Each of the three roles on the victim triangle teach a particular lesson that, once learned, becomes the gift of that role on the Observer Triangle.
The victim, for instance, teaches surrender and humility through powerlessness. Learning when we are truly powerless is part of what it is to come alignment with Reality. The Victim transformed becomes the Observer who knows how to surrender their personal will to Source.
The Persecutor on the triangle teaches about boundaries. In true learning fashion we bounce from boundariless-ness (if there is such a word!) to walls where we are totally locked in even as we lock others out. On the Observer Triangle the persecutor/bully becomes a respectful leader (Bully's are generally misguided leaders).
The third role, the Rescuer offers us the gift of authentic service. through rescuing we learn how to separate our need for approval from being a true server or conduit for Source. On the Observer triangle, we refer to the transformed Rescuer as an Empowering Friend – one who does not see others as needing a rescue but trusts their process, no matter how painful it may be to be what they need to do.
When you find yourself on the victim triangle, look for the opportunity to transform that victim role into it's gift instead.
Victim consciousness is not something we suddenly acquire – it is a habituated perception of the world that we grow up with and never think to question. Everyone we know is steeped in it and we take it on during childhood as a normal way of seeing the world. What that means is that everyone we know are all most likely reacting from one of the three roles on the Victim Triangle most of the time.
Now that probably sounds hopeless, and truthfully, without awareness, it is an endless trip around the victim triangle. But conscious awareness allows the surfacing of a very different type of consciousness – one the Reality Formula Process© calls “Observer Consciousness” – that with practice moves us quickly out of v.c., no matter who or what circumstances we are dealing with.
Let's define these two states of consciousness in simple terms:
We are in victim consciousness anytime we see the people and situations in our lives as the cause of our emotional state of well-being. When we think they “make” us feel unhappy (or happy) we are in Victim Consciousness because we are putting something outside of ourselves in charge of our emotional well-being (or lack thereof)! No wonder we constantly try to manipulate and control our life circumstances! We think our well-being is dependent upon those outside circumstances.
The antidote to this way of seeing is Observer Consciousness, a state of consciousness that allows us to step back from our habitual way of perceiving the world as victims (reacting to life from any one of the three roles on the Victim Triangle (victim, persecutor, rescuer) and question our victim thoughts instead. Rather than reacting blindly from unhappy beliefs. Observer consciousness allows us to understand that our feelings always come from our own thoughts, rather than from external consequences. We tend to think that our feelings come first and then prompt our thinking – but it is actually the other way round; the unhappy thought or belief is triggered first and THEN our feelings come out of that.
We maintain a deeply ingrained, and taken-for-granted mind-set (a habitual thought pattern or neural pathway) that gets triggered by external circumstances which in turn, triggers both feelings and reactions automatically. We go into react mode once these old neural pathways or victim mind-set is triggered. In Observer consciousness we learn to observe our own reactions to the people and situations around us instead of trying to control or manipulate them. Seems like a little thing – but it makes a huge difference, because stepping back into an observer role changes everything.
When we are in Observer Consciousness, instead of acting blindly (thoughts create feelings that prompts behavior that ends up reinforcing what we think) we consciously choose to see our life circumstances through certain Guiding Principles or Universal Laws that allow us to reframe our thinking about those circumstances. In Observer Consciousness we recognize through our emotional response and reactions when we are in Victim Consciousness and we take action to find the thought (or belief) within us that is causing our negative feelings and reactions and reframe it for a more positive response. This style of interaction puts us squarely in charge of our own emotional well-being. In other words, we take complete responsibility for our own happiness.
Here's an example that was shared with me by my son, Andrew, who lived with an aging parent (his partner's mother) who was struggling with mental confusion:
As a teacher, Andrew worked late most evenings. This particular evening he arrived home at his usual time, around 9:30 pm to find his 85 year old mother-in-law, waiting impatiently for him and his partner to arrive home. She was sitting at the kitchen table in front of a clean, empty plate. On the stove was a fully prepared, but cold, meal of cooked vegetables and rice. As soon as he stepped into the room, she started complaining about how hungry she was. She spoke about how she had cooked dinner and waited, in vain, “for hours” for them to come home so she could eat. He asked, “why didn't you eat the food you cooked?” Obviously distraught, she said, “I can't eat by myself, (her unhappy belief) and now my blood sugar is all messed up because you guys were not here to help me. You know it's bad for my diabetes not to eat on time. Obviously there's nobody to take care of me (an example of a core belief) and I'm too old to take care of myself! (another adjunct unhappy belief) I don't know what I'm going to do!”
How one might handle such a situation depends on what state of consciousness one is in. From Victim Consciousness a typical response might come from a mixed state of guilt and resentment triggered by feelings that accept total responsibility for the mother-in-law's well-being. The tendency when we are in Victim Consciousness would be to buy into the mother-in-law's perception of herself as being helpless, in spite of the fact that she had managed to prepare the food for herself! The response from the martyred, rescuer/victim might go something like this:
“I come home every night at this same time (spoken in raised voice) – I don't know why you would think tonight would be any different! I can't do everything for you! Well never mind, I'm here now so eat your meal. Here, I cut up your vegetables for you … What do you mean, “it's too late!” “where are you going? You cannot go to bed without eating. I know it's cold but you have to eat something! Ok, ok, I'll fix you something else – what would you like?” And then the rescuer would proceed to spend the next hour or more trying to placate and fix the situation, meanwhile neglecting their own needs, perhaps failing to even feed themselves!
However from Observer Consciousness, one responds from Reality and the response might sound more like this:
“You didn't eat the food you prepared for yourself? (spoken with curiosity, not condescension) That surprises me. No wonder you are upset and hungry if you believe you can't eat alone! Wow … that sounds painful. You think you can't take care of yourself, is that right? Are you sure that's true? No wonder you're so hungry – refusing to eat, because you thought we had to be here for you to take care of yourself! No wonder you are angry with us! Thank you so much for fixing your own meal and taking care of yourself … and I appreciate your wanting to wait for us before you eat, but please DO take care of yourself first next time!”
In Victim Consciousness we often operate from an assumption that the other person, even though they may have some limitations, cannot take care of themselves. We buy into their limited notions about themselves and end up fostering their dependency by taking care of them in ways that they may well be very capable of doing for themselves.
Whereas in Observer Consciousness there is no demand that we assume responsibility for the other persons feelings and reactions, even if that person has obvious limitations. From Observer Consciousness we assume others can take care of themselves, and we let them be in charge of doing that to their best ability. This allows THEM to find the place where their capabilities are limited instead of us defining it for them. And it allows them to stay as independent as they can for as long as possible. Everyone benefits as a result.
One last, quick example I want to share – this one provided by a client who shared with me that her aging mother, who had recently moved in with her, had become so dependent on her taking care of her every little need that she had stopped taking the short walk to the end of the front sidewalk to gather her mail from the mailbox, even though she was fully capable of walking. After a few sessions, my client gave her mother back the job of retrieving her own mail. What was most surprising to my client, was that not only did her mother begin to walk to the mailbox for her mail, but within a week she was walking to the end of the street and back,”for the exercise” and was proclaiming to all who would listen about how much stronger and all round better she felt as a result!
The bottom line is this: doing for others what they can do for themselves is never truly helpful for them or us.
Since there are NO coincidences, we know that this thing that is happening in our qigong community is not an aberrant happening … it is a call to Awaken those parts of us that are still lost in blame…
Personally I have no desire to talk anybody in to or out of anything. That is not the intention of this post. I trust that we each are handling the situation of abuse in our qigong community in the way we must … and I hold a vision of a greater peace becoming possible between us all. I want to write about THAT possibility.
As I see it, we either trust the Guiding Principles to be true or we don't. We trust they mean what they teach on EVERY LEVEL, including situations like this which we find ourselves in now, or we don't.
For our qigong community and for our super-star teacher (for that he is!) it means that what is IS for a reason. The first guiding principle is based on the Law of Cause and Effect, which, among other things, teaches that there are no coincidences in life. What we experience with one another is the natural consequence of a previous cause.
For example, let's say your dog, frightened by stormy weather, snapped at the hand of a friend, who retaliated by slapping the dog, which prompted you to intervene for your pet by verbally dressing down the friend whose hand was bitten. As a result your friend turns on you in anger and resentment, prompting you to react negatively to her, and on and on and on … Of course, which side of the fence you are riding determines whether you see what's happening as a “good” or a “bad” thing. And that will change as you shift places with your friend, moving from one unhappy position to another. (Notice there is no happy place on the triangle!) The bottom line is that every happening was connected to a previous “cause,” creating a chain of cause and effect. In that same way, we are all links on a chain of events connected by the same original cause. Spiritual principles teach us that the original cause is always mental by design. In other words, what causes us to be and do what we do is the thoughts behind the action. Blaming thoughts hold us in victim consciousness and make peace impossible.
As long as we blame we are still moving around the victim triangle, from feeling victimized (Victim), to justified rage(Persecutor), to feeling the need to rescue the perceived victims (Rescuer) by pointing out to them their victim status, and initiating a few rounds of “Ain't It Awful” with them to really drive home the fact that they have been violated.
PLEASE DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME! I am not trying to imply that we must minimize what has happened, nor does it help to justify, or rationalize the actions of our teacher. Far from it … It's just that when we step back from blame and look at the situation through the guiding principles, we quickly realize that there is no “side” to take! What we see instead is an opportunity in our community to move past blame.
After all we get to choose whether to split ourselves off into two categories: victims versus perpetrators. Or whether we choose to move past the need to ascribe blame towards a greater understanding instead. To insist on ascribing victim/persecutor status to individuals, is to keep us going round and round on the victim triangle.
Although the reasons we are having this experience in our lives may vary from individual to individual, we are still one body with varied parts having this experience together and interpreting it in our own unique way. When we accuse others, it is always important to also look for where the accused lives within us!
It's also helpful to remember that we are vibrational beings, which means we magnetically attract the people and experiences we need to encounter that will motivate us for change most. Perhaps we attracted this teacher into our lives because we needed to experience the voice in us that identifies itself as a victim. Perhaps we need to stand up for ourselves, speak our truth, or walk away from something to take care of ourselves … Perhaps on the other hand, we tend to be the one who “takes advantage of” others … in some way … Perhaps we are being given the opportunity to make peace with the part of us that abuses ourselves!
We only know that we need to do what we do, because those are the things we find ourselves doing. OR perhaps we need to stay and experience abuse, or for some other reason … perhaps we don't see abuse at all … but whatever our Reality is, it is always based on our own thoughts, beliefs and interpretations of the situation.
There is not a single thing we encounter on our path that is not there by the Universe's design and Its desire to help us awaken to the Reality we create through the thoughts we believe. This is what we mean when we say there is NO problem. I hold no “should's” about what I'm hearing, or about what the Teacher or any of the students who are stepping forward to present their thoughts and truth “should” do. I trust that each of us are learning from this event in our lives. (I know I am!)
While shifting our perception away from blame may not alter the course of the action we feel we must take, it dramatically changes the vibrational frequency of both outcome, AND the way we feel and see it from inside.
Seeing ourselves as victims of a “sexual predator” for instance, may spiral us down on the victim triangle to hell, whereas seeing ourselves as having gotten involved with someone who uses females for his own purposes leaves us free to ask why we needed that particular experience (how do we know we needed it? because we had it – it is what is… ) It allows us to look for how we can grow from the situation, and free us up to choose differently next time: i.e. “I learned that lesson, and now must move on … or take a stand … or report abuse… ” or whatever it is we feel we must do – not from a place of victim/blame, but because it is what we must do to learn what this is happening to teach us.
But when we see ourselves as being a victim (remember we can be victimized, without ever resorting to victim consciousness!) we take that ride… we feel all the feelings and think all the thoughts that go with the belief that we are a victim of the circumstances, and we will play the part. To see the situation as something we experienced to help us see our own beliefs better and what those beliefs are attracting into our lives leaves us feeling stronger, more enlightened, and like we took an unpleasant situation and used it for our own refinement! NO BLAME – of them – of ourselves.
But it lets THEM off the hook, we think, right? It's our job to punish them? We must control their behavior? Are these things true? When we believe these things who do we become?
It's like being in a pit with a rattlesnake … we appreciate it's beauty, even as we respect it's bite… but we don't make their behavior about or at us! We don't need to see ourselves as the snake's victim … nor do we need to turn the snake into some evil force … it's just a snake doing what snakes do …
Teachers simply do what they do to play out their own beliefs for their own growing edge so they can see in visible form that which they believe … in other words, they are JUST LIKE US!
And if a teacher is playing out a story that mixes and mingles with our own, that is not by accident either! Perhaps our work is to call him on his behavior … it could be that we are called on to play that part. And we can trust he must have needed to experience that too … life relentlessly reflects to us the frequency we put out … this is how we come to know what our internal programming is – through playing it out with others and facing the consequences that programming brings. Perhaps, for instance, he needed to hear his own internal voice speaking to him through our harsh words … there is no right or wrong … it's all happening right on time for the purpose of evolving souls.
To move past blame we access the Observer Consciousness which does not operate from blame.
The Observer has no need to deem one person's acts “wrong,” and another person's acts “right.” It does not need to take sides – even though it may appear to do so on occasion.
The Observer in us looks at the situation through a lens that sees no blame; It sees people, not as good or bad, right or wrong, but as having the life process they came to have through the encounters and people they meet on their vibrational frequency pathway…
The Observer is not invested personally in what action is taken … It knows that people do what they do because they believe what they think, and that what they think is what causes them to feel and react the way they do, and that is what then attracts to them that which will prove them right. (so says the Reality Formula™) …
The Observer Self does not have a list of should's about how the outcome of a particular situation should go; it does not demand that others act any differently than they do. The Observer simply sees what is. It sees Reality as a growth opportunity for everyone involved.
Since Earth is where we come to live out, in three-dimensional form, the thoughts we believe, the Observer trusts that which we each attract into our lives – not to be painless – but to expand and grow us … which is truly the soul's greatest interest.
The Observer sees what is, without needing to make how others respond into our business. What any of us, including the Teacher in question, gets from this current situation, or what anyone else learns from it, is NOT our business – the Observer notes. We do not need to judge or blame to set thing right. We simply see Reality for what it is and apply what we see to refining ourselves for the greatest results.
To recapitulate, there is no remedy, no real transformation possible through Blame. Blaming another, even when we are right, will not “make” them different. But the widely accepted worldview says WE must judge, label, and punish those we blame. Nonetheless, regardless of how many systems use blame as their primary default to stop “abuse,” it does not enhance it's ability to do so. Quite the opposite, in fact; the more we blame the more we will be blamed, and the more we resist the more we will be met with resistance, and the further from peace we move.
The guiding principles offer an alternative to blame that does not need to separate ourselves from the other, regardless of what they may have done, without denying their behavior or making excuses for them either.
Giving up blame does not mean to DENY or JUSTIFY abuse. It does not mean to pretend it did not happen. It does not mean we must give up our feelings about it happening …
Giving up blame simply means that we have come to ACCEPT the Reality that people do what they do, including violate others, because they believe their own unhappy thoughts. We accept, without making excuses for them, we see the repercussions their choices bring and we step out of the way of trying to intervene on those consequences. We understand that they, like us, are here to experience their path and part of that experience is to live out their beliefs so they can experience the full impact of that … whether they are making choices we approve of or not … that is not our business.
There's a cause and a effect that the Universe is after … and it helps to remember that the Universe always works FOR us (God is LOVE!).
In greatest respect and love for my qi community and the teacher who brought us all together.
For years I tumbled through life, going at breakneck speed, trying to do at once all the things on my list that one must accomplish in the role of wife AND mother AND career woman, etc. etc…
I was always banging myself up in my frenzied movements from chore to chore, and never made the connection between my constant physical mishaps and the demanding, guilt-ridden, “get-‘er-done” fast paced lifestyle I was living… I did not recognize that what was truly driving me was the negative beliefs out of which I operated.
Friends, Advisors, and Family would encourage me to slow down, which, frankly, I took as praise for doing more for others, and the minimal for myself. I held fast to the idea that such self-abuse was necessary and wore it like a badge of honor: “See how much I destroy my own health and well-being for others!”
I did not know what the words, “slow down” could possibly mean – but the way I interpreted it was: “slow down, yeah, and then nothing will get done because I'm the only one that will do it … so I have no choice but to keep rushing pell-mell through life.” This is the trap of the Martyr/Rescuer who has to get hurt or sick in order to take a day off.
If you recognize yourself in these words, try this the next time you hear that driving inner voice demanding “more … more… faster …. faster …”
Say to yourself, “What I'm doing right now (including moments of SELF-care) is on my “to do” list too … so I think I will just do this right now, and I will give it my full attention … and then, when I'm finished with this, I will move on to do the next right thing on my list – the thing that most evidently needs doing in that moment.”
And if something interferes with my present task, demanding my attention elsewhere, I assess whether it is a more pressing task than the one I am presently doing … if so, I accept my new assignment, and turn my attention to it, saying the same words to myself, “This is on my list and must be taken care of and this is the moment it is to be done because here I am doing it, so I think I will give it my full attention … etc…
And don't forget to B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
But only if you're ready to give up victimhood! 🙂