Life comes with a ‘Circumstances outside our control that seem like complete bullshit but turn out to be really good for us’ feature. For this feature to be operational, we have to be able to view life as Co-Creators, and some of us must over-ride a Victim default .
“There are great survivors and helpless victims on the curve of human ability. Most of us are neither. Most of us fall somewhere in between and may perform poorly at first, then find the inner resources to return to correct action and clear thought.”
— Laurence Gonzales, from his book Deep Survival
I’m not going to lie: victim is a role I’ve spent time developing, though I don’t think I would have called it that. It felt noble… comfortable. A victim can be intelligent and idealistic, righteously indignant even. Victimhood keeps a person very busy: finding sympathizers, spinning stories to keep the identity in tact, and drafting for rescuers can be exhausting. But there are significant set backs to victimhood which remind one of a yeast infection.
BLAME | POWERLESS | PASSIVE |RESISTANT | STUCK | UNFOCUSED MESS | IGNORANT
RESPONSIBLE | EMPOWERED | ENGAGED | DYNAMIC | FLUID | FOCUSED | INVESTIGATIVE
Sit with those for a second and feel their emotional impact…
Reading the characteristics of victim-hood makes me want to crawl back into bed and watch TV with a heating pad. I need my rest. But the concepts that make up co-creation fill me with HELL YEAH. Book outlines are forming. Maybe one I can sell online for $1.99 and begin funding my washer & dryer! From that to eBook girl. And then ‘how to become an expert in a month’ girl. I feel so energized, I may alphabetize my bookshelves after I get this all sketched out!
(It’s important to be able to recognize the nuanced transition between manic creativity and straight up OCD. It’s also helpful to recognize when you use writing blog posts to procrastinate packing.)
Moving from Victim to Co-Creator happens across the vast and messy matrices of our lives in a see-saw manner. Maybe we feel great romantically but we can’t get our shit together at our work; maybe our family life sucks bong water but we win awards for community service. Maybe it’s all clicking along beautifully but we know mortality is lurking out there. And sometimes it just feels like it all sucks bong water. (I’ve never sucked bong water.)
Victims use these times to verify the unfairness of life and probably blame God if the man or the government or the ex or the parents aren’t available. A cosmic game of pin the blame on the other guy. They might be passive and depressed or they might be active and destructive; either way, it’s not abundance.
Co-Creators know intuitively that deep soul gardening* is going on at these times, and they learn how to remind themselves of this as they do each next right thing. They survive and eventually thrive because they believe they are part of an expansive magnificence that has ample room for them to discover and implement and fail miserably and start over. Because they are part of something bigger than they are, co-creators feel safe to get outside them selves and truly participate in life as a creative process. They aren’t afraid of getting lost.
When we find ourselves in places we don’t like AGAIN, the journey from victim to co-creator is the only one to take.
Quite Possibly the Longest Sentence Ever Written about the Parts You Have to Wrangle to Become a Strong, Surviving Co-Creator:
These make all the difference: laying aside our expectations of how it should be for how it is actually presenting; acceptance that a rescuer isn’t coming — make or break is on us and our ability to get our shit together to take care of ourselves; a rational stock of available resources vs missing gaps; acceptance that all we can do is the next right thing; a deep belief that there is a plan for our lives, our feet are magnetized to the path, and that it is safe to step out in faith and do the next right thing.
So there is a plan, our feet are magnetized to the path, unexpected obstacles are chances to grow new skills. It is what it is, and all we need to concern ourselves with right now is the next right thing.
Time to pack.
* Gardening is nowhere on my matrix. I buy plants only to kill them or throw them out after they’ve rotted in my crisper to the point that my need to rid myself of rot over-rides my guilt for wasting food.