Love and the Past

We are all haunted by the demons which haunt us from our past. As much as we try to do our best to move forward to enjoy the best things in life, without victory over the past, the issues which we hold close to our hearts, those things which we have loved, lost, and hurt our feelings continue to haunt us.

Being a victim of the past disempowers us and gives the power we could potentially wield to those people, situations, and circumstances which overtake our attention, preventing us from enjoying to the fullest the best things this life has to offer. Left to themselves, this unresolved trauma can overtake you and ruin any possibility of having any hope of experiencing prolonged joy.

Relationships trigger these memories and the emotions connected to them, bringing them to the surface, even if we’re unaware of what’s happening. Unless you know this is what’s happening, it could have a negative impact on the relationship.

If you can look at this as a gift from God, as a way to bring our hidden emotional demons to the surface so we can deal with and exorcise them, then it will not seem so much like a curse or irrational pain on the loose.

Left unresolved, issues from your past will continue to appear affecting the lens through which you see life and all relationships. Therefore, if you have unresolved issues with a parent (could be anyone or any experience from your past) which you’ve pushed down way inside and may not even be conscious of, this will color intimate relationships as you are given the opportunity to deal with those issues which do not serve you.

Ignored opportunities will look as though you are overreacting to something that would otherwise be perceived as a minimal challenge, insignificant, or benign. Yet, here you are, all emotionally charged up, being ruled by the very thing which needs to be brought up and cleared.

We are all triggered and react in different ways when this opportunity presents itself.

This is God’s invitation for you to deal with and heal hidden or ignored trauma from the past. Without this natural mechanism of using relationships to allow unresolved issues from the past to appear, you would forever be a victim of the past.

God wants you to be free, to enjoy life, and have victory over the past.

To have victory over the past you must be brave and courageous to face the virtual demons of the past that haunt you.

It’s not enough to ignore the past and pretend that it just didn’t happen. This will only allow those issues to slowly eat away at you, robbing you of joy, promoting the deterioration of your immune system leading to disease and advanced aging, even premature mortality.

Some of the trauma from the past will have you seeing yourself vulnerable and a potential victim of abuse from those who are closest to you when no threat is actually present.

7 Phases of Love

You may also have feelings of fear, unworthiness, feeling as though you cannot be truly understood, disrespected, feeling as though you are being unjustly criticized, and the inability to trust other people. You are easily offended and are poised to defend yourself, always on the alert for some potential threat.

These are just a few of the signs that may be calling you to look within, especially if it appears to be a reaction which might be considered excessive based on the facts when viewed objectively.

When they appear, have the courage to look inside. The feelings you are experiencing may not have anything to do with your partner (though admittedly, it may feel like it at the time), it may be an unresolved issue from your past begging to be unearthed and set free.

Love brings these things to the surface, and love is the key that unlocks the trunk where all the things holding you back are contained within.

If you do not take the opportunity to deal with these issues, you are likely to project them on your partner and your potential for true love may not be recognized or available to you.

The good news is that love is never failing, and you will be presented with another opportunity to deal with these issues when the next opportunity for love arises.

Shock Absorbers

Victims of abuse are the superheroes who have come to this planet to experience and absorb the impact of abuse for the benefit of the world at large. Your experience exposes, educates and changes the world, and you are the conduit of the transformative change.

Shock absorbers - victims of abuse
Shock absorbers – victims of abuse

I am so grateful for the victims of the most abhorrent abuses in our modern society. While I would never wish any of the atrocities which have been suffered by these individuals, they have often (if not always and unbeknownst to them) pledged their service to the greater good, and their participation in this special calling is nothing less than heroic.

Sometimes, the act of submitting yourself to suffer abuse on the behalf of others is conscious, like in a hostage situation and the captor(s) are going to torture or kill one of the hostages, and you volunteer to be the first victim. How courageous is that? To sacrifice yourself for the sake of sparing the others. Even if you end up paying the price of your benevolent act of service requires paying the ultimate sacrifice and you give your life for the benefit of others.

In that hostage scenario, you absorbed the shock which faced the entire world in that moment. It was the worst of circumstances which involved and affected the whole world, not just you and the other hostages. It is also a tragic event for the captors, negotiators, law enforcement, reporters, witnesses, healthcare and mental health professionals. Not to mention friends and relatives of active and passive participants, and anyone else who may become aware of the abusive event.

An abusive event ripples through the local community and the world at large.

What about silent victims of abuse?

Placing yourself in harm’s way to absorb any abuse that might otherwise visit someone less equipped to take the abuse is also heroic, even if it takes place in secret and no one ever knows that you’re taking the abuse spared anyone else from having to suffer.

Until the world shifts from barbarianism to enlightenment there will be abuse and someone will have to suffer. And there are those who being a sufferer of abuse is a part of their journey. They actually decided or knew before they were born, that their journey would include this suffering to help make a difference, to change the world, and play an integral part in stopping the patterns of abuse our society turns a blind eye to or tolerates.

Sometimes, someone who has suffered abuse becomes a key component in exposing, reducing, or eliminating that particular type of abuse, while others take it upon themselves to reach out in support of other victims.

Often, a victim of abuse cannot imagine that anyone else could have suffered a similar type of abuse, so a survivor of abuse can be priceless in the rehabilitation process of any abuse victim.

Then, there are others who insist on silently hiding the abuse(s) they’ve suffered never letting anyone know and doing their very best to deal with it without saying a word to anyone or doing anything about it.

I would never advise anyone to subject themselves to abuse. If you have been a victim of abuse, you should see to the cessation of the abuse as soon and effectively as possible.

If you are one of those who has decided to take the abuse and remain in silence, you must do whatever you need to do any way you need to do it. There is no judgment for you here. You are a blessed shock absorber, any way you decide to do it, and you are a blessing.

We feel bad, because we want to help you. We don’t want to see you suffering, like this. Some of us are empathetic and can feel some of the feelings that you are going through or know how we would feel if what you were going through was happening to us, and we would do anything we could to help you.

There are others who know your pain. They have walked in your shoes. They have remained in silence while they were being abused, and they did find a way out. They are here, too, hoping you will reach out to someone. We are all here to support your choice, whether you choose to reach out or not.

No one is doing it wrong.

After all, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.

May the shock absorbers of the world be blessed for all that you do and endure.

You are loved, the shock absorbers of the world, today.

Need Someone to Blame?

When you’re doing your best to make your way through the maze of life, you do the best you can with what life throws at you. People, places, things, situations, and scenarios will throw you for a loop, and not meet your expectations. You can feel better when you are disappointed, betrayed, wronged or otherwise let down by blaming someone for the breach. If you want to feel better, you need someone to blame.

Need someone to blame?
Victims need someone to blame

You are the victim, and from the perspective of the victim you will always be on the alert, looking for someone or something to blame for your pending (or perceived) victimization. Forever the victim looking to blame someone or something for your disappointment or pain.

On the other hand, there are those who take full responsibility for how they feel. When they feel slighted, they look within, not without, for a solution for feeling better about themselves. They do not seek to blame anyone or anything outside of themselves.

No one can victimize these people because they realize that in most, if not all, cases no one does anything to another person to cause them harm. The seemingly “offending” person is only doing the best he or she can with what they have.

They realize had they been that person, having lived their life, faced with the same set of circumstances, would have done the same thing at that particular point in time, with little thought of the consequences, or how it might have affected someone else.

From this perspective, there is not intention of malice, for everyone is only doing the best they can with what they have. From this point of view, you can compassionately attempt to try to empathize and understand what it might be like to be this person and see that there is no offender, and no victim.

But we like to blame others when we feel bad, and we feel bad when we attach our expectations to a particular outcome. When things don’t turn out like we expect, or people do not act like we think they should, we feel bad and need someone to blame.

What if someone is blaming you when you didn’t do anything wrong?

When people blame you for something you didn’t do, this is not so much false accusation as it is an attempt to make them feel better and blaming someone for victimizing them makes them feel both bad, and better, because it absolves them for any responsibility on their part.

You can have compassion for this person for awhile and take the blame on their behalf because you are a genuine, loving person, who just wants this person to not feel as bad as they might feel if they weren’t able to have someone to blame for feeling bad.

While this may be an impressive display of heroism or martyrdom, subjecting yourself to this repeatedly is a pattern of self-abuse.

At some point in time, you may have to draw the line and separate yourself from the victim and let them find someone else to blame for all the things that make them feel bad.

You can’t change the victim or expect them to perceive or act in any other way because they are only doing the best they can with what they have. Bless them, love them, leave them, miss them, grieve the loss of them, and let them go.

I’m Pissed Off!

You’ve been abused, neglected, or disrespected, you’ve had about all you could take. If asked how you feel, you might grit your teeth and express, “I’m pissed off!” if you were able to practice some restraint. You might like to express yourself with other superlatives, but nonetheless, you’re mad, and rightfully so.

Someone has hurt you. Maybe they did not slash you with a machete or shoot you with a gun, but the pain is just as real, possibly worse, because a physical wound could be treated at the hospital and you could return to normal physical operation with nothing more than a scar to remind you of the initial wound, while emotional wounds of those who have hurt you remain and can persist for much longer.

How you respond to being pissed off for being hurt or suffering some injustice has a huge impact on the quality of life you experience along your life’s journey. If you harbor bitterness and resentment, you will experience premature aging, advanced illness, and a shorter lifespan. There is also evidence which suggests if you entertain thoughts of being victimized by someone or something, you will attract more victimization, thereby increasing the damage done by just thinking about former transgressions.

If you are in the frame of mind of feeling or saying,

“I’m pissed off!”

At someone or about something, you’re inviting more reasons to be pissed off.

Do you like the feeling of being pissed off? (Most people do not) and there’s good reason, because if you’re pissed, or have bitterness or resentment in your heart, your body is actually suffering deterioration. Your otherwise healthy state of being, both physically and emotionally, is breaking down. Your immune system declines making your more subject to illness and disease and your state of mind becomes fragile, leading to anger, outrage, sadness, or depression.

What Can You Do When You’re Pissed Off?

So, what can you do when you’re apt to shout out, “I’m pissed off!”

You basically have two options in general. You can be part of the problem and fight back, or you can be part of the solution, practicing tolerance and let it go. Revenge and tolerance are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Fight Back

The emotional stance of fighting back can be performed either by launching a counter-attack of any kind in the real world, in your mind, or by adding to the energetic momentum by focusing on the cause of your angst, or the negative results of it. Whether you’re fighting back in the real world, or just in your mind, the psychological and physiological deterioration is the price you pay for entertaining the idea or engaging in a battle over the even that pissed you off.

While holding it in may help you to save face in the real world, far more damage is done to your body, mind, and spirit in the process of burying the emotions inside. Doing so will literally decrease your quality of life and lead you to an early grave, but you will be more respected in the community for your ability to handle whatever life throws at you.

In this respect, it’s healthier to have expressive emotional outbursts or to launch revenge-fueled counter-attacks, but depending on your definition of integrity or dignity, this may not be the best approach to promote a better world, for retaliation only makes whatever your fighting against more powerful.

You don’t want to become a generator of negative energy. If you want to take a stand against something, do not oppose it, instead support and turn your attention toward a positive solution.

It may be wiser to consider a bit of,

Tolerance

From the perspective of tolerance, you see things from a different point of view. You imagine what it must be like to walk a mile, or live a life, in someone else’s shoes. From this compassionate and loving viewpoint, you can understand and see that most injustices are neither malicious or fueled by any intention to harm you or make you feel bad in any way. More the most part, people are just trying to get through life the best they can with what they have.

You could forgive your transgressor, but that establishes you as a victim. A higher resonating vibration is not to need to establish yourself as a victim requiring recompense or forgiveness but to disempower the whole affair by realizing there was never an intent to harm you. You realize that had you been that person, living their life in their shoes, at that moment in time, you would have done the same thing. You know this is true because you witnessed it.

Now you can have compassion for that person (being careful not to self-righteously judge or demean) understanding that we are all just doing the best we can with what we have,

The practice of tolerance is the moral high road, and it does not come easily because we are trained from birth to practice separation and opposition, whereas tolerance promotes unity and harmony. Tolerance takes practice, but the benefits are more of the qualities in life that you desire.

More love, happiness, wellness, peace of mind, longevity…

Then there are the cases of malicious intent to deceive or harm you directly, these are really quite rare and might be associated with someone who is potentially a psychopath or sociopath, but that’s a different story.

What approach are you likely to take the next time you feel like shouting, “I’m pissed off?”

Bullies and Their Victims

If you are attracting bullies (predators and less than desirable people who may be predisposed to victimizing you), it might be a good idea to take a look at what you might be doing to attract the attention of a bully and ultimately become a potential target.

Actually, when you think of bullying, your mind takes you back to the school yard, and media attention is being given to bullying among our youth today and its effect on our society. The truth is, it’s been going on for a very long time before all this media attention and the bullies of our youth, are now up to their same old tricks in adulthood.

Among adults, bullies are likely to most commonly rear their ugly heads in the workplace. Their attention is piqued by the same things as adults as they were in their youth, their radar is seeking out people who they do not like (for whatever reason) or are threatened in some way by.

Predators often look for good people who they feel compelled to take down a notch. They might feel threatened by your peace, cheerfulness and/or success and after noticing you think, “Oh, they think they’re so blessed, or better than anyone else, someone needs to teach them a lesson.” And they take it upon themselves to deliver your reality check.

From the point of view of the predator, this is their purpose in life, levelling the playing field and knocking well-doers off their pedestals, Even though the rest of us don’t see ourselves that way, this is how we are viewed by predatory bullies, as they are seeking out those who they could victimize or destroy next.

They are never satisfied by bullying one person. If you’ve been bullied and the bullying has come to an end, it’s not because the bully has stopped bullying, it only means his attention has been focused on a new potential victim, and if bored, the bully may come back to you, if you’re beginning to regain your composure and they feel you’re in need for another attitude adjustment.

So, you might be a potential target if you’re good at what you do, and may be better than them. They may see you as a potential threat to their success, or you may be what stands between him or her and their next promotion. Bullying coworkers is how they basically eliminate the competition. If they can discredit you by sabotaging you and/or your work to make you look bad, makes them shine in comparison. Taking out the competent competition at any cost is an effective tactic for the workplace bully. New hires at work always get the once-over by the workplace bully who can quickly evaluate the new employee’s potential to offer real value to the company organization. The newbies are easier to take out prior to establishing themselves and creating relationships. Inexperienced or older employees are also potential workplace prey.

If you are popular, successful and are well liked, you will find yourself a potential target, especially if the bully is lacking in self esteem or social status. Anyone who is more attractive, talented, has a natural inclination to be respected or celebrated by peers is seen as a potential threat and must be “taught a lesson.” If you’re getting attention – attention that the bully feels he or she is more entitled to – then, you may be at risk of becoming his or her next victim. They feel as though, if they cannot be the recipient of such attention, no one else will either… Not for long, anyway.

Intolerance fuels the fire of the predatory bully who sets out to humiliate anyone who does not share similar values or lifestyles as the bully. Folks that maintain high moral values and integrity are likely to become targets. Why? Because the bully cannot accomplish such feats or live an integrous life. The only way to make themselves look better is to force the perceived, “better than thou” target to fail (or at least to make them look the fool or failure to anyone that might be appreciative of their authentic integrity). These “goody goodies” also make outstanding targets because they are less likely to defend themselves, retaliate or fight back if attacked.

Let’s face it, these predators are small-minded and poor examples of being anything to aspire to become, but they are very effective at what they do best: decimating their victims. They harbor deep-seated inadequacies and jealousy that create their need to destroy others as the only means they know of to make themselves feel (or look) better.

More often than not, bullies do possess the talent and skills to be massively successful without aggressively laying waste to anyone or anything that stands in their way, if they could only use their powers for good, but their ego, insecurity and envious nature overrides the thought of doing the work necessary with their integrity intact.

Want to be a Victim?

You’ve been victimized. There’s no doubt that you have suffered at the hands of another. You have been hurt and the fallout was devastating. Clearly you are the victim.

hello-my-name-is-victim

Once you’ve been victimized, you find your place within the Victim’s Spectrum.

On the left side of the spectrum is the full-on victim and on the right side of the spectrum is the fully-free victim.

In my work with victims I can find the victim at any place along the victim’s spectrum. Ideally, I would like to see all victims make their way to being fully-free but it is a process and some victims progress very far along the spectrum and some stay at the point they entered the spectrum.

There are advantages to being a full-on victim. You can easily gain the interest of anyone who is sorry you were victimized, but thankful they were not the victim in your story. You can garner their undivided attention while you tell your story and they pay close attention in the hopes that by doing so, they may be able to avoid falling victim to a similar circumstance.

People who love and care about you will offer their support, encouragement and empathetic concern as they try to comfort you while in the throes of pain and anguish and their support does help to decrease the pain from being victimized.

The full-on end of the spectrum is based in fear; fear of being further victimized and the fear can be debilitating, preventing you from being able to make any positive movement along the spectrum and may overflow into other areas of your life. Left unattended the full-in victim may be completely consumed by the fear, in the most catastrophic of circumstances may be catatonic.

Also, as the full-on victim, there is little responsibility on the part of the victim. Reduced to its simplest terms, the victim is right or good and the victimizer is wrong or bad (possibly even evil). Even though being a victim is embarrassing, and represents loss, shame and suffering, the affirmation of the victim’s goodness or rightness has some redeeming value and may be seen as comforting to the victim.

There is no condemnation for being the full-on victim and just as in dealing with grief (as in the loss of a loved one), only the sufferer can determine when is the right time to make any movement toward healthy healing and freedom.

In terms of spiritual enlightenment, the more advanced life traveler will more quickly firmly position him or herself at fully-free.

What does the fully-free victim look like?

1. Decides not to be a victim

You may not be able to reverse your victimization, but you can choose to not act or feel like one. Be aware that this is a process and its different for everyone.

2. Take full responsibility

That means you stop blaming someone or something else for your victimization. In taking full responsibility, you assume that you caused the events that led to your victimization and the actual victimization to happen.

3. Retain the Learning

Review the process of the victimization. What did you do to make yourself vulnerable? What could you have done better to protect yourself. When reviewing, try not to do so from a viewpoint of fear or anger, instead attempt to look through the eyes of tolerance and love. The learning is the purpose behind the victimization.

4. Be Thankful

Adopt an attitude of gracious thankfulness for the entire affair. You have survived and earned your master’s degree in how not to be victimized, like this, again. You have paid dearly for the training and experience, and you are thankful for the opportunity.

Speaking of opportunity, I have realized in my life, any time something goes tragically wrong, there is something better coming… I start looking around for something amazing that is on its way as soon as possible.

5. Forgive and Let Go

This means to forgive yourself for the part you played in attracting or allowing the victimization to happen. Also forgive all other participants in the victimization, remember you are thankful for their participation in your learning process.

Letting go means holding no grudges and not feeling bad. If you are able to authentically and honestly forgive and accept all the good that has arisen from this tragedy, you can let it go. That means: No complaining, only recalling the treasure hidden within the process and celebration of your survival.

6. Accept Your Calling

Your experience may have great value to others. This may have been the purpose behind the whole affair. You have been through it, you survived and are better for it. You now can offer understanding, empathetic compassion, hope and assistance to others who may be involved in a similar situation.

This is likely why you were chosen to have this experience, to help others. I know that was the blessing in my experience with a psychopath. It opened my eyes to something I didn’t believe existed prior to surviving the experience, as well as any other less than desirable (or tragic) experiences I have survived along the way.

7. Accept the Process

Realize that moving along the victim’s spectrum is a process. As you are in search of recovery, your progress may vary, but it does get better the longer you work on the process.

Remember, you are not a bad person, neither are any of the other players. Love yourself, love others and keep moving toward love and in doing so you will be the recipient of increased peace and harmony.