You Are A ‘Victim’

“You are a victim.”

Wait, what? This wasn’t a statement I was ready to receive. It was July 2017 and we had barely begun our RV travels celebrating new beginnings after Ryan’s Stage 4 cancer journey. 

“You are a victim.” 

I blinked, stared while asking myself, “did she just say I am a victim?” Yes, yes she did. 

I stood there with every fiber in me wanting to fight back with words to make every argument that I wasn’t a victim. Instead, I stood there silently allowing the words to penetrate my walls so that I could see what they saw. 

As tears streamed down my face I acknowledged the fact that I was in fact behaving and living in victimhood. It was a title I had been too proud to acknowledge. But my behavior didn’t lie. 

Instead I sat for a couple of days in my pity. In my victimhood.

So, what if I am in fact a victim? So what if I wanted that label? I sure have a hell of a story to tell. In fact, my husband had just been re-diagnosed with cancer and every emotion I felt turned on the faucet of never ending tears. Honestly, anyone with a heart should end in tears too. (Right?) The prognosis was scary. The unknowns were heart wrenching. The possibilities had death at greater odds than a long healthy life.  

I could so be a victim. I had every right. Society would back me up. Friends and family would nod in empathy telling me that it was ok to want pity, to pat me on the back and tell me that I could just sit and sulk. The cards I had drawn were among the worst anyone could hear. I had bad luck. Cancer had struck again. And, it didn’t look good for Ryan. Recurrences don’t tend to end well. 

Days before, one of Ryan’s doctors told me, “Your husband’s cancer returned. It’s Stage 4 and seems more aggressive than the first time.” 

Of course I wanted to be a victim. That was easy. That was ok. That was normal. I had ‘earned’ the right to be empathized. I could hide behind fears. I could waller in my pity. I could . . . 

Instead, I chose to also hear the next words,

“You CAN be a victim, but you can CHOOSE to take your power back and step into the powerful woman that you are. You can release yourself of deserving pity from the world and instead step above the chaos, the unknowns and choose to be more.” 

I could choose power over victimhood. I could choose freedom over fear.  Fear imprisons the mind into darkness with the inability to see possibilities. Fear blinds us from living in the present and binds creativity so that we are unable to move forward with confidence, courage and positive expectations. 

It was the toughest words I could hear. The invitation to step into a life of freedom. Because honestly it is so much easier to live in fear and self pity. 

Or so we think.

So in that same process of realizing who I was being, I also chose to acknowledge my fears. I let myself feel my fears, I followed thru the storylines filled with assumptions of all the worse case scenarios. Afterwards, I thanked my mind for bringing it all up. But I chose for the first time in my life to say, 

“Fears: I hear you. I feel you. I acknowledge you. But I don’t have to dwell in you . . . I choose to move forward.”

And with those words, I opened up the possibility of what could be. The possibility of life. The possibility of the woman I could be versus the woman I was being. Strong versus weak. Limitless versus limited. Light over darkness. Creative over closed minded. 

That weekend in July I had an opportunity to SHIFT in who I was being. And that shift literally brought life to my husband because energy doesn’t lie. Energy is infectious, whether positive or negative. When I shifted away from victimhood all of a sudden what seemed so dark now had light peeking thru. What seemed so pointless now had meaning. What seemed so daunting now gave me the ability to stretch into a new found person that was there all along but had been squashed by fear. And what seemed to be the worse thing that could happen gave birth to endless possibilities. 

I am Free
I am Love.
I am Powerful. 

What if in every story where it is easy to sit in victimhood we could in fact take our power back and step into the powerful human being that we truly are?

What could we create when we stand in our power?  

~Caroline Luelf
Live Loved, Life Free . . . Because YOLO!

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