Victories Emerging From Victim Stories
By Mari Selby
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —Alice Walker
It’s time we women truly claim how magnificent we can be. It’s time to start telling new stories; tales of how we no longer feel like victims. When we take the ims, or “I ams” out of victim stories what do we have? Victtories; which is Victories with an extra “t” for the process of transformation we undergo when we change those stories. When we stop identifying ourselves as victims we are victorious, unstoppable, and invincible. We demonstrate to the world and ourselves our worthiness. Imagine what would happen to the world if all women everywhere stopped feeling like victims? Our world would definitely be a better place. Victim stories are insidious; appearing as self-pity, self-doubt, demanding attention, not feeling enough, or comparing oneself to another. Maybe the first step in changing these stories is to realize that these stories are not facts. The real truth is that we are worthy of love, worthy of joy, and worthy of knowing our soul’s purpose. We can transform our stories turn them into victories.
“Women are still in emotional bondage as long as we need to worry that we might have to make a choice between being heard and being loved.”
First let’s make a distinction between ‘victim mentality’ and being a victim or being victimized. You are victimized when you are subjected to abuse in childhood by parents who hurt you physically or emotionally. You are victimized when you experience some kind of crime committed upon your person. You are victimized in those situations. You can feel like a victim of cancer or some other disease, when you lose a job, are divorced, or are in a car accident. Your sense of self-worth as a human being can be damaged by these experiences.
Victim mentality or victim stories are what we tell ourselves and act out emotionally and mentally in the aftermath of such experiences. For instance we are living out victim stories when we find ourselves engaging in a pattern where we consistently feel less than or smaller than others around us. We are living out victim stories when we approach experiences with a ‘doom and gloom’ attitude of nothing we can do will change our lives. A victim mentality has us by the throat when we blame others for things that seem to go wrong for us. We are living with victim stories when we blame ourselves for mistakes or for things happening in our lives that we “thought” we did not choose.
For most of my life rage lead to depression, which manifested as beating up on myself. Rage came out in my overreactions to others emotions or to the injustices of life. Depression threatened to swallow me as a cover for my feelings of powerlessness. Today I am transforming those patterns. I will no longer use the knives of self-criticism to carve away at my self-esteem. I will no longer believe in my powerlessness and become immobile.
However there are still days when my rage or depression just won’t let me be. Rage is a karmic circle that literally turns around and bites me. Depression is a gaping hole seemingly in front of me when in reality it’s inside me. I can’t live, work, play, and love while being enraged. I can’t function when I am depressed. However there is way too much energy in rage to ignore. And today depression is too painful to permit it to swallow me for long.
I can knead and soften that clay of rage into wrath, which is actually the creative intelligence of anger. When I roll that wrath into a coiled snake I mold a new vessel to hold my worthiness. This new vessel may appear as me daring to be myself, daring to stand up for my truth, negotiating with authorities, or daring to set a boundary in personal or professional life. When I use wrath as an intelligent guide I intend to inspire other women to be more uppity and leave their victim stories behind. With wrath as one of my muses, I live, laugh, and love using my energy creatively. Every time I pull a weed from my garden, play a drum, dance, or am of service to my community, I use wrath in a creative fashion.
Instead of allowing depression to swallow me, I can pray to a power greater than myself and ask: “What would Love say?” Through that act of prayer I choose worthiness for myself. When I focus on receiving love, and feeling love for myself I can nurture myself into a state of Grace. When I walk with Grace I am grateful for each moment and experience. The victim stories dissipate and feeling self-pity has no place in my body-mind-soul. When I write a column or a poem, call a friend and ask how they are, or post a loving message on Facebook, I create a Victory. When I accept the seemingly unacceptable, like cancer, as a teacher, I become victorious, unstoppable, and invincible. I demonstrate to the world and myself my value and worthiness.
Jeff Brown: “You are beautifully enough. Our stories of ”not good enough” are fictional novels written by a culture still hiding its light under a bushel of shame. The REAL story, our TRUE autobiography, is one of inherent magnificence & courage & the divinity flowing through our soul-veins. So we decide which book to read—the fictional novel written by those who do not SEE us, or the TRUE BOOK written by our glorious spirit.”
Mari Selby writes as a spiritual warrior and cultural subversive. Mari’s first poem was written and published when she was seven. Mari’s second poetry book Lightning Strikes Twice was recently released and is available on www.Amazon.com. Mari is accepting submissions for combined memoir and anthology; Awakening the Hero Within: Stories from the Cancer Tribe. Over decades Mari has published her poetry in anthologies, almanacs, magazines and newsletters. Currently she leads a virtual live streamed and physical writing group for women. Mari is also a contributing writer for the “San Francisco Book Review” column, “After the Manuscript”, and “Master Heart” magazine.
For over three decades Mari has comforted and assisted hundreds of people as a family therapist, astrologer, hospice worker, healer, and spiritual advisor. For the past 14 years Mari has been the director of Selby Ink, a publicity and marketing firm. Selby Ink promotes authors who make a difference by helping those authors to develop name recognition through social media and traditional publicity efforts. Selby ink specializes in the following genres: body-mind-spirit, relationships, environmental issues, and social justice: www.SelbyInk.comwww.Lightning-Strikes-Twice.com.