Updated: Feb 13
In a previous post I discussed the tricky walk of personal responsibility. For me it was difficult to traverse this path in my life. In fact, learning to take responsibility of my own life without taking on the role of a victim has been one of my greatest achievements.
I had been victimised many times, but that did not mean I had to be a victim. You have probably heard the quote ‘I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become’. My life’s journey has been about overcoming obesity and learning not to be a victim, despite my circumstances.
The combination of my feelings of helplessness and public accusation about my weight led me to a place of chronic self-pity, in fact the church tried to exorcise it from me! This label reinforced the problem for me and I felt condemned by God. My self-talk was ‘no one loves me, no one cares about me’. I told myself that I would never succeed or be healthy and that I was deserving of condolence from everyone and I expected God to rescue me. I was absorbed in my own problems and unhappiness.
Feeling miserable, I wanted out of the situation. I could not change people’s reaction to me, but my response could be changed. Self-pity is not a moral issue; however, it is of no benefit to us. My problem with it is that it held me back from what I wanted in life. I thought everyone else was going to do it for me, after all, hadn’t others made me obese in the first place?
Remaining a victim would not help me lose weight. Many people victimised me for my weight, the key for me was to see that I did not have to be a victim because of it. Reacting to their treatment by seeing myself as a victim and using food for comfort was keeping me obese and reinforcing the cycle.
In the beginning a strong sense of guilt from being a family scape goat kept me from grasping the concept of personal responsibility. This guilt led me to believe that most things were my fault and that others were accusing me. Hence, if I was asked to do something, I was affronted. My view of life was that anything that went wrong was my fault. To my mind, the circumstances in my life were either my fault or the fault of others.
The road of personal responsibility is vastly different from this. I discovered that my life was neither good nor bad. What had happened to me as a reflection of the absurdity of life rather than human meanness of spirit or my personal failure. Self-focus was the motive behind the treatment. The abandonment I experienced in my early years reflected the struggles of others, rather than a deliberate attempt to hurt me.
Moving on required that I no longer play the blame game but face my pain. Blaming myself or others did not resolve the issue; it only provided temporary relief. The hurt was within me and the only way to relieve this was to change myself. Only I had the power to stop my pain. This was my life and I could make it better or continue my suffering.
Are you blaming yourself, or others? Self-reflection is the first step to freedom. Be honest with yourself. Take notice when you become aware of the ‘woe is me’, self-pity way of life. There is no shame in admitting you are in pain. Growth comes through authenticity.
Feel free to message me. You will always be treated with acceptance, kindness, empathy and respect.