Victimhood vs. Vulnerability

It is a very important distinction to make between an act that serves us versus an act that alienates us. One that I’d like to point out today is the difference between being vulnerable and being a victim.

If you’re feeling beaten down, as with the Ten of Swords, there is a clear cut choice to make here. You can sit with outward blame and project the betrayal on others, a lá victimhood, or you can choose to be vulnerable, take responsibility, and heal.

Well what does all of that mean?

Vulnerability takes Strength. No only does it takes courage to feel your emotions authentically, but to let someone in that you trust can be outright scary! But this is the exact reason why talk therapy, 12 step programs, and life coaching alike work; they all require a degree of vulnerability and sharing to release some of the inside pressure in order to move on. Being vulnerable means taking responsibility for your emotions and dealing with them in a constructive manner. Being vulnerable means loving yourself enough to let your feelings out before they bubble up to the surface.

On the flip-side, being a victim requires no bravery whatsoever. In fact, victimhood kind of embodies this melting figure into a bubbling pool of liquid for me. When you’re a “victim,” you’re accepting no personal responsibility for your feelings.

This is not to say that all victims have control over the reason for their grief or trauma. Not by a long shot. But EVERYONE has the power to heal. When something terrible happens to you, like an attack or a death or a fire, that is not your fault, and I am not insinuating that it is. However, your response to those occurrences are all under your control. You can grieve, pick yourself up from your boot straps, and move on through your life, or you can sit there and say woe is me and never get anything done.

And to be extremely frank, being around a victim is SO BORING. Sitting next to someone who can’t stop complaining about how awful their life is and how things keep happening TO them is such a yawn. It is a huge turnoff.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret…

You have complete control over your life. Facing a stream of setbacks with grace and vulnerability will only serve you in the long run. And projecting blame will only make your life seem terrible to you and everyone around you.

RuPaul said it best, “Life is hard if you do, and life is hard if you don’t.” Any which way you slice it, life is gunna throw things your way. But building character and creating a world in which you are the supreme ruler takes guts, moxie, and is all well worth it.

Get vulnerable, feel all your feelings, and stay witchy ( *)

Tales From My Bedroom Floor: Volume 5, The Victim

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Volume 5 is now up on My Trending Stories! Go read here:  https://mytrendingstories.com/article/tales-from-my-bedroom-floor-volume-5-the-victim/

 

In this six part series, I go through times that were pivotal in collecting my personal and detrimental belief system, all while crying on my bedroom floor.

And if you like my writing so far, please share and comment. I’m working on a new and long term project and would really like some feedback on my writing style. Thanks ya’ll and stay witchy ( *)

Making Up Stories

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The Moon tells us about our fears, anxieties and illusions. They work from the inside. And when we project them, we can alter our reality.

In order to make sense of what is going on in the world around us, our minds will create wild fairy tales to help us feel like we can get every side of the story. We start assuming what we don’t know as a half-assed attempt to control what is uncertain. This is dangerous for a lot of reasons, but at it’s core, it is dangerous because it is almost always negative.

Approaching the unknown with a positive mindset is scary to us, because we don’t want to set ourselves up for failure. We were always told “Don’t get your hopes up,” so now we sabotage our thinking process into making everyone around us malicious. We are trying to protect ourselves and keep ourselves one step ahead of hurt, understandably. It is easy for us to tell a friend that they shouldn’t think that way, but we can very rarely do that for ourselves.

So when do we make up stories? What exactly does that look like? Well, for example, if someone you’re dating doesn’t text you back right away, it can look like this:

“Ok I must have done something wrong. He’s over it. He met someone else. I should have known that it wasn’t going to work out. Etc Etc Etc”

See that spiral? It happened so quickly!

This is a defense mechanism. Faith and the unknown are terrifying, and coming from a past pain may leave you assuming the worst. But the problem here is you aren’t actually protecting yourself. You’re sabotaging yourself.

I work a lot with energy here, and energy is input/output. If you put in negative, you will receive negative. And while it is a vulnerable spot to sit in positivity and expect nothing but great things, you can also prepare yourself to bounce back from the negative (if it happens) with all of the inner work you continue to do. Don’t let your fairy tales rule you. Don’t let make-believe monsters manifest in reality. Live in a positive light, and stay witchy ( *)

Triggers

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To kind of piggy-back on the 3-parter I just finished, I want to step in and discuss triggers. Throughout my exercise in clarity and empowering myself to make the right decision in my everyday dealings, I started to notice all of the triggers that got me to the fork in the road in the first place.

Triggers are anything that can send you into a spiral. You are the loaded gun, and the trigger creates the explosion. Everyone has them, and recognizing them will help you have more control over your actions and emotions.

Triggers are insanely important within the realm of addiction. No matter in what stage of my addiction, certain triggers would bring me to need to fill myself up with my substance of choice. Those triggers that seemed to be most effective were comments from people I may or may not have misconstrued, a let down (like a lost job), comparing myself to people on TV or magazines, or even something as simple as location. But even if you’ve never experienced an addiction per se, look at some of your habits and see what comes before your need to act them out.

Triggers are creatures of habit. They come from our brains natural conditioned responses to save us from what it thinks is harmful. They are learned. If some girl says that you look fat in that skirt, and you went to throw up your lunch after so you could feel better, your brain starts to think that, in order to feel good after feeling bad, you need to throw up your lunch. If you keep doing this with the same effect, you are training yourself against yourself. You are teaching your brain bad habits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t UNteach it.

The Ace of Swords represents your mental force. It represents using your intellect to analyze the situation. Everyone possesses the ability to do this, but you must exercise this muscle. This starts with recognizing your triggers, and then doing what you need to help retrain your brain. If, for you, that looks like avoiding a certain route to work to help quit smoking, repeating a mantra to help you shift focus from a rude comment, filling your life with hobbies so you don’t reach for that fourth drink, or calling your sponsor instead of reaching for (insert paraphernalia here) then do it! There’s no right or wrong answer with triggers. Every journey is tailor made. But in order to embark on it, you have to make the decision to do the work. I invite you to try the exercise I did below and see what you find. It could be the first day you see things clearly. Stay witchy, friends ( *)

Love and Vulnerability

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Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

– Rumi
Being vulnerable is terrifying. But it only becomes terrifying once you’ve been hurt or rejected. When you were a child, you were bold and unabashed. Shameless. Unafraid. But over time, we become more and more sensitive to peoples reactions, and when those reactions are geared towards us, they have an impact on our being. Especially if they are negative.
Through our interactions with people, we take on a lot of their emotions as sensitive animals. If someone says something to us that we perceive as offensive, we start looking as our past actions to think of why they would say such a thing. We dissect OURSELVES instead of thinking of what might happened in their head to yield such a response. We create these stories to support our pain and embarrassment and they become our truth.
Similarly, in relationships, if our partner doesn’t respond to our vulnerabilities they way we want them to, we shrink up and create walls. We think “Well that wasn’t the desired reaction, so I should stop doing what I did so I can control the situation.”
Instead of being proud of showing up in a vulnerable way and creating a dialogue, we shrink up out of trauma and create barriers that inhibit us from true intimacy.
Barriers are a natural response. They signify what we need for survival. They protect us. Unfortunately, though, in order to have a truly deep connection with someone, we have to take emotional risks. Which is so scary. But its necessary.
Relationships exist in a give and take environment. You will only gain what you can give out. You will only inspire vulnerability in someone if you can offer some to the table. And sometimes it won’t work in your favor, which is the huge risk. But when it does, it is highly rewarding. Stay risky and stay witchy ( *)