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 ( *)

Keeping Your Side of the Street Clean

dacb5460856ed147b28e884326ee9a58

Lately many of my friends and clients have been struggling with having hard conversations. These are never fun but they’re essential in relationships. And my advice is always the same: Keep your side of the street clean.

What this means, essentially, is to be accountable for your actions and show up in a way you can be proud of. They say this a lot in program, where people for most of their lives haven’t lived by this at all. It is an important way of thinking when having tough conversations, and it is something I address a lot here.

When you are faced with a problem, be it ending a relationship, talking to a roommate about an issue you have with the house-keeping, whatever, it is important that you show up calm, honest, and open. When you begin a conversation with a deep breath, it will help the room to slow down and you can focus on the content of your argument.

My problem is that I tend to fly off the handle very quickly. I’m an extremely impassioned person, and when I feel strongly about something it tends to come off as anger. What I’ve had to work on is a softer approach, because as they say, you catch more flies with honey.

And coming at someone with an enraged argument is about as successful as managing a business with dictatorship. It doesn’t work. Across the board, people want to feel heard and cared for, and regardless of the context, if you jump at someone in a accusatory way, you will not get the desired reaction. In fact, you’ll create a picture where you are painted as the bad guy, and your whole end of the conversation will be for not.

So keeping your side of the street clean is imperative for your role in both sides. And why wouldn’t you want to walk away from a conversation being proud of how you showed up?

You can never know exactly how someone will respond. They may surprise you. But nine times out of ten, if you approach a human the same way you would like to be approached, you can turn that hard conversation into an opportunity for compassion and growth. So use Justice, let fairness and truth be your guide, and stay witchy  ( *)