A while ago I made a series of drawings that made me feel uncomfortable. They reminded me of a painting that I had done many years before. In the painting was an image of a helpless woman with her legs and arms flailing in the air. As with all spontaneous, unconscious imagery, the creating of it filled me with a forbidden aliveness as I witnessed what was appearing under my brush. Something dark was moving into the light.
Spontaneous art often expresses the parts of ourselves that have been designated to the basement of the psyche. Very soon after I painted the canvas, I remember a sense of shame arising. In a rush of embarrassment, I quickly painted over the image. Later I deeply regretted it. As I closed off a part of myself and painted over it, I felt a part of myself was relegated to the darkness again. I rejected and did not want to recognize this feeling of helplessness.
Years later, the same image asserted itself again in my drawings. I often draw the same things over and over for years - a part of me wanting to see a less desirable part of myself - and then another part of myself wanting to close over the repressed imagery in fear again. When I realized this repeating image was a drawing of my inner victim I knew it was something that I did not want to admit to myself. After years of drawing this image I finally became willing to consciously see my victim consciousness in visual form. Once I realized it visually, I was able to change the belief that I was helpless to overcome my circumstances - that I could not quite reach my goals - and that "something" outside of myself was always holding me back.
Wanting to Stay Small and Hurt
Most of us have areas of stubborn and stuck emotional pain in our lives, and most of us have blamed our outside circumstances for holding us back. Victim consciousness is a universal archetype that we all carry within our human selves. A part of our mind will always try to convince us that we are not quite up to the task of life. Our defended ego mind loves to hold onto it's limitations. On some level, most of us feel that our circumstances of life are hurting us and keeping us small. We can find a million reasons for why we have to stay hurt and withdrawn, for why we do not have to give our gifts, for why we do not have to offer the strength of our fullest contribution to life.
Victim consciousness is at its root, a refusal to have the courage to move forward past our emotional conditioning into greater love and a greater life. Victimization is all about inner hurting from the past that is unhealed, and unintegrated - that we have not been able to go beyond. The truth of victim consciousness is that many parts of our psyche want to stay small and separate, hurt and scorned. If we felt our inner hurt without resistance until it shifted inside and if decided to move forward with strength, who would we be then? Many of us are afraid of who we think we would have to be if we were no longer feeling hurt and held back by our past, and by our lives.
Becoming Stronger Than Our Pain
When we feel victimized we feel the regressed helplessness of our inner child. From an inner child place, we are not quite sure we have the muscle to feel our inner pain. Most of us have felt overwhelm and a sense that we just cannot cope with our current life. We can however find the courage to learn how to feel the hurt of our inner pain and move on. We can learn to become a larger witnessing presence to whatever arises in our consciousness with fortitude until it shifts into strength. When we feel old stored pain without rejection, all the way through to the other side, suddenly we are clean on the inside, and the light pours into the dark places in our body. It is on this other side that we discover what we are made of.
Hidden inside of the difficulties of our current life is always a larger truth about who we are beyond our old, hurt conditioning. If we feel emotionally triggered and victimized by our life, we are being pointed to a buried hurt that must be felt, grown through, and translated into a new strength. Where we have felt victimized by life points to where we are designed in our essence to give our strength to life. Life shows us again and again that there is always an opportunity to give through our pain, and to feel compassion for people who are hurting, rather than to withdraw away from life in hurt, vengeance and victimization.
Giving Through Our Pain
The most creative way to move through feelings of victimization is to find the courage and strength to give to other people through your feelings of hurt and pain. In each situation you encounter, you can either choose to give and extend to life and to make it to make it better, or you can choose to withdraw into your cocoon of hurt.
If you can find the strength to extend with love to your current life circumstances, without needing to nurse your old wounds, you can prove to yourself that you are larger than what has hurt you in the past. This is true emotional maturity.
"When we choose to totally give ourselves through any negative feelings, or to be in service, we create a breakthrough. Whether we are feeling ashamed, embarrassed, hurt, jealous, afraid, in despair, empty, useless, futile or lost, where we give ourself, we create our birth. Where we give, we move out of deadness and into flow; we move out of self-consciousness and self-torture and into grace."
- Chuck Spezzano
Loving Beyond Our Conditioning
We can learn to give beyond ourselves. This creates a feeling of genuine empowerment. We can learn to love beyond our hurt conditioning. We can remind ourselves that we are stronger than our pain and hurt, whenever we want to retreat and withdraw our energy from life in victimization. When we give though our own pain, we are immediately filled with strength and jubilation. When we give through our own inner pain, we start to see ourselves as creators, capable of contributing love and healing to every situation that we find ourselves in.
When we choose to give beyond ourselves, we are healing old pain for everyone in the midst of our current life. We can find the power to restore a belief in love in the world. When we love, suddenly we can know what our gifts and our purposes are. In our victimization we are endlessly afraid to give. When we are determined to not be victimized by our own hurt feelings, we realize we have an opportunity and choice to love even when we are aching inside. In this way we can save years of ponderous psychological work. We can spend a lifetime catharting and examining our fears and hurts. But at some point a choice needs to be made to give past our hurt feelings. When we are determined to love beyond our conditioning, we jettison ourselves into a vibrant, creative, engaged and passionate life.
Excerpted from the Daily Jounaling E-Course - 30 Days of Authentic Self-Expression