me (nor did I want to because let's face it, my life would be pretty boring if I were in charge of everything that happened. We certainly wouldn't be venturing to WY for a year, that's for sure) but I could control my perception of things. I had the power to let someones words or actions devastate me...or not! All it took was a conscious effort on my part to take a breath and remain in the moment. By passively noticing what thoughts and emotions entered my mind and then releasing them without judgement, I found that playing the victim role no longer served me.
Oprah would refer to this as my "Ah-ha" moment. ::Shout out to the big O!::
Another revelation that I had? There is nothing I can change about the past. NOTHING. I'm just going to say it again for good measure. NOTHING. So it does absolutely no good to dwell on the things that happened to me or think about what I wish would have been. I can't change it! It is what it is. It takes energy to cry and feel sorry for myself and that energy could better be used in the Now since that is all we have.
I decide in each moment, what I will give energy to and what I will focus on. I can choose to be upset because I am stuck traffic, or I can choose to smile because I know I am, we are, so much bigger than anything in this world. Our purpose is greater than being grumpy when things don't go our way, bickering with a loved one about nonsense things, and getting irritated by a traffic jam. I am not at the mercy of my mind, body or outside world. And that gives me power.
Victims don't have power.
I realize I have a lot of it.
So I am not a victim.
and so it is...