When I look at this picture of me and my boys, two years post my divorce, I can see the effort I was putting forth. It felt like a huge deal to get everyone to the pumpkin patch. I was so tired, kids were apprehensive, and it was the first re-established family ritual after their Dad was gone. Yet, I was determined to make it fun. We needed to do this to show ourselves that we could carry on and have a good time.
By searching for the gifts in your past experience you are declaring yourself a victor; someone who has overcome adversity.
Why is this important?
It’s the victor stance that will make you feel strong and capable.
It is this perspective that empowers you to move forward in starting over with clarity.
I invite you to expand your awareness beyond feeling like a victim to the bigger picture of how it all relates to who you are and where you are going in life.
When my divorce began to unfold, I was overwhelmed with hurt and betrayal.
It was so tempting to wallow there, and I did—but not for long. I had a very strong desire not to be a victim of it all.
I wanted this experience to fit into my life so that I could come out a stronger person for it.
I wanted to come out of it bigger and better than I was before—like a victor!
I wasn’t sure how or what that was going to look like.
All I had was my desire and my perspective.
I wanted to be the new single mom in town who would show everyone how good life can be after a divorce.
I wanted to show other mothers, in particular those who were in unhappy marriages, that it’s definitely do-able—and you can be happy doing it.
I wanted my kids to be happy.
I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me or see me crying all the time.
To be fair, it’s healthy to acknowledge and recognize “the victim” in us all.
It’s a natural response at times to feel cheated, betrayed or that life isn’t fair.
However, what you will learn is that it doesn’t serve you to feel like a victim.
Furthermore, it doesn’t benefit you to act like one.
Do you see yourself as a victim? Let’s be clear about what that looks like.
Caroline Myss explains in her book, Sacred Contracts (2003), that the “victim archetype tells you that you are always taken advantage of and it's never your fault.”
In your effort to recognize this self-defeating attitude, ask yourself the following set of questions:
There is a method to this madness.
In finding the gifts of your past experience, you become empowered, the bruises begin to heal and you end up feeling like a winner—a victor, who is victorious.
Your past is full of gifts waiting for you to open.
Find the Gifts Exercise:
First describe your experience and feelings; the part of you that feels like a victim.
Then flip it over, turn over a new leaf to uncover the gift;
the lesson learned,
the part of you that strengthened as a result.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi
I am here if you would like help with this. You will feel so much stronger, capable and hopeful after completing this exercise!
Myss, C. (2003). Sacred Contracts, Harmony.
Croley, K. (2014). A New Leaf; 12 Spiritual Truths for Starting Over, New Leaf.