Viewing entries tagged
victim mentality

Can't Get There from Here

If our desire is to become visionary, joyful, nonjudgemental, we can’t get there with the idea that events, thoughts, emotions, people are some how holding us back. In Texas we have a simulated hell. I’m not referring to our 115 degree Augusts, I’m referring to I-35.  Two days before Thanksgiving I jumped on the Interstate that carries 80% of Texans from one place to the other only to find it completely closed down for a few miles somewhere between Temple and Waco.  All 400 billion of us had to exit the highway and travel down the access road for those few dreadful miles.  Those four to six miles took one full hour to travel. I found myself saying, “I just can’t get there from here.”

The first time I heard that phrase was in the countryside south of Mexico City.  My friends and I were trying to get from one town to another.  We stopped to ask an older gentlemen for directions.  He said, “You can’t get there from here.”  We laughed and laughed at the idea that one place was not accessible to the other.  As I recalled that story and contemplated that idea I began to see that while it might not apply geographically, it does apply to our minds.  

I was standing in a hospital yesterday and heard some family members trying to get into ICU say, “Those people never open this door for us.” You can hear the victim mentality they were carrying.  The perspective that something else is holding me back leaves me incapable of taking action. If you are staring out the window wishing for a way to escape or you feel like in this particular situation you lose, you may be operating from a victim mentality.  When we refuse to believe that something or someone else is in our way, we will take some initiative and look for other options. 

Pay attention this week to soundbites that expose this victim ideology.  The more aware of it you become, the more you will be able to recognize it in yourself.  When you find yourself stuck, ask: "What are three other options?" Refuse to settle for the idea that something or someone is responsible for where you are.  Once you shed the victim mentality, you can definitely get there from here!


Where Lipstick Goes to Die

There’s a drawer in my bathroom where lipsticks goes to die.  That stick that wasn’t quite the right color but I might want it one day or the sticks my sister gave me because she’s not using that brand anymore, I just drop them in the drawer.  And, my personal favorites, the ones that were the perfect color and I used them completely but there is still some good lipstick in the tube that can be dug out with a Q-tip, are in the drawer.  Here’s the problem: there are also some essential things in that drawer like toothpaste and a toothbrush, makeup brushes and hair ties — things I use daily or multiple times a day. They are hard to find because there is so much dying lipstick in there.    

Count 'em.  Can you find 12?

Count 'em.  Can you find 12?

As I wrestled with getting what I needed out of that drawer today, I was reminded that we do this in life.  We hang onto things we don’t need — things that aren’t serving us anymore.  The phone conversation that left you feeling uncared for, the worry about your children or finances or job that keeps playing on repeat in your brain, the terrible hurt that left you brokenhearted years ago are all like my lipsticks.  They are taking up space in a place that you need to actually use multiple times a day and they make it difficult for you to use that space well.

As we say goodbye to 2016, it’s the perfect time to release some of the things that are not worth keeping.  Cue Disney’s Frozen “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel.  When we hang on to worry, pain, stress, ____ (you fill in the blank), it holds us in a victim mentality and keeps us blaming others.  We’ll never find joy there.  

We have a choice — hang on to things that hold us back or let go of them.  Maybe you need to enlist some extra support to let things go or perhaps you just need to get still and let yourself work some of it out.  Take a step today because no one needs an entire drawer devoted to the death of lipstick.