From Victim to Survivor (…and Thriver!)

From Victim to Survivor (…and Thriver!)

This week’s episode is about unpacking the phrase “victim mentality,” shifting to more compassionate self-talk, and releasing self-blame when healing from past traumas and cultivating inner empowerment.

Some of us have been victims of certain unfortunate life circumstances or events – perhaps a trauma or even multiple traumas.

And we know we don’t want to stay stuck in our pain or stuck in a space of feeling like a victim.

But at the same time, the way we move out of that space of pain is not through beating ourselves up and feeling even worse about ourselves for not being further along in our healing.

It’s mental torture, right?

And we don’t even fully realize we’re doing it sometimes.

So today, I want to focus more on loving ourselves exactly where we are and removing the shame and the self-blame that we shouldn’t be feeling whatever we’re feeling.

This sort of rushing through addressing our pain and our trauma and not giving it the space it deserves to be heard or nurturing ourselves through our healing process stems from a patriarchal system of thinking and it was something that I had carried with me unconsciously when I was younger.

After being sexually harassed in my early twenties on a screenwriting job, I told myself there was no time to really honor my emotions.

At the time, I felt like I just had to push forward without taking time to heal, that that was somehow strength…

While I’m not saying there’s nothing to that sort of get up and go mentality, there were certain negative consequences of not fully honoring my pain (that I did not have sight of until much later).

Because I hadn’t properly addressed it in the time and space I needed to truly heal, the trauma and pain still lived within me… and as much as I tried to stuff it down, it kept resurfacing at inopportune moments.

Without even fully realizing it in the moment, it was causing me to self-sabotage with my biggest goals and aspirations. It was also subconsciously keeping me in a state of fear… fear of the film industry – where the incident had happened, fear of success in that industry, fear of having power wielded over me – which caused me to become so fiercely independent that I closed myself off to certain opportunities.

And there were other subconscious effects of the trauma as well. One of the major ones was a damaged self-image and a diminished sense of self-worth. For a long time, I felt that I was somehow “damaged goods” and had been conditioned to believe that my only worth or value was in my sexuality.

Once I was able to finally give myself the time and space to truly heal, I was able to release all of those inner roadblocks to fully stepping into my power. But it took a commitment to inner work, self-love, and extreme self-care.

In my experience, I’ve come to find a more loving, compassionate, and effective approach to moving to a space of feeling a greater sense of personal empowerment that does not involve beating ourselves up and self-talk that shames us by saying, “you should just snap out of your victim mentality already.”

I think that it really starts with honoring where you’re at today, and practicing radical self-acceptance, love, and compassion.

Instead of the self-talk that tells us, “I should be over this by now, I’m acting like a victim” – shifting to kinder, more compassionate self-talk of…

“Wow that was a really terrible thing that happened to me. I didn’t deserve that. I’m going to honor my pain, I’m going to allow myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling without judgment. I’m going to send love to that part of myself. I’m going to allow my emotions to be heard, and I know that as I give myself permission to feel them, that I will release them. I honor the pain and I choose to feel it and then release it… and as I do so, I will be able to shift into a more positive feeling state.”

And as we practice deepening self-compassion, we start to shift into recognizing what was true all along – that we are indeed survivors of whatever it is that has happened to us that was outside of our control (that may have wreaked havoc in our lives and in our emotional state).

And as we love ourselves on that journey to realizing our own strength and our own resilience, then we can start to spread that love that really began within outwardly to others.

And as this becomes a daily practice of shifting internally to that state of empowerment, we can start to move to a space where we’re truly thriving.

And we can even alchemize our pain into art or a business or activism or whatever calling is speaking to us.

Whether you’re an artist or entrepreneur or activist or whatever your passion is, being able to transform your pain into something outside of yourself that can serve others and help them with whatever they’re going through – that’s some of the most powerful work that we can do in our lifetime.

And if you’ve lost track of your sense of purpose, that could very likely be where you find it and your “why” for getting up in the morning so that you can get to that calling.

Now I would love to hear from you! Have you been through any challenging life circumstance you would like to alchemize in a way that can help others? Let me know in the comments. And until next time, I’m sending you all of my love and support.

XOXO,

N

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