The End of Victimhood
Are we victims of circumstances beyond our control, tossed about like tiny boats on a stormy sea – subject to the whims of a grander power, or are we the designers and creators of all that we experience? Perhaps it’s not an either or but that both of these theories are at play in the ebb and flow of our daily lives?
The philosophical debate of our lives being determined by fate or destiny and the role of free will has a long history. Author Manisha Kumar has summarized the basic ideas as follows:
Fate is the life you lead if you never put yourself on the path of greatness. That’s the direction your life moves in without any effort on your part.
Destiny is your potential waiting to happen which can be realized or unrealized based on your actions.
One’s actions can be defined as free will – the power of making choices that are neither determined by predestined fate or divine will. Free will is the wild card at play in destiny and the decider of the path chosen amongst a spectrum of probable outcomes.
Another school of thought supports this view and suggests that every person has a destiny but according to the Law of Karma, our individual souls have some control (or free will) over many of life’s events which are presented to us.
The law of karma is simple. Every single action results in a reaction. We have a choice in the initial actions that we take. Then we have a second choice on how to respond to the energy force that returns to us as the resulting reaction. These choices are our free will.
Throughout each incarnation destiny and free will meet, again and again. They intersect in our individual karma where the reactions return to us. You can argue that karma is the energy or force of destiny.
In essence, we reap what we sow. We harvest our karma. The joy of living requires our participation. Our actions and reactions continue throughout our lives. We have chosen the circumstances that we are living today through our actions (or choices) in the past.
The view that one’s life is determined by fate, that one is a victim of forces beyond their control, is the foundation of victimhood. It is a pessimistic or fatalistic view of one’s fortune in life, one that promotes the idea of powerlessness – the image of tiny boats tossed about on stormy seas.
We all know people who wallow in victimhood – and most of us have had our own moments under this influence – the whining and self-pity, the poor me of outrageous fortune. Look what so and so has done to me. We find comfort in the cult of victimhood, where someone or something else is responsible for a painful circumstance. However, it solves nothing and traps our emotions and thoughts in a debilitating, heavy quagmire.
The end of victimhood is liberation from a self-imposed imprisonment. It gives us permission to acknowledge that we are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. Power shifts from outside us to within ourselves.
Why not consider the idea that all the events in your life happened because you wanted them to happen. You created them through the return effect of karma or through your intentional design with your powerful thoughts. You wanted them to happen because there is wisdom to be acquired or joy to be experienced. Look how powerful you are!
Ending victimhood changes the game. Each event we experience is examined anew, from a new perspective. What have I to learn or gain or appreciate from this? Why have I brought this into my life and how am I going to respond?
Life becomes a learning adventure.
Some final thoughts from my friends the P’s on karma:
When we speak of karma we start with the concept that there is a learning curve that takes place in existence. The benevolence of the multiverse is set up in such a way that you can in your own capacity of growth do as you will and use the energy of existence to learn. Karma decrees that how you learn and how you use the energy of the multiverse must be understood so that what you set into motion – through your thoughts, your will, and your deeds – eventually returns to you so that you understand your own creative powers. You are an extension of ‘all that is’ and you are explorers for ‘all that is’ in its domain – the multiverse. You can do what you want and the advice is always to create no harm. What you do, good or not good, is going at some point return to you so that you understand your own power.