It has taken me several years to transition from feeling like a victim to my situation and to the way other people behave, to taking full responsibility for myself. I still catch myself feeling like one at times. Feeling like a victim is a very helpless place to be in, you feel like you don’t have any control over what is happening to you.
Taking full responsibility in my life has meant the ability to respond to what is happening around me. It means taking 100% responsibility over the way I am thinking about it, feeling about it, and what I am doing about it. This is when you start to feel a lot more in control over your situation.
One day I wanted to go for a bike ride with my family. I knew in my head that they probably didn’t want to. After traveling all day, they would want to relax at home. However, because we had been cooped up in a car all day, I was ready to get some fresh air and move our bodies. I was upstairs in my bathroom getting ready and beginning to talk myself out of even mentioning it because I knew the idea would most likely get rejected. But, I thought I would just suggest it and see what feedback I would get.
Well, I was right. No one seemed to think it was a good idea. I marched back upstairs and began the victim thoughts: I am the only one who cares, why can’t my family be more outdoorsy, I’m stuck. I wanted to blame them all for my frustration. Once I allowed myself to have a little tantrum about it and felt how I was feeling about it: annoyed, frustrated, and some self-pity. Then I decided to take some responsibility over it. How could I think about this? What do I need to accept about this situation? How can I feel about no one wanting to go?
I then began to think that I really didn’t want to force anyone to go with me because they would just be resenting me the whole time. I had to accept that my family didn’t want to go, even if they could possibly end up enjoying it. I decided that I still wanted to go and would still enjoy the fresh air. I still felt disappointed, but not upset.
I came back downstairs and told them that I didn’t want to force anyone to go, but if anyone would like to come, then I would love to have their company. This wasn’t said in a way to make them feel guilty, it was genuine and I had already started to feel better about it.
In the past, I would have turned that into something bigger. I would of gathered all the evidence in my mind why I was the victim to a family who doesn’t like to do what I like to do (which is so dramatic and not true), and I would of been upset at my family. Causing contention in the home and everyone feeling either guilty, upset, or annoyed.
Many times we don’t want to take responsibility for the way we are responding to things happening outside of us because we feel so much guilt. We feel guilty for the way we are thinking about someone or something. We feel guilty for the way we handled the situation. We feel guilty for the way we feel.
Taking responsibility for ourselves only feels terrible when there is judgement attached to it. This is what causes the guilt. We can take ownership for ourselves and how we respond, without it having to mean anything terrible about ourselves. We can own it and decide if we want to change at any point.
Judgement on ourselves or others only layers the pain in our situation. It puts us in a place of blame. We then avoid taking responsibility because of how we will cause ourselves to feel. And when we avoid taking responsibility, we then end up as the victim again and completely helpless in our situation.
I could of decided to stay frustrated about my family not wanting to go. The difference is that I owned it was my own thoughts about what was happening that was causing my frustration, not my family. This lets me know that I am in control over how I feel, not other people. Heavenly Father would never give responsibility of our feelings over to other people, that would be unfair and not the best idea.
Nothing has set me more free than learning that I am in charge.
I am in charge of my own feelings. They are mine to feel and own.
I am in charge of how I want to think about what is happening.
I am in charge of how I want to respond to things. If I am reacting, it is because I feel like a victim. But when I take responsibility for the things I do have control of- then I can respond in a way that is true to me.
In the times when I revert back to feeling helpless in my situation, I remind myself how much control I really do have over what is happening. I get to be in charge of me and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for this gift.
Feeling stuck? Feeling helpless and don’t know how to get out of it? Feel like you really don’t have any control over what is happening? Then let me help, click here to learn more.