A while ago I made a series of drawings that made me feel very uncomfortable. They reminded me of a "shadow painting" that I had done many years before.
I remember painting an image of a helpless woman with her legs and arms flailing in the air. The creative process initially filled me with aliveness as I witnessed what was appearing under my brush. Something dark was moving into the light.
But as soon as darkness moved up from the recesses of my unconscious to be seen, the social anxiety of my conscious mind arrived to censor it.
In a rush of embarrassment, I remember quickly painting over my image. As I closed off this part of myself, I felt it relegated to the darkness once again. Later, I regretted painting over my honest expression.
I sometimes draw the same things over and over for years - a part of me wanting to be emotionally tended to - and another part of myself wanting to pretend it is not there.
Prior to understanding my repetitive imagery, I thought I could not quite reach my goals and that circumstances and people outside of myself were holding me back.
When I finally admitted that my repeating imagery was expressing a feeling of helplessness, I became more willing to consciously see my victim consciousness, and ask it what it needed from me.
Once I could lovingly tend to this helpless part of me in my awareness - visually and emotionally, I was able to change the belief that I was a victim of my circumstances.
Feeling Small and Hurt
Most of us have areas of unhealed emotional pain from the past, and instead of recognizing this, it seems easier to think we are victimized by outside circumstances.
The hurt parts of our psyche will always try to convince us that we are not quite up to the task of mature adult life. Instead of acknowledging what we need to love inside, we project our inner pain and frustration onto other people.
When we are in emotional pain, we feel younger, and it can seem like the problems in our outer life are too much to handle. It is common to feel that our circumstances of life are keeping us small instead of understanding that we are responsible for tending kindly to the distressed emotional energy inside.
Emotional pain can take over your psychology, flooding you with old, unprocessed hurt. We can tell yourself - when you are in pain - that you simply do not have the strength to offer your fullest contribution.
Feelings of victimization usually represent an emotional need that was unfulfilled in your earlier years. For this reason, you can find many reasons why you do not want to give your fullest self to life.
You also might be afraid of who you would have to be if you did not feel victimized. Finding the strength to go through the emotional pain, and meet your own needs, you will find your giftedness.
Claiming your giftedness brings the responsibility to contribute to life. Through the willingness to feel inner hurt without outer blame, you can learn how to focus on your gifts more than your wounds.
When you feel victimized, you can move through emotional pain or you can withdraw into your familiar cocoon of defense. Whenever you feel victimized, you are likely regressing to the helplessness of your inner child.
From an inner child place, you might feel unsure that you have the inner muscle needed to lead an adult life. Yet, emotional pain will always ask you to make a change for the better.
The most creative way to move through feelings of victimization is to find the courage to give what you most wish you could have received from your earliest caregivers - to other people. Paradoxically, you do not heal by "getting" what you need. You heal by giving what you need. Giving what you most need to others opens up your heart to receive the same.
"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 ourselves, 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
In victim consciousness, we are afraid to give or we "give to get." So, we find out who we really are through the process of extending love. Learning to give what we most need to others can save years of psychological work.
We can spend a lifetime examining our emotional pain. But at some point, a choice needs to be made to give beyond our hurt feelings. When we become determined to love beyond our wounds we jettison ourselves into a passionate life that understands itself through genuine loving.