If you’re like most people, I bet you’ve had your fair share of life’s ups and downs too. So how would you describe how they’ve impacted your life to shape your thinking? Would you be more likely to use the word victim or student?
Did I hear a gasp?
Now, trust me, I know the word victim makes hair defensively stand on end for most people. I know, because I used to be one of those people.
I mean, who wants to think of themselves that way? Doesn’t a victim mindset mean blaming everyone around you for how your life turned out?
Well, I didn’t do that.
I was very self-aware (or so I thought). What I did do was repeat the same patterns of behavior that ultimately led to painful outcomes. Outcomes which could easily (and justifiably) be attributed to another person or the circumstances of my situation. Not understanding the role I played in my own outcomes allowed me to unknowingly foster a victim mindset.
Seeing yourself as a the link is not the same as acknowledging your responsibility as the catalyst.
Although I always realized I was the common denominator in all of my experiences, I never truly understood that I was seeing them through the eyes of being a victim. I wasn’t aware that my thinking created destructive patterns that created destructive results. Honestly, it’s sent me reeling a few times in my life…
Until I experienced the blessing of hitting rock bottom.
On my downward descent, I looked up with eyes of despair and hopelessness, knowing I was falling but not knowing how to stop. Students have learned how and when to grab on and climb back up, but I wasn’t a student yet, so I kept falling until.
I landed hard on my emotional hands and knees. With a bleeding heart and my soul weeping. Facing the ground with the grit of life in my mouth, my eyes suddenly open – really open. There I was – in the very place I’d been frantically, desperately fighting against for so long. It was scary, but somehow, strangely it also brought with it a sense of relief. It meant I could stop resisting and let go. I could finally take a breath, stand still and be face to face with my reality, my circumstances, my self with my heart wide open.
I declined the automatic invitation by my senses for fight or flight. I was in the very place where buried treasure is often found… in the scariest, darkest places that make you want to run away. So in that murky place I became a student and began to dig.
Don’t be afraid to look around
There is a blessing in that scary place, that few acknowledge because they’re too busy rebounding out as quickly as possible. Hitting rock bottom is a rare experience of a lifetime to be valued - it is one of life’s most organic, authentic experiences. Your blessing is there, in the belly of the beast. Use your hands and heart to dig through the muck of life and see what you discover.
That’s the seed of
And when the sunlight shines on you as you come back to the surface, you will then be able to see the exquisite beauty of what you’ve unearthed.