No matter how hard I try I always feel like a victim. How do I make it stop?

Step 1:

Notice the wording of your question: “How do I make it stop?” It sounds as if an outside agent is making you a victim.

Now try saying, “I feel like a victim. I want to stop feeling this way.” Doesn’t that feel more empowered? These words imply that you have control over your experience, because it is your feeling, not something done to you from the outside. For the most proactive wording, you can say,”In the past, I have felt like a victim. Now, I chose not to.” Then image a future where you are no longer a victim

The words you use are important. Notice what you are telling yourself both when you speak and in your thoughts. Are they empowered words or the words of a victim?

Step 2:

Now I want you to look at adversity with a new set of eyes. Here is the story of how I stopped being a victim. I had a spiritual teacher who turned this around for me. He taught me that I could choose to see adversity as opportunity for growth.

When I was married, my wife was addicted to anger. Everyday when I came home from work, she was upset about something. It could be anything, but more often than not, it was about something I had done.

After a few weeks of this, I realized that I was feeling victimized by the situation. At that point, I made a choice to use her anger for my benefit.

I was afraid of anger. This is because my father went into rages when I was a small boy. My wife was giving me the opportunity to outgrow this fear.

When she started into her tirade, I would remind myself,”This is her problem, not mine.” I would breathe deeply and relax while listening to her. I used a mindfulness meditation for my relaxation technique. When she ran out of gas, I could calmly give her my side of the story. She would then apologize.

This went on for a year and half. The we separated. At this point, my sister pointed out to me how much more relaxed I was. She said that she wished I had married my wife sooner, so I could have had the benefits sooner. Later, my wife and I divorced.

Although, my fear of anger came from my father’s rages, I accepted responsibility for this weakness in myself when I chose to outgrow it. It is fine to know that you are the way you are because of how your parents treated you. However, you grow when you can forgive them and take the responsibility to change.

You stop being a victim when you chose to see adversity as opportunity for growth.

It’s not easy to do and I still feel like a victim sometimes. I try to see that feeling like victim is a sign that I am overlooking an opportunity.

Your victimhood is talking to you. It is saying that you are overlooking an opportunity for growth.

Good luck to you!

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Painting: Apollo Crowned by Victory by Noël Coypel

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