I just spent the last 45 minutes listening to a man in the apartment building next to me screaming at his partner in a deep voice that got increasingly louder and more hysterical. His statements to the other person were peppered with F this and F that. What stood out for me was the violence of the words, the pain behind them, and how lost he was in victim consciousness.
A number of years ago, Michael Beckwith, based on the work of David Spangler, developed a process called Life Visioning. As part of that, he outlined four stages or states of consciousness: To Me; By Me;Through Me; and As Me. Each of those prepositions (to, by, though and as) refers to our relationship to God, spirit, life.
This fighting couple was squarely in the realm of To Me. The louder the young man yelled, the more the fear was apparent to me in his voice. I don’t know the specifics of what he was afraid of. I don’t need to. According to The Course in Miracles, there are only two emotions: one is fear and the other is love. Ironically, one of the top ten fears people have is of intimacy, of being loved. I imagine that young man was both fearful that he was going to lose the love of his partner and fearful of having to really engage with the vulnerability that comes with love.
What I do know is that when we operate from a place of fear, we attract more fear into our lives. When we are acting from the “To Me’ we are acting from a place of powerlessness. This can be very subtle. I know because I lived from this place for many years.
Living from victimhood, another name for To Me, can be seductive. It means not having to take full responsibility for one’s life. Sexism or ageism or racism or one’s childhood can be blamed as the reason why your life is the way it is. There is a lot of reinforcement and evidence for believing that your life isn’t totally in your control- just watch the news. I remember sitting in a workshop in my mid thirties when the speaker declared that the glass ceiling was of our own making. I was aghast and offended. Didn’t this speaker know the statistics, didn’t she read the news? It took me many years to understand the wisdom of that statement.
When I was listening to the fight next door, I felt a hollow pain in my stomach, like someone had punched me. Hearing that yelling brought up body memories for me of times I’d been in those fights. I didn’t know how to walk away and I didn’t know how to change it. I do know I’d feel for several days afterwards like I’d been run over by a mack truck.
Even in those times when I lived primarily from a To Me consciousness, I still manifested parking spots and homes and jobs. When I was able to relax control, the goodness of life flowed easily through me. And occasionally, I had a mystical experience. Yet I manifested pain on a regular basis. That is the legacy of living from To Me – manifesting pain. For some, the pain is so much a part of their life, that letting it go feels like dying. For others it’s the pain that they have been manufacturing that finally pushes them to be willing to examine their life, to begin to take responsibility.
I want to leave you with ideas on how to move away from victim consciousness. Next week I’ll write more on each step. Have a wonderful week!
- Be Aware – of language, feelings, what you do, listen to and watch
- Meditate – quiet ego voice
- Journal – Write it out
- Change blame to responsibility