Are we the victims of our own life?

Most of us have thought at some point, that life is hard: how there is never enough of money, kids are always misbehaving, we can’t stand our boss, our colleagues are disrespectful, it’s too hot, life before was a lot better and now it is just getting worse and worse… We feel helpless and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, we give up and accept that things have to be this way and we start living with this false belief. We start feeling like victims (of our environment, our children, parents, boss, life…), so we start acting like victims and our bitterness grows with years more and more. Staying in this kind of state of mind for a longer period of time can even be really harmful for our health.

How we react to our circumstances is our responsibility

Are we really the victims of our life? What does being a victim even mean? In my opinion, a victim is a person that believes that the quality of their life depends on the unwanted circumstances on which they think they have no power over.

Once I read a really wise quote, it said: “God, give me the  strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Even when we are encountered with different circumstances which we cannot change, we have a personal responsibility how we react to them. It is useless to keep trying to change our outside circumstances, the same way it is useless to go out in the snow with a short sleeve shirt and then complain how cold it is.

Fhotography: Vladimir Tomić (@vladimir.tomic.la)

We must accept the things we cannot change

People feel a lot of resistance towards change. The only thing that is unchangeable is change. The sooner we accept this fact, our lives will become much easier. People spend most of their energy in resisting change. The first skill we must develop is the skill of acceptance. When we believe that there is a reason something is not happening for us (even though we don’t understand the reason at that moment), we will stop fighting against our circumstances. We will come to know that  things happen either because they are a part of our life path, because there is something we need to learn from it or because we have manifested it from our thoughts or behavior. Whatever the reason is, we must accept the situation, find out the reason and make an action plan how to get out of it. If we keep blaming Life for all the injustices that we are experiencing, we are then giving away our power and our responsibility. In this case we are giving ourselves a role of a judge, and we are only judging Life itself. Even though it is hard for us to accept, we need to keep in mind always that the things that seem to us as unwanted, are also happening for our own good. We need to accept that we don’t know everything and we are not perfect (even though our ego pretends we are).

We repeat the same lessons until we learn from them

When an unpleasant situation happens to us, it is of great use to ask ourselves the next questions: What is life trying to tell us with this? Is there some life lesson hidden behind this unpleasant situation? What did we learn from it? It is of great importance to realize that the life lessons will keep repeating in our lives through similar people and circumstances until we learn from them. Until we become aware of this we will be like a hamster on a wheel, repeating the same cycle over and over again.

Next, we have to consider the role of our own responsibility: for what part of this situation are we personally responsible? Did we try to do something to change the situation or are we just used to going through life taking the path of least resistance and putting all responsibility for the quality of our lives on other people and circumstances. If we keep doing this, we need to ask ourselves why? Is it that we are afraid of failure and we don’t believe in ourselves enough, so it is easier to blame others for everything, so we don’t even try to change something? Maybe some failures that we experienced in the past, that we didn’t know how to handle at that time, made us take on the role of a victim? Or maybe there was a person whose behavior we adopted?

Do we see a solution to every problem or a problem in every solution?

Whatever the reason is, it is not an excuse for us to stay this way. We need to ask ourselves if the current situation suits us or not. If it doesn’t, what are we willing to do to change it? If we don’t know the solution, maybe we know someone that has experienced something similar? Maybe we can contact someone that is professionally equipped to handle situations like this that can offer us some help? In either case, this is the first step to taking responsibility for the quality of our life.  

I honestly believe that we all aspire for a more pleasing and fulfilled life. However, only when we realize that it is our job to find a solution for it, we can start taking the first steps forward and asking ourselves: “How?”. With taking these first steps we are already treading on the path of success, and we have stopped searching for a problem to every solution and  have come to know that there is a reason for every problem and within it we see an answer.

Author: Ana