It is not my fault. It is your fault. This view works for me. The only time this does not “work” is when both of us claim the role of victim. Then we have a competition. When this happens we can have a standoff for hours or even days. We are committed to our small self as a victim, and we will not give up. We win.
What do we win? When we are the victim, we get to be right. We get to have people feel bad for us. We believe people understand and care about what is going on in our life. We are the center of attention. What more can our small self wish for? We definitely win.
The only problem is the misery. Why is it that when I win I am still miserable? My small self has all it is looking for, and yet pain is the experience instead of joy. Maybe the role of victim is not as good as I think it is. Where is this misery coming from? These are the questions I need to ask when, after labeling myself the faultless victim, I am in pain.
My very commitment to being a victim is the cause of the misery. I have willingly stuffed myself into a box that imprisons and belittles. The cause of this choice is ignorance. “Victim” looks like a great explanation and solution to my problems; it seems so natural and true. How can this be ignorant? I have taken “victim” to be me; I have believed in the superiority of victimhood. So I have taken the not-self of victim to be the Self, the impermanence of victim to be permanent, the impurity of “victim” to be pure. Once I choose “victim” as the pinnacle of life, I lose my subject in the object of “victim”. Now, as a victim, I am attached to certain things. As a victim, I am repulsed by certain things. Finally, I cling to the life of my victimhood.
Seeing all this, we can understand the real solution of our misery to be giving up our identity with “victim”. How do we do this when we believe being the victim makes us the winner, the good person? We have to see that “victim” is not who we are. We have to see that “victim” is not universal. And since we are not the victim a hundred percent of the time, we prove that victimhood is a temporary state. Also, we are not universally seen as victims, so it cannot be our identity.
I want to be happy and love my life. The role of the victim requires misery. As a victim, I am not myself. I am not my true nature: Love. Being on the other side, as the aggressor, also has not worked. Neither brings happiness or love. Once this has been revealed to us we have the opportunity to choose something different. But what? If we remain in our small self we will unwittingly choose the same thing. If we surrender and let go of this small self that always leads us astray, we then can put our attention back into the Heart, where true discernment can occur.
The truth is, we are the perpetuators of our identity as victims. We choose to relate to our circumstances in the role of victim. We interpret the circumstances of our life as defining us as victims. However, we could always respond differently if we so wished. By doing so, we are no longer victims, no matter the situation. We are our own worst victim. It is not the winning ticket, so let it go and take responsibility. Then Love rather than misery becomes a choice.
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