You are not a victim! You are not powerless.

Despite the media, the classroom, and many best-selling books plying the public with tales of victimhood, it is not the truth. We all have the ability to rise above our circumstances, no matter how horrid. It has been proven over and over in the past. During the last century, the words of hope from people who were in hopeless situations were abundant. They populate the writings of people who survived concentration camps, like Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) or Elie Wiesel, who wrote, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

And Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “If you want to change the world, who do you begin with, yourself or others?” He refused to be a victim. Oprah Winfrey refused to be defeated by her horrible early experiences. She said, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude.” There are women just like her who have been abused, perhaps raped, abandoned, and pregnant. They may not have reached the fame and fortune of Oprah, but they have survived and prospered, while others have not. Perhaps it is in their genes. Or just luck. There does appear to be a formula that works wonders. That formula begins with gratitude.

Yes, there are things to fear and avoid. They are all around us. But none of us are victims because we can choose how we react. We can choose to allow ourselves to become upset. We can choose how involved to become in things that cause us stress. And when we cannot choose, we can decide to accept the difficult parts and move on. We can take control of ourselves even if everything around us is in chaos. Even if people around us do not understand us or even like us, we can pick our own attitude. “Turn your wounds into wisdom…” as Oprah says.

The cure for victimhood is gratitude. Thankfulness and “gratitude” are magic. They can change your mood immediately, and they are free. The successful “motivator” Tony Robbins talks about how to change your “State.” We can change our state within a couple of seconds by playing the music we love—different music for different people. Classical music thrills one person, military marches energize another while a third person lights up with joy when hearing country songs of trials and tribulations. Changing our state and yet remaining in gratitude is powerful medicine. We can literally bring about our reality.

Attitude is everything. If you show confidence, it inspires people to trust you and like you. But if you doubt yourself, others will sense that doubt, and they won’t trust you or like you. If you are good at something, anything, you know that you are. And it does not matter what others say. You are the one who needs to know deep inside that what you do is correct, well-done.

When we list things for which to be grateful, remember many things might escape our notice. For instance, central heat, running water, electricity, safe streets, well-maintained roads, bridges, and motor cars, which we often take for granted. They are all mini-miracles. And do not forget air-conditioning. We have cell phones and the Internet, another thing for which to be thankful. Yet we often take these things for granted. Stop. Take stock of how lucky we all are.

Being grateful for what you have, takes the sting out when someone disrespects you or criticizes you. But it also helps you to feel powerful, awesome, and invincible.

If you can get yourself into a positive frame of mind, you can work wonders. The very real power of your thoughts can change your life for the better or, the worse. Affirmations are effective, and we would all do well to practice saying some every morning before we start our day.

A friend of mine recently spent some time looking at a website for Caviar to see if she could afford to buy some. She spent half an hour looking at the websites. Finally, she decided it was just too expensive, but she really desired some caviar. She could taste it; she knew what it feels like putting a spoon into a jar full of real Russian Sturgeon caviar. The way she was thinking about the stuff was as if she actually had some before her. Later in the evening of that same day, a Fed-ex truck drove up to her house. She went out to greet the driver, who handed her two packages. When she opened them, she discovered Caviar in both the insulated boxes. They were Birthday gifts from two different individuals in two different states! How did that happen? Did she manifest the Caviar? I say yes, she did. We are more powerful than we know. How can any of us feel like victims when we are so innately strong. And yet, many people do feel that way. They have been told repeatedly that they are lowly and powerless. They are being brainwashed to believe they are victims. They are being used and abused by others, but the ones who are abusing them are the people who are making them feel small. Often there is identity politics involved in this targeted shaming. Some people of one race despise people of all races but their own.
How silly is this? And how wrong! Or perhaps those in authority are using you and your ‘group’ as an example of people who are somehow disparaged or dismissed. Rise up. Not in anger, but with a proud display of confidence. No one is better or worse than anyone else. You cannot make one group powerful by disrespecting another group. You ARE powerful. Do NOT forget it. Never let anyone try to tell you that you are not. The answers are inside you. You do not need someone from outside to validate you. Validate yourself. Get out there and show the world what they have been missing.

Copyright©. 2021 Bonnie B. Matheson

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