Having come from a family of much dysfunction: addiction, rage, depression, etc., I understand first hand the experience that comes from feelings of hopeless desperation.
The insanity in my own life did not begin to diminish until I started noticing, and taking responsibility for, the way I interacted with others, until I recognized that my reactions to life were, in fact, a main cause of the pain I felt. Ultimately I had to realize that I was the author of my own pain; I had to see that my unhappiness was not caused by my life circumstances, but that I alone, me and my rhoughts, were the cause of my misery.
I think the first big realization for most of us as we begin to walk the path out of victim consciousness is this: Others do not cause my pain. The way I think about others does.
This basic truth applies to all situations in life. Understanding and practicing this basic truth in all our relations changes our whole style of interaction. It is a truth based on a simple, yet profound guiding principle which is this: the world is a mirror.
Yes, I mean literally. The sole job of the world outside of us, that which we think of as ‘external reality,' is to reflect the universal mind that is us. This is true on the personal as well as on the collective level.
Here's how it works:
We manifest what we believe in life. Whatever we believe we come to expect, we attract what we believe by the way we think, feel and act.
Take the example of an abusive relationship for instance:
There is a saying I use often; it goes, “we teach people how to treat us.”
That means that whatever we believe we deserve (not what we deserve, but what we think we deserve), is what we unconsciously look for and attract from others.
When we believe we are undeserving, unlovable, unappreciated, etc, we feel and act as if that's true. In doing so, we inadvertently act in ways that send cues to others about how we expect to be treated. In other words, they learn to treat us the way we treat ourselves. That is, they mirror, or reflect to us the nature of our relationship with ourself.