Inspiring Ideas to Bring More Joy and Meaning to Life
It’s What You Do With It
It is not what happens to each of us that determines how much we enjoy life, but rather our reaction to what happens. Though we may have no choice in unexpected events that happen to us, we most certainly have choice in how we interpret what happens, and in what we choose to do about it. We can always choose to be either a victim or a creator. This key choice makes all the difference in how much joy we experience in life.
Neither does what we own play a major role in how much we enjoy life. One person with all the money and possessions in the world may have a miserable life, while another in the lowest income bracket may absolutely love their life. It is what we do with what we own that affects our level of satisfaction and joy in life. It’s not what you possess or what happens to you in life that matters, but rather what you do with it.
Each of us is faced with challenges every day of our lives. And with each challenge, we make choices in how we react. By choosing to become more conscious of how we react to challenges, we can shift our actions towards creating what we really want in our lives. Rather than following habitual, reactive patterns which cause us to behave like victims, we can recognize and transform old habits to create the life we really want. Yet to do this, we must first find the courage to look at some of the disempowering, often unconscious patterns which cause us to play the victim role, and then choose instead to empower the creator in ourselves.
Transform Yourself From Victim to Creator
You are given many opportunities in life to choose to be a victim or to be a creator. When you choose to be a victim, the world is a cold and harsh place. “They” did things to you which caused all of your pain and suffering. “They” are wrong and bad, and life is rotten as long as “they” are around. “They” might be one or more individuals in your family or community. It might be the terrible politicians or your boss or the evil cabal of the power elite that rules the world.
Or you may blame yourself for all your problems, thus internalizing your victimization. The essence is that victims feel a need to blame someone for all their problems, whether it is themselves or others, because that someone is ruining their lives and world. And the truth is, your life is likely to stay that way as long as you feel a need to blame and make yourself or others wrong.
Those who choose to be creators look at life quite differently. They know there are powerful individuals and groups who might like to control their lives, but they don’t let this get in the way. They know they have their weaknesses, yet they don’t blame themselves when they fail. Creators feel no need to blame anyone as they know that whatever happens, they have choice in the matter.
When Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were put behind bars, they used that opportunity to meditate and pray, to write letters and books, and to inspire their communities to stand up and make a difference in the world. They prayed not only for themselves and their supporters, but even for those who jailed them and despised their work. They were unstoppable, powerful creators who continued to have joy and meaning in their lives until the day they died.
Victims relish in anger, revenge, guilt, and other emotions and behaviors that cause others – and even themselves – to feel like victims, too. Creators consciously choose love, inspiration, empowerment, and other qualities which inspire not only themselves, but all around them to continually create the lives and world they want to live in.
Victims and creators live in the same physical world and deal with many of the same physical realities, yet their experience of life is worlds apart. From the perspective of enjoyment of life, they hardly live in the same world. Yet whether they know it or not, both victim and creator always have choice in each moment to determine the direction of their lives through what they choose to do with what they are given.
In reality, all of us play the victim and all of us play the creator at various points in our lives. Yet few people realize just how much choice we have in which role we play at any given time. One person, on losing a job or a special relationship, may feel as if it is the end of the world and sink into terrible suffering for months, years, or even a lifetime. Another with the same experience may choose to first experience the grief, yet then accept the loss and in a relatively short amount of time move on to be a powerful creative force in their life. In every moment and every circumstance, we can choose to play an active role in creating our own destiny.
Choosing to Create a Life Filled With Joy and Meaning
By choosing to see and inspire the creator not only in yourself, but in all you meet, you can create powerful transformation in your life and world. If you have spent a lot of time in victim mode, it may not be easy to make the shift, but it is entirely possible. By exploring your core challenges and working to transform them, and by consistently choosing to stop the need to place blame and instead take responsibility for how you interpret your life, you can make the shift.
None of us is perfect. We all have made and will continue to make mistakes and bad choices in our lives. When we fail, there is no need to blame ourselves or anyone else. We can choose to simply accept that we didn’t do what we had intended and then work to understand why, so that we might do better the next time. Notice when you find yourself blaming yourself or others. Then stop for a moment. Take a look inside and ask, is it really empowering you to place blame, even if you believe it is very well deserved? Is this really how you want to live, or is there something better and more fulfilling? There will most certainly be times where you slip back into your old victim ways. But by continually reminding yourself of your intention to be a creator, you can transform your life.
For those who blame themselves more than others, consider exploring how this serves you. Some are drawn to abusive relationships or habits as a way of unconsciously punishing themselves. Many times deep, unconscious processes are behind this behavior which can be uncovered by setting a strong intention to understand the root causes, and by holding to a deep intention to transform the places which keep you from being a powerful creator. Shifting from victim to creator does not mean shifting the blame from yourself to others, but it may mean getting out of abusive relationships or habits so that you can then move with greater awareness and commitment to create positive transformation in your own life and in those around you.
At times in this process, you will look back and realize that you let yourself be the victim again. Even when you fail at making the shift from victim to creator, you can be gentle with yourself. Judging and blaming yourself is just as disempowering as directing it towards others. You can accept and forgive yourself for not following your intention, and then do your best to learn from what happened. And there may even be times when, for whatever reason, you feel a need to play the role of victim for a while. If so, get into it and play the role fully. But remember while doing so that you are choosing this, and that you can just as easily choose to be a creator again as soon as you are ready. There’s a time and place for everything.
One common trap which easily pulls people into victim mode is attachment. When we are strongly attached to anything, the possibility of suffering and loss is magnified. When the victim loses something to which they are attached, they easily become depressed or angry and blame others or themselves for what happened. When creators realize they had attachment to something lost, they welcome the transformative power of letting go and work to understand and then release the attachment. One of their key life intentions is to experience each precious moment of life to its fullest, without the need for the security provided by attachment. They know that even the most difficult experiences can be powerful teachers for us if we allow them to.
By accepting the past and allowing the future to be a great, unknown, infinite potential, creators trust that their dance with each sacred moment of life is a gift. They know that in the long run, every experience can bring more meaning and deeper connection. They understand that storms are a natural part of life which can bring the rain needed for emotional and spiritual growth. Creators also know that by choosing to nurture and inspire all around them to shift from victim to creator, life becomes better not only for themselves, but for all whose lives they touch. You can have a fuller, richer life right now by setting a clear intention to transform the victim within, and by inviting and welcoming into your life the powerful creator that you are.
For an excellent, inspiring 15-minute video with a similar message, click here
For an empowering essay on transforming your core life challenges, click here
For a highly inspiring online lesson bringing this all home, click here
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