I’m still trying to figure out the “empowered by” victim thing.
I thought I had it a couple of days ago. I was flying high, loving life, all about other people, no suffering, and having fun………
Suddenly, Friday night, I found myself eating what I knew were not “good choices” while out with a business associate. I had two vodka drinks with the fried calamari and zuchini and flat bread pizza.
No problem if I had stopped there. I could have, but I didn’t. I hadn’t seen my mom in a couple of weeks and had told her I would come over. She’s all about feeding me dinner and I didn’t tell her that no, I was full, and didn’t need to eat anymore.
Instead, I got there and opened a bottle of red wine. I didn’t know why I felt compelled to drink the whole thing. I tried to, but thankfully, after the second glass plus the salmon dinner I started feeling really sick and uncomfortable so I stopped.
“Why did I do that?” I wondered. All I wanted to do was sleep and escape reality. Even though I was supposed to be hanging out with my mom. It was strange.
The next day I looked for what triggered this sudden visit from my victimized, miserable self. My “I’m a thin person” had disappeared along with the world is a wonderful loving place where everyone is perfect as they are. That world was gonzo.
I was fat and old and ugly and nothing was right and it was all my fault.
Driving to the gym the next morning, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I called my coach. I needed to figure out what happened. I recorded and deleted 3 voicemails, talking until I figured it out. Here’s what happened:
- Yesterday I had found out that I couldn’t pursue a new source of income because I was unwilling to lie on an application. If I had known that ahead of time, I wouldn’t have wasted two months filling out endless forms, getting fingerprinted, and being frustrated by the never ending process. I had been looking forward to generating some big commissions and doing something new. I was simply disappointed and hadn’t recognized it.
- I had ordered cards for my “poster” presentation coming up in Los Angeles. They were waiting for me when I got to my mother’s house. I was horrified when I looked at the 1000 I had ordered. Yes folks, for only $9.00 more I had ordered another 500. I felt like an idiot. The margins were uneven and the writing was practically cut off at the bottom. I had been looking forward to seeing how great they looked. Instead, I was disappointed.
- I had been busy every night the past week, hadn’t gotten enough sleep and had a lot to do to get organized. I thought if I could just have a day to catch up, I’d be happy. But this, my friends, was a trap. Because even if I got caught up, there will always be more things to do. The to do list never ends. Instead, I could just choose to be happy now.
I left my coach a fourth message which I didn’t delete. I summed up what had happened and didn’t need to tell the gory details. It was simple. Once again, I hadn’t recognized that I was disappointed. Instead, I became a victim, blamed myself for what went wrong – I should have known better – and numbed myself with food and alcohol. And outlined my action steps:
- I experienced my disappointment. It took about one minute
- I made a list of what I needed to do, what was the top priority for the day, and scheduled when I would do the rest of the items.
I ended up having a busy and productive day. I finished the poem for Renee’s 60th birthday, and had it printed and framed. I even bought a pretty gift bag and tissue paper and wrapped it beautifully. This was a big deal for me to get done in one day.
I spent the day being present, enjoying the people around me, and having a great time at Renee’s birthday dinner.
I guess, in the end, you could say I was “empowered by my victimhood.” I recognized it, distinguished the source, developed an action plan and followed it. I presented my good friend with a unique gift of acknowledgement and was proud of my work. What a difference from how the day began.
Pretty cool, eh?