I was thinking about something that came up in my Introspection and Guidance session** this morning. About “Martyrdom” and how many people, maybe even the greatest majority, feel inside of themselves that they are a “Martyr,” Maybe when simply put, they consider themselves a “Victim” of circumstances!
Various forms in which this manifests itself could be:
- Oh! I did it only for my ………….
- I sacrificed so much for this person
- I compromised on many things for the sake of……..
- All my life I have never ever got to do what I want to
- I will do anything for this person…
- I was forced to do this
And the TRUTH invariably is farthest from that. NONE is a martyr. None does ANYTHING for anyone or anything OTHER THAN THEIR OWN Happiness and for what THEY want! At least NOT of their own volition. And finally it boils down to the simple fact that in every moment, each and every one of us has a choice, to choose how we will think, and therefore ACT!
So, the first thought that one might have is, “what if it were a child who knows nothing, or is dependent on their parents, and their parents insist or force the child to do something?” Yes, this might be the case for children. And hopefully, parents are driven by their internal compass, if that exists, and works, to do what is good for their children. And this post is not about children, and about adults, who keep complaining that they are the martyrs, or the victim!
And most of them also wear their victimhood on their sleeves and expect the world to acknowledge it, and to given them special treatment because of it.
The sad truth is that though life can sometimes deal a tough situation, it is always up to the person to make their choices. And quoting Viktor E Frankl, from “Man’s Search for Meaning” seems appropriate here:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Regardless of a situation, one can always choose their responses, and in some cases, even their “reactions!” And like Randy Pausch says, “We can’t do anything about the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand!”
Most “victims” also continue to live in the past and keep going back to the past. And as it is said, there is NOTHING new in the past. And the past is a place of reference, not of residence! Therefore, it might be most useful to stop whining and complaining, and focus on doing the best one can. One can WASTE their finite time and energy on complaining, or USE it productively, and do something to make their future something that they would be hapy to live in. And to do this, one has to learn the lessons from their past, and let go of any pain associated with those experiences.
I realized that I had also been playing the victim and martyr in many areas of my life, especially those concerned with people who are closest to me. And the realization dawned upon me of the totally selfish and callous nature of my actions. And I re-dedicated myself to an energizing, optimistic mission – to add the greatest possible possible contribution in the life of every person I met. And to stop focusing on showing how smart or how right I was!
I wish you, the patient person, who has read this, the absolute best in your life. Take control of your life; there is nothing you or I can do about the past, and we can definitely do something about our respective futures!
** The Introspection and Guidance session is one in which I use time in “contemplation” and looking inward, and ask for guidance on matters, and the Universe in its supreme benevolence, grants me my wishes and guides me appropriately. This is a little different from introspection per se, and it IS possible to get guidance and information from the Universe to most questions that one has.