I am struggling, challenging myself with my belief that I am a victim and cannot rescue myself from this terrible limitation. So, I am going to write about this, because writing is one of my tried and true methods of healing myself. Inevitably, when I write I discover something about myself that helps me integrate and grow myself
I’ve lived with this belief—I am a victim—for as long as I can remember.
I encounter my victim mentality in everything I do, and every day I have numerous opportunities to observe, listen, question and change how I feel and think about myself. I find that on good days it only takes a few minutes in the morning—I wake up, get myself ready for work and then I do my meditation. Sometimes I only have to do the simple four-minute meditation that I learned at the Live Conscious retreat in July and I’m set.
On those good days, I may hear myself judge someone else, which I do when I feel like a victim, but I’ll quickly remember that when I make assumptions about someone else’s life without knowing them, I am usually trying to convince myself about my own state of powerlessness or misery.
On good days, and I have many good days each month, I am aware that how I respond to life is what creates my life. I have the ability to choose how I respond. I am the conscious creator of my life, in that I am free to make meaning of my experiences. My life is based on my perceptions and my perceptions are fluid. When I went to the Live Conscious retreat I learned a new way to work with my perceptions so that I remember that I am the creator of my life.
But what about the bad days? What about the days when I can’t get my head out of my ass? On those days I forget that I am the creator of my life and I forget that I have a choice. I get swirled up in the miasmic fog of my feelings and my old belief system feels familiar, strangely comfortable and eternal. It is as though the fog of my feelings seeps into my brain and puts me to sleep. I spend the day, or a portion thereof, in a completely different mindset and I victimize myself and I believe it with a fierce tenacity.
What to do?
The first step is to recognize what’s going on. When I am running on autopilot, or asleep at the wheel, I tend to rush. My thoughts run through me like wildfire and my emotions tend to be extreme and jagged. When I am on autopilot I find that I am judgmental, defensive and usually anxious—I am caught up in listening to my habitual internal dialogue that constantly pits me against the world.
Once I recognize that I’m asleep again, my solution is to slow myself down and wake up. I sit. I wrestle with myself until I am able to sit quietly and notice myself. I notice my body– my breath, my posture, the tight and sore places in my back and hips, the tension in my jaw and my shoulders. I take time to loosen every tight spot, every nook and cranny of dis-ease warrants my attention and I focus my breath and my intent by breathing light and air to the tight spots.
Ask for help
I ask for help. Sometimes I wail and cry and plead, but usually I just quietly ask for help. I ask the older and wiser parts of me to help me remember that I am a creature of love and spirit and I deserve respect and kindness. As I wake up the wiser parts of myself, I help myself.
Reach out to others
I find that living consciously and honestly in my heart is the most challenging task I’ve ever embarked upon and I know that I can’t do it alone. I need people to help me and remind me how to get back to my center when I lose myself. In the last year I’ve discovered the Live Conscious community and with them I have found an amazing group of friends and fellow travelers who I can rely on to help me remember who I really am.
Trying to evolve myself alone is like trying to grow flowers in the dark. I need people, I need you to remember who I am when I forget. I need to love you and I need to love me in order to grow, I can’t live by myself anymore.
When I’ve woken myself up by using the tools I’ve just mentioned I have another tool in my toolbox that continually blows my mind. I now know that I am not my thoughts. When I live in the moment, I know that I am not my feelings and I am not my internal dialogue. I am more than the story I tell myself. One of my latest discoveries is that when I remember that I am the awareness of my thoughts and feelings I don’t have to believe them.
I am not my thinking
If I find my mind rattling on by judging, complaining, whining or raging, I can change my experience by remembering that I am not my thinking. I am a witness. And as a witness I have choices. I can agree with my thoughts and make them part of me or I can witness them and then let them go. I can choose what meaning I make of every circumstance and I do this by paying attention NOW. When I do this successfully, even if only for a few minutes the most amazing thing happens: my heart starts talking and my mind quiets down.
Once I am back in my heart, my perception of the world is completely different. I continually delight myself with how different everything is when I am in my heart and I am living in the moment. I am present and I am in love, with me, with you and with my experience. No matter what comes down the river, when I live in my heart NOW, I live in acceptance and openness. And it is from this state of openness and acceptance that I can look back and trace my steps and see what event or action was instrumental in my falling asleep.
I think growing up alone is near impossible, maturing myself alone in a cave or trapped in my apartment in cold Toronto sounds like torture. But growing myself in a garden with many other aspiring humans is delightful beyond measure. If you don’t have a garden, I encourage you to find one. We have lots of room in ours and there are opportunities to plant many seeds with us. Come to one of our retreats, come join the Live Conscious community.