How To Stop Playing Victim: Part I
by Larry Heisler, M.A., LMT
Attachment equals suffering.
The greater the attachment, the greater the suffering!
You might have read this before, it's part of the Four
Noble Truths in Buddhist teachings. The condition of being attached
to something, anything, is a condition believed to contribute to the
personal suffering of an individual. For instance, if you absolutely
hate broccoli and that's whats served for dinner, in your mind your
dinner is horrible and quite possibly your evening is ruined.
Unfortunately playing victim implies that you are controlled, even
enslaved by outside influences deciding for you how you feel
emotionally, spiritually. It means you give away your power and
cannot hold your spiritual center. YOU GET YOUR BUTTONS PRESSED
REGULARLY. Like a roller coaster, your life is continually happy/sad,
happy/sad depending on outside circumstances seemingly beyond your
control. But take heart my friend, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt
said about this,
"Nobody can make you feel bad without your
It is time we take back our power!
Even in the worst of circumstances, you have the power to think and
Like a master soul.
There are lessons and teachings in every circumstance.
Stop reacting like a big baby and GET the lessons already!
You decide how you are going to feel. You decide how you are going to
use your energy. You decide the direction your life takes.
My former excuse, God was using me as his personal
doormat was just what it sounds like, my ego whining because it
didn't get its way. Now I choose not to continually challenge my
immune system and explode holes in my energy field.
Now I am an actor not a reactor.
In the sixth Century, in China, a man known as Jianzhi
Sengcan wrote these words in a book entitled the Hsin Hsin Ming.
They are the basis for living an enlightened existence.
"The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent,
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood,
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
Jianzhi Sengcan, sometimes called Seng-T'san is also
known as the
Third Patriarch of Zen. His words explain the nature of our
In essence, when
you let go of your clinging, you let go of your suffering.
I am not talking about pain here.
As the saying goes,
"Pain is pain, suffering is a matter of
Your suffering, how much you hurt emotionally, is a
spiritual barometer of how much of a victim you are willing to play
or how much of a victim you have become. When I say you, I mean your
EGO, your lower self.
Now think about that for a second.
You have given up control of your life to your lower,
whining, immature, petty self. Every time you get an emotional rise,
every time someone presses your buttons, they show you where your
inequities are. They show you the work on yourself you have left. In
essence, that pain in your side has become your teacher, your
If hearing this upsets you, presses your
that's what we are talking about.
At first it does piss you off but then the truth will
set you free.
Now realistically it is near impossible to be
unattached, particularly if you have children. And really being
unattached doesn't mean to be uninvolved. You do the work that
absolutely needs to be done and when you walk away, you have to learn
to let go. When you cannot let go, when you have connected yourself
so emotionally, that's when you will suffer. Of course it's hard, and
letting it go and putting it in fates hand is really difficult but
that's the proverbial lesson of getting and being free.
It's that great line that Hilda used to say,
"The difference between us and God is that
we have a point of view and God has a viewing point."
So generally speaking getting off the pendulum of
REACTION does have great advantage and playing a victim incessantly
will eventually be your undoing.
So whenever you have a negative emotion, be it anger,
jealousy, insecurity or fear, know that your lower self is behind it.
Know that you are clinging, attached, buying into the big lie, as if
you're being violated. Your higher self is really much bigger and
stronger than your little whining EGO. Besides having an emotional
meltdown after you've received the speeding ticket is double trouble.
You still have to pay it or go to court and now you have to address
your plummeting immune system, your insomnia and even your newly
forming degenerative disease.
Understandable but in the long run of life, too stupid
One night at meditation class around 1980, the great
meditation master Hilda Charlton gave an impassioned plea to her
students to go beyond their little petty reactionary egos. She said
we had to stop allowing the outside world to decide for us how we
felt. We could no longer afford to choose"The luxury of
"Tonight, those of you ready to undertake the next
step in your personal spiritual transformation have to make a vow, a
vow not to give away your power through reaction. By continually
reacting to the world's stimulus you are being manipulated like
hamsters on a treadmill. Its how the dark side works, keeps you on a
continual detour from realizing your higher self. It's time to
develop some discipline and mastery kids. Make a Vow to yourself and
repeat this with me three times. And out loud she had the entire
I will stop reacting! I will stop reacting! I will stop
Now it's time to live it, kids!"
Just before we left that evening, Hilda reminded us
that by taking that vow, we were going to be tested.
I'm passing that advice along to you.