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Triumph Over Imposed Victimhood in the Storm
Have you found yourself in the eye of an unseen storm in life that is potentially setting you on the path towards being turned into a victim. Perhaps it happens to most of us at one time or another. It may be a part of life that although we try our best to steer away from, at times we get pulled into a tornado of problems that now need attending to.
Some of us may even look at our initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes or other “365” challenge as an unseen storm. These type of diagnosis’s may elicit a myriad of responses. Even though it was 7 years ago that I was diagnosed, the experience is still fresh in terms of how it felt to hear those words. The emotions naturally followed & there were so many of them understandably. I remember vividly wondering why it happened. What did I do to deserve this? What did I do wrong to cause a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes I wondered. I even started down the road of blaming myself for not being more attentive to preventing type 1. Thankfully at the same time as I was going through all of those feelings, I was also reading absolutely everything that I could get my hands on about type 1 diabetes. It took me no time at all to come to realize that there was nothing that I could have done to prevent type 1 from entering my life & that I did not do or not do something to bring on this disease. Once that was understood, I took a look at my question of why me. It did not take me more than a few weeks to know with all my heart that not only would that question never receive an answer but that to keep asking it of myself was potentially emotionally draining. Did you go through that realization too when you were first diagnosed or when you heard the news from one of your Dear Hearts about his or her diagnosis?
The point for me was that I made a decision to stop asking the question, “why me” when it came to type 1. Everyone is a beautiful original so every person’s thinking will vary which is natural. For me the “why me” was the road towards becoming a victim. I am not a victim. I will never be a victim. Not only will type 1 not lead me down the roads towards choosing to be a victim, but I choose to be a gentle warrior champion about everything in life. Until there is a cure for type 1 & all other chronic diseases, yes we are stuck with the struggles of managing our health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Is it fair? No, I believe it is not. Unfortunately to live too long in the world of thinking that life will always be fair is not a spot that I find does me much good. Most of us will agree that very bad things happen to amazing people & very good things happen at times to people who based upon their behaviours are making very dark decisions. It is not up to me to judge those situations. What I do have possession of are my choices when it comes to which ones of my thoughts to challenge & replace.
Someone profoundly dear to me went through the eye of the storm for more years than I have had type 1 with another struggle. While it was not a health struggle, this person was being swirled around emotionally. And the loved one was being thrown quite quickly towards imposed external victimhood. If others try to put us in the role of victim, what do we choose to do with this? For my Dear Heart, my guidance has been to encourage my Dear Heart be a gentle champion & refuse to put on the cloak of victim. For those of us who are familiar with the Giant hero, Viktor Frankl, we can reference him easily in these types of situations. Sometimes we cannot do much about our environment. Frankl was imprisoned in a concentration camp. He could have easily taken on the role of victim & made his life about that. Would we have come to know him as we do had he made that choice though? Would he have made the indescribable contributions to the world that he did had he not made the decisions that he did? The answer will likely be pretty obvious to most of us. If we translate Frankl’s discarding of victimhood even in a concentration camp, to my loved one’s situation who also feels a form of imprisonment, then profound wisdom can be attained. Viktor Frankl teaches us through his experiences in the concentration camp that we always have freedom of will. He goes on to describe his knowledge that even with the atrocities that were happening to him & to those around him that were also imprisoned, he had the freedom to choose his thoughts & attitude. He refused to be reduced in any way as a result of what happened to him while he was imprisoned. And he shared this hope with the prisoners around him. Then he shared this gift with the entire world once he was free from that environment of Hell. My Dear Heart has heard me reference Viktor Frankl countless times. My heart’s hope is that my Dear Heart did & continues to find some comfort in this giant of a hero.
There are times when the first thought that may come to our minds is “why me?” What do we do with that? In the case for instance of a chronic health struggle, is there ever really an answer that would satisfy us? My answer is “not a chance.” To my way of thinking, it is bad enough when we are in a situation where we may be potentially walking towards taking on the role & label of a victim. Beyond that though is the place where I really put my gentle warrior skills to work. That place is when someone is being externally either labeled or pushed into potential victimhood by someone else. What if the people pushing another towards victimhood are entrusted adults who are in a position of providing an example for minors? Again, gentle warrior ship is the answer I find. With free will comes the freedom to choose dignity and the ability to discard labels & pushes towards victimhood when others try to impose these. Is it difficult & exhausting? Yes it is & that is why I believe we need an army of gentle warriors present in the world. Do these gentle warriors happen on their own? When we stand up to imposed external victimhood, we may just be well on our way. Being a gentle warrior is not about doing what is easy or provides a blast to one’s ego. To me a gentle warrior has a focus on doing the thing that is right out of love in an effort to send ripples of championship out into the world. This storm just may be one that we are in for a while. My Dear Heart did feel defeated at times but one thing that will never be felt is that of being alone. Soldiers rely on one another. In our family, we literally have a saying, “don’t leave a man behind.” There are times when each one of us may feel exhausted & run down to the point where we take a look at the road towards victimhood. Thankfully, we each have one another. Perhaps if we went out into the world each day with the attitude of lifting up at least one person a day in the spirit of “not leaving a man behind”, we could see some improvements little by little in the world around us. If we keep doing what we are doing or not doing, what do we think the world around us is going to look like in 10 or 20 years? Again, we get to choose to embrace doing something or doing nothing.
My heart’s hope for you is that you know that we always, always have free will to choose to be a champion & not a victim. We all get tired. Hey, I get tired. Let’s make sure that we don’t “leave a man behind.” That spirit is vibrant in the type 1 groups that I have the honour of being a part of. That spirit can be shared with others as they struggle too. There are struggles yet we do not have to choose to fight them alone. We are after all simply walking one another home each day.
Smiles, Saundie :)
I never keep track of when the official anti bullying campaigns are running because in my opinion, anti bullying is something that ought to be promoted & positively auctioned daily. On a profoundly happy note, my Dear Heart did not fall prey to embracing victimhood throughout bullying that lasted 8 years. Thankfully, that environment has changed & the reign of bullying is over finally for my Dear Heart. There is still so much more for all of us to do though since just talking about or worse doing a political “cya” does not help others out there that are being bullied daily. My heart goes out to families experiencing any type of imposed victimhood. Next Monday’s story is yet to be written xo