We have been raised in a society that supports the idea of victimhood. It is culturally entrenched in our minds, accepted without question and yet it cripples us and limits our potential in all aspects of our lives. It is a dangerous program that causes only suffering and has no benefit. Have you ever examined this in your own life?
Seeker: Is being a victim a lack of maturity?
Vishrant: Well, let’s first define what a victim is. Anytime that we blame the world, another person or ourselves we become victims. Anytime we become a victim we move to suffering because we are blaming and we don’t feel good when we are blaming. We have moved to a state of non-acceptance. Victims are giving themselves the reason why their life is failing. Victims’ lives just don’t work.
Now if we are blaming the world for how we are or what has happened to us we are not taking responsibility for ourselves, so there is a lot of immaturity. You particularly see this with little kids. You can’t expect too much maturity from an 8 or 10 year old. As far as maturity is concerned, if anything goes wrong they tend to blame each other. They blame dad, they blame their mum because this is what kids do. Some people don’t have the maturity to say ‘ah! This is what is,’ it is always someone else’s fault. They stay little and they never grow up. They never go past this 8-10 year old range and they stay victims of the world, victims of their wife, victims of their boyfriend, victims of their friends, victims of themselves and they stay very small and immature, and this immaturity guarantees a life of suffering.
You make yourself fear and you’re the one who creates ‘life – be out of it’, nobody else does it to you. It’s your own fears. Play the game of life be in it, take a few risks, step into the unknown, say hello to people you don’t know. Step past your boundaries. Allow the worse to occur before it happens and defeat fear.
Victims’ lives don’t work; they are setting themselves up for miserable lives. If we want to have a reasonably happy life, we need to have a certain amount of maturity, we need to stop the blame game and we need to take responsibility for the fact that we make ourselves feel. So, if someone triggers us, it is our wounds that get triggered, it’s not them, they didn’t create the wounds. They were there already. You discover this when you change partners and there is a bit of abandonment or rejection going on: the face changes but the wounds are the same. The pain is the same. When we develop enough maturity to stop blaming, we can really start enjoying this life, life can be quite beautiful and love starts to appear more.
Victims tend to be very closed people. A victim’s mentality is a closed mentality; it can be a very frightening mentality because fear is the greatest closer of all. Fear keeps people from doing things in life that would be great but because of fear, they don’t do them. They allow fear to dictate how they live their lives. They play ‘life – be out of it’ because they are too frightened to play and it’s only because of fear, it’s nothing real. This is a form of victimhood too.
Seeker: Is the fear is rejection based on or due to past experiences?
Yes, it’s a fear based on future projection also. It’s usually based on past experience, maybe not direct past experience but what our parents told us. We might not even have checked it out. People are usually frightened of being embarrassed or frightened of exposure and of being rejected or abandoned, betrayed: these are our major fears in relationship to other human beings. Then there is fear of death, which is the number one fear, and fear of insanity ranks up there as well.
If we let these fears have power in our lives, then we don’t really have lives, because we play it safe and we don’t really live. Not because anything is really happening, we are projecting it might happen. So we play a game of ‘life – be out of it’ and wonder why everybody else is having fun, why other people are meeting new people and having new experiences. It’s because we are gutless. That’s a rough way of saying it but it’s because we are gutless and we let fear rule our lives, instead of letting whatever happens to happen and taking that step.
Part of taking that step comes from maturity of knowing that we make ourselves feel, it’s not someone else, it’s us. When we take full responsibility, we start living a more open and a more beautiful life. How can we live life caring for others, even a partner if we are operating from fear? Fear is a self-obsession and while we are self-obsessed, how can we take care of someone else, how can we be loving to other people when we are obsessed with our own safety? So, it is important that we actually have a look at this clearly. This is how my life might be working and do I really want to live my life like this, or is there some other way, is there something else I can do to grow up? And there is.
Start taking responsibility and stop the blame game.
You make yourself fear and you’re the one who creates ‘life – be out of it’, nobody else does it to you. It’s your own fears. Play the game of life be in it, take few risks, step into the unknown, say hello to people you don’t know. Step past your boundaries. Allow the worse to occur before it happens and defeat fear.
Seeker: So to live a life without fear, it’s good to learn to stop the mind? I feel as though I’m plodding along, doing my best, and not getting anywhere.
Vishrant: Yes, and that’s okay too, after all, where is there to get?
Vishrant: That’s it: this is the road to nowhere. So, you enjoy the journey. If you start end-goaling, and wanting something to be at the end, you’re not enjoying this moment at all. You’re worried too much about later. Enjoy the journey, this moment, always. Who cares if you’re awake, just enjoy the journey. If you worry about awakening, you’ll end up very miserable. The flowers are flowering now, you’re alive now.
Seeker: You’re quite right. I don’t live in the moment enough.
Vishrant: Have I told you the Zen story about the two tigers? There’s this large tiger chasing you through the jungle, and you come to a cliff-edge. There’s nowhere to go, so you jump over and grab hold of a branch of a tree that’s hanging over the cliff face. Now! There’s a tiger above you waiting. This is the past, and below you, on the ground you see another tiger and he wants to get you if you come down. That is the future. So, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. When, all of a sudden, you notice a beautiful, ripe, red strawberry. In that moment you forget the future, you forget the past, you savour the strawberry. Always be in the present moment, forget about later. Live in the here and now and be happy.
Changing patterns of behaviour as an adult is one of the most challenging things anyone can do. If you start to see the insidiousness of victim orientation operating in your life and the cost of it, to your children, partner, friends and the people you work with, you may just want to change it.
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