Welcome to the November newsletter. I hope it finds you all doing well. Days and nights getting chillier up here in the Northern Hemisphere and for those of you down under, days and nights getting longer and warmer.
I decided to do an article for this newsletter on a state of being that I have called “Victimhood”. Victimhood isn’t a word you’ll find in any dictionary. At least not one that I’ve come across, but it is a condition that is running rampant in our world today.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Why do we choose to beat ourselves up over things that we’ve done, but not only that, frequently things that are done to us? We seem to have a desire or a need to make ourselves a victim.
Most things or events aren’t intrinsically “right” or “wrong”, we assign those words to them based on our own perceptions of them, or even the perceptions of our family, friends, church and society. What you might think is wrong, I might find perfectly acceptable and vice versa.
In a culture that believes in polygamy, there is nothing wrong with having more than one husband or wife and yet most of us would be outraged if our spouse suggested another mate. Our perception of what a relationship should be makes this wrong. Is it wrong? Is it right? Who knows, who cares, if it’s right for you, if it is what you believe, then your perception makes it right. However, if the person you are proposing this to believes something entirely different, then you’ve got a problem. Does that make one of you right and one of you wrong? Depends on your perception! Certainly, it can be hurtful for the person who believes it to be wrong.
And it does demonstrate the importance of communication. I understand that the above example is a bit extreme, but in any relationship it is crucial to communicate with each other, to clarify what each of you expects in the relationship or from the other person. Figure it out early, are you really meant to be together, can differences be resolved and can you move forward with each other. It is so much better to find out in the first few months of a relationship, rather than after several years. After one of you ends up feeling like a victim.
But Victimhood isn’t just about relationships.
Let’s say something unpleasant happens to you. Something very unpleasant. Perhaps you are abused, mugged or even raped. You might get angry, you will certainly feel violated, but so often the victim feels that somehow it was their own fault. That somehow they brought this on themselves!!! And why is it that so many of us embrace that thought and that feeling. We grab it and cling to it like a life raft.
I want each of you to consider something. Have you made the decision that you are a victim? Think about that because that decision will affect your entire future.
Have you fallen prey to Victimhood?
Oh, initially you might say NO! I have not decided that. But just take a moment now and really think
There are certain advantages to choosing Victimhood as a way of life. Perhaps the most alluring is that if you are perceived as a victim, you do not ever have to take responsibility for anything in your life. Nothing is your fault because you are a victim.
This can be directly related to the epidemic of addiction that the world seems to be suffering from, and society actually encourages this thought. Here in the U.S. 12-step programs rum rampant and they almost seem to have taken the place of social clubs as a means of meeting people. You can find a 12-step program for any addiction you can possibly think of. And what is the underlying message in virtually all 12-step programs? “That you are powerless in the face of your addiction.”
But, isn’t there something wrong with a world that encourages us to think of ourselves as victims, as powerless? Isn’t it time to stop? I think it is time to acknowledge your power, to take back control of your life and to create the life you want and to experience all the fun, happiness and joy available to each of us.
Before I start getting letters from people, angry because I have dared to criticize their “program”. Please understand that this isn’t my goal. For those who have found help and continue to find help with their 12-step programs, I commend you and I would not encourage you to leave. If it works for you, then good on you!!!! Keep it up!
However there are many, many people out there for whom it has not and will not work. As a matter of fact, statistics say that there is an approximate 5% success rate with the 12-step program. So, for those people who have discovered that the 12-step program does not work for them or for those people who have perhaps decided that it is time for them to move on and into a different program, there are alternative programs available that have been quite successful. Programs not based on your being powerless, but based on your strength and individuality. At the end of this newsletter, there will be information on some of the programs available for those who might find them useful.
So now, if we look at what being a victim really means to the person who has embraced Victimhood, it means you are not responsible for anything. It’s not my fault I cheated on my wife, it’s because I’m in a bad relationship and it’s not my fault I’m in a bad relationship, my parents had a horrible marriage so what could you expect, it’s not my fault! It’s not my fault I can’t commit to another person, my mother didn’t understand me. It’s not my fault I use drugs or drink too much, I had a horrible childhood and my wife (or husband) cheated on me. It’s not my fault I can’t keep a job, my father was never there to teach me or guide me, my mother didn’t give me enough love, my wife doesn’t understand me, my husband ignores me, my kids don’t show me any respect, my friends don’t understand me, etc., etc., etc. A victim can always blame anything on outside circumstances.
And, if you do this often enough it becomes a way of life. A rather sad, unfulfilled and unhappy way of life. It becomes VICTIMHOOD!
Believe me, I do understand how it feels and how it works because I took a little trip to Victimhood myself for a period of time. It wasn't fun, although I have to admit that it was a bit addictive. Life, however, is so much sweeter when you take responsibility for your actions, for what you do and what you say. When you can acknowledge how strong you really are, you can take back control and rediscover who you are. You had to be strong. You had to be amazing to live through all that crap that made you feel like a victim in the first place and to keep on going.
The child who survives abuse is amazingly self-reliant and strong. The woman who has come out of a nasty, bad relationship and can keep on going, is powerful beyond belief. The man who came from a loveless home and can continue to search for the right relationship and woman to love is strong and sensitive with a big, beautiful heart and so much love to give. And there are hundred and thousands of stories just like those that show us, each of us, just how powerful we are or could be if we are willing to accept that power and that strength.
If we can just accept that fact, we can move beyond the Victimhood mentality. Choosing Victimhood means choosing not to be happy. It means choosing to be constantly dissatisfied with the things around us and with our lives.
One of the underlying motivations for Victimhood is fear. All too often we let this fear get the better of us. We waste precious days and years getting so caught up in our worry and fear and Victimhood that we hardly think of anything else. If we take back control, eventually, the clouds will clear and we can see how silly we have been. We will see that our most valuable possession is not life; it is the ability to enjoy life. If that is taken away from us - or if we inadvertently cut ourselves off from it with Victimhood, we lose everything.
Conscious awareness of this process is the first step to taking back control and living the life you were meant to live.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Here’s a variety of some miscellaneous and totally unrelated health tips that have nothing to do with each other, other than the fact that I thought they were each interesting in their own way. So enjoy.
Tasty pet treats can get your dog's tail wagging, but they may play a nasty trick
Treats made from animal products may contain salmonella. The bacteria may not cause symptoms in your dog, but after handling any dog treats, food, or chew toys, wash your hands right away. Otherwise, salmonella might trigger an extremely unpleasant bout of gastrointestinal problems for you. Enough said.
Are you busy sitting all day?
Some days there's no way around it. Stuff you need to do — drive, work, plan a get-together, deal with e-mail, pay bills — is stuff you do sitting down. But yet another study has shown that getting as little as 30 minutes of activity a day is all it takes to reduce mortality risk by 14 percent. So sweep the patio, have a pillow fight with the kids, walk while you talk on the phone. It all adds up..
Myth or fact? You can catch a cold by running around without a hat in frigid temps.
Myth. It's not cold weather that makes you sick. It's close quarters and less air circulation. Chilly weather drives people indoors, and rubbing elbows with friends and neighbors allows viruses to spread easily. Research shows that getting cold or wet or not wearing a hat has no effect on whether you wind up sniffling and sneezing. What does? Washing your hands; any germs you pick up go down the drain.
Finding it harder to do what you once did easily? Check your multivitamin.
If your arms start to feel like wet noodles after carrying groceries, pushing the vacuum, or doing a normal workout, you may be low on magnesium. Your muscles require this mineral to function properly, yet two-thirds of us don't get enough. Meet your daily intake with whole grains, nuts, leafy greens, and a multivitamin/mineral supplement that includes magnesium.
Don't play favorites with this pair. Invite them both to your supplement party.
When calcium and vitamin D get together, their powers multiply. Not only do they help build your bones and boost your immune system function, but, according to new research, they also help ward off type 2 diabetes. Research shows you'll be a whopping 33 percent less likely to develop the condition if you get at least 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day compared to an intake of only 600 mg of calcium and less than 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
- Imagine this: You're on a beach, with a cold drink in one hand and the latest best-selling novel in the other.
The salty beach breeze kisses your face while the ocean tickles your toes. You hear gulls talking, waves crashing, and the steel-drum band jamming. Feel like paradise? Great. That quick mental picture just improved your brain function. Keep your brain flexible by setting aside time each day to daydream about whatever you like. (By the way, hypnosis can really make this easier and more fun!)
For those who are interested, here are a few programs available as an alternative to the 12-step programs:
The majority of these differ with the 12-step program in a few ways, including the belief that your addiction is not a disease, it is learned behavior and you are not powerless to fight it.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.