Defining Victimhood

Damn good question
Creative Commons License photo credit: andybullock77

The term “victimhood” as I use it, refers to a painful mental state of consciousness that originates from limiting beliefs we hold that cause unhappiness. Being a victim by this definition has little to do with our outside circumstances. It is a state of consciousness that is based on our perception of those circumstances. Victims, by this definition, perceive themselves as unfortunate, unlucky, and unfaired against; they see themselves as being at the mercy of an unfair world.

Victimhood is a state of consciousness shared by Persecutors. Rescuers and Victims alike – that's why we say that no matter where we are on the victim triangle, we are in a state of victimhood. When we are in the state of victimhood we think our misery/unhappiness is caused by external factors, by our conditions and life circumstances. We think we have no choice except to feel bad. We think our external conditions determine our happiness. This is the myth I am attempting to dispel.

It is not our external situation, nor the people in our lives, that determines whether we are victims. Jewish Psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl, said it well in his acclaimed book, “In Search of Meaning”; “Man can preserve … spiritual freedom … independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress (as those found in concentration camps).” He found that it was not the external conditions that determined the prisoners state of mind, but their attitude about those conditions. This is what I am making an effort to convey in all that I write – I seek to share ways I've found that work to shift our perception out of the mental state of victimhood to a state of consciousness that restores peace regardless of where we are presently in our lives, no matter what our conditions are. My goal is to share an approach that frees us from the inside out.

I hope this helps define and clarify the term victimhood.

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