Faith Crisis

I feel like a victim of circumstances

Dear friends, just because life has dealt you some painful blows doesn’t mean you should go ahead and hurt yourself. When you dwell on the idea that life has hurt you, you hurt yourself. So, never think of yourself as a victim.

Clearly, many “causes” in our lives are outside our control. Here are a few of them: large scale circumstances like international politics; the free will choices of other people; random forces of nature. But no matter what happens in the world around us, each of us remains the primary “cause” or influence in our own lives.

What we do, what we think, and, especially, how we feel most profoundly affects everything in our lives. What we make of the events of our lives is more important, subjectively, than the events themselves. And our creative power is not limited to after-the-fact interpretation. Through the choices we make, we are principal creators of even the actual events of our lives, as well.

Consequently, we are never completely “at the effect” of circumstances — not even if we choose to feel that way. No matter what is happening in the world around us, we can always make a positive difference in our lives. So the relevant question is not, “Why is life victimizing me?” but rather, “Why should I victimize myself?”

The secret of empowerment

We victimize ourselves whenever we blame external factors and forces for our lot in life. As long as we point the finger of blame at people and circumstances around us, or even at God, we fail to see the ways in which we have caused our own lives. That’s dangerous, and here’s why: Whatever’s not our responsibility falls outside of our control. Because that’s so, the biggest problem in the world is blame. Blame is the epitome of disempowerment!

It is human nature — the worst part of human nature — to deny or downplay our own responsibility for effects we cause, and project the blame outside ourselves. But no matter how thoroughly justified blame may seem, it only creates more problems. And worse, blame can make existing problems practically permanent!

The secret of empowerment is the opposite of blame: responsibility. So, forget blame, and take responsibility — constructiveresponsibility (as opposed to unconstructive responsibility, which is self-blame). Take uncompromised responsibility for everything you can. The more you “own,” the more you can set right — and the less you have to fear.

Taking sacred responsibility as a child of God

Responsibility is more than a concept of modern popular psychology — at least it certainly can be. Responsibility can be — and should be — a profound spiritual realization of the power of free will, and the power of creative living. Positive creative responsibility is a sacred trust, a creative prerogative of every child of God. To move safely beyond feeling victimized by life, by entering the sacred realm of full, conscious responsibility, is one of the most liberating achievements of evolution.

So, think of responsibility not as a burden, but as a blessing. Responsibility is the end of victimization, and the beginning of a Life of Sacred Empowerment.