I admit it: I don’t watch much TV (except for Bones and NCIS), and most of the news I get nowadays comes from Facebook. I’ve been observing the Occupy movement and wondering why I feel uncomfortable about it, but since I have term papers to write, two businesses to run, and need to get out and play once in a while, I really haven’t wanted to use up any of my time to investigate what it’s all about. I admit it, I don’t really know what the ruckus is. I just know that it seems like a lot of people are spending a lot of time voicing their powerlessness.
What we teach around here at the Centers for Spiritual Living is that what we place our attention on grows. So I’ve been watching these folks place their attention on their lack, and voicing their powerlessness, and I’ve been seeing them become even more powerless. Bingo, I just figured out why the Occupy movement bothers me. I’m seeing people create victimhood in their lives, and that bothers me…a lot. I know that when something bothers me like this, I’ve either got it, or I used to have it. I am happy to say that I no longer am a victim, but I was at one time extremely good at being a victim, so I can recognize it now from a long distance.
I discovered a long time ago that when I quit being a victim, I was empowered. Now I teach others to do the same. I can tell you that the shift from being a victim to being empowered was a long time coming. It was a process, and in order for me to get there I had to be willing to not live my life as a victim anymore. I had to be so sick and tired of being a victim that I was willing to look into the unknown for a different way to live. I’m so glad I did. There are a LOT of folks out there who haven’t yet reached that point of willingness to change. They are still in victim mode, blaming the banks, the government, the mortgage companies and Wall Street for their financial woes. I’m not saying these institutions are blameless. What I’m saying is that blaming them keeps the blamer in victim mode, and does nothing but perpetuate more victimhood. Staying in victim consciousness may be comfortable, because it’s all you’ve ever known to do, and it always feels very scary to move away from a lifelong way of being and into something different. But until such a movement is made, you will continue to be a victim.
Here’s what life looks like when blame stops: you live from a place of empowerment instead of from a place of victimhood. Inside, you are at peace, no matter what. Inside, you are whole and complete, no matter what the outside looks like. Inside, you Know. And what you know is all good, all the time, no matter what the outside looks like. And no, I am not advocating spiritual bypass. I’m advocating a knowingness that surpasses all. I’m advocating a knowingness that allows us to place our attention on that which is good in our life, and allows us to take our attention away from what the rest of the world is doing wrong. I’m advocating a move from negativity to positivity.
If it is true that we can be the change we wish to see in the world, and I believe it is, then I am advocating a move to be that change. You want to see more jobs? Get one. Even if it means emptying the garbage at the nearest fast food restaurant. (one of these days I’ll tell you about the time I applied for a job at McDonalds….emptying the garbage) Get that job and be a good worker. Show up on time and give it your best, make it something you can take pride in. Concentrate on doing good, and more good will show up in your life.
Do we have something called an Empowerment Movement? I did a Google search on it, and came up with an organization that advocates fighting back. Nope, don’t wanna fight. I found another that advocates finding Jesus and being saved to be empowered. Nope, don’t need saving and never did. I found a patient empowerment movement, and a girls empowerment movement, but none of them seemed to advocate what I am advocating: We become empowered by taking responsibility for our lives. We become empowered by shifting our focus from what others are doing or not doing and onto ourselves.
So, right here, right now, I am starting an Empowerment Movement. Are you with me? Do you want to move from being a victim to being empowered? Are you so sick and tired of being where you’ve been that you are willing to go somewhere else? Even if you don’t know where that somewhere else is?
Here’s the first step to becoming empowered: Instead of focusing your attention on them, focus it on yourself. These words are no longer in your vocabulary: they, them, he, she, or it, when used in conjunction with other words such as, “they did it to me!” or “he said this.” or “she did that.” or “I can’t because it won’t let me.” or “it’s just not done that way.”
The word or concept of blame is no longer in your vocabulary either. You don’t get to blame others, and you don’t get to blame yourself, and you really don’t get to blame God. Throw blame out the window.
Second item on your list of things to do: if you are blaming God, get a new God. God is not something to be blamed when things go bad, any more than it is something to give credit to when things go good. It just is, and It can be a source of great strength and power, when we let it. Think of it as more of an entity that is connected to you, not separate from you.
Third: I submit that blaming others comes from a place of fear. When we are in fear, we blame others. The Course in Miracles says that fear and faith cannot live together. Other spiritual traditions say the same thing, and I know it to be true. You can’t be in fear and faith at the same time. If the word faith bothers you, substitute the word Love for it. Love truly does conquer all. Find that place of love within you, and stay there. When you find yourself blaming again, move back to love.
There’s more to this of course, but I risk writing a novel instead of a blog post by elaborating. Does a movement from victimhood to empowerment take a lot of work? Yes! And you will probably need help doing so. But I can tell you that it beats occupying wall street.