Overcoming the Victim Mentality

He did this to me.”

“She said that about me.”

“I was being bullied because someone said something that I don’t agree with and I didn’t like it. They’re making me feel like they hate me.”

“He told me I’m fat and ugly and don’t deserve to have anything nice.”

“Everyone picks on me. No one understands what I’m going through. They don’t get it. I’m always being picked on.”

“He/she deserted me for someone else and now nothing’s going right. It’s not fair.”

“Whatever I do or say, someone always tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about and makes me feel bad about myself. They’re always picking on me.”

Do these statements sound familiar? 

Does someone you know say such things all the time? Or do you find yourself saying them?

What do these statements all have in common?

They’re what you use to make yourself the victim in everything that goes wrong in your life. Because it’s easier to blame someone else for everything than looking at yourself and asking why all this seems to be happening.

Maybe you’re the type of person who just can’t be happy unless there’s something to complain about.

Maybe it’s easier to explain away all your unhappiness because it’s someone else’s fault. 

But when you keep repeating the same reasons over and over in every unhappy situation there’s a problem.

It’s your victim mentality. Because it’s easier to blame someone else rather than look inside yourself and try to figure out why this same situation happens time after time.

Maybe you don’t know any other way to be. And maybe keeping that victim mentality in its strange way makes you happy. Because it’s easier to keep complaining than move out of your comfort zone. 

There’s always an excuse. But what you don’t realize is, you’re the excuse, because you’re always playing the victim.

And if you don’t stop, you’ll never be the conqueror.

And isn’t it time for you to be a conqueror rather than a victim?

You Don’t Want to Be Like Anyone Else

You just want to be you. Because that’s who you are. There’s only one you.

Only one person in the world exactly like you. Others may look a bit like you, like a lot of the same things you do, even dress similarly. But there are still differences.

Even identical twins have slight differences. And sometimes only they can know the differences. But they’re still there.

You’re unique. You are wonderfully and perfectly made to be exactly who you are.

So instead of wanting to be like someone else, cherish your uniqueness.

Because there’s someone out there who wants to be like you!

Problems Just Don’t Go Away

It’s a mistake to turn your back on a problem. Or run away from it.

Because it’s going to follow you. It’s going to keep right on your heels until you turn around and face it.

It won’t ever go away on its own. You may think it has. But it’s still there, hiding, and biding its time til it’s ready to return and remind you it’s still there.

And it’ll return when you least expect it.

So my advice to you: turn around and deal with it now. Because each time it returns, it’s bigger than before.

Deal with it now. And be done with it forever.

Decisions

We make them every day, you know. And they’re not always big ones.

We decide what we’re going to wear that day, and what shoes go best with that outfit.

We decide what we’re going to eat. If we’re going out to eat, and if so, we decide where. Or if we’re staying at home, we have to decide on a menu, and if we’re cooking it ourselves or having it delivered from a restaurant.

If we have children, we have to help them decide what to wear, and what they’re going to eat. Among other things.

We have to decide what we’re going to do on our weekends. Where we’re going and with who. Or if we’re just going to enjoy time to do nothing.

If someone we care about has a birthday coming up, we have to decide on a gift.

When it’s Christmas we have to decide on gifts for our family and friends, and even more, decide on ways to make the holiday a very memorable and special time.

These are decisions we make that many times we don’t even realize we’re making them. They just happen and we usually do them without a lot of thought. 

They’re easy to make.

But then there are the other decisions. The tough ones. The ones you don’t want to have to make, but you sometimes have no choice.

The decision to leave a job and start over, when you see that things are going terribly wrong and may not get better. Or you’re not going anywhere with your current job and you know you need to make a change. 

The decision to move yourself and your family several hundreds of miles away for either family situations or employment opportunities, leaving behind other beloved family members and friends you’ve known forever.

The decision as whether or not to split up with a spouse for totally devastating reasons: unfaithfulness, theft of your personal savings; criminal activity; severe drug or alcohol abuse; physical or emotional abuse. The list can go on but you get the idea. And it’s especially hard if you have young children.

The decision to move an elderly parent or maybe your spouse to a nursing home or other specialized care facility because they can no longer care for themselves and you cannot do it either.

Or even worse, the decision to take a family member off of life support because there is no hope for recovery.

Decisions are sometimes easy, and other times difficult, even gut wrenching. Unfortunately they’re part of life, and there’s sometimes no choice in the matter. You make the best decision you can under the circumstances. And once you do, you can’t look back and do a “what if?” Because those “what if’s” aren’t going to happen. 

Whatever decision you may be facing in the coming days, weeks, or even months, make the best one you can under the circumstances. And don’t look back, because you did the right thing at the time. 

May you have the confidence to make the right decisions in the coming year, and may you make them with no regrets afterwards.

Be at Peace…Not in Pieces

I don’t know about you, but lots of time I feel like I’m pulled in so many different directions I’m in the middle of a tug of war and about to be torn apart.

Sometimes I just need a break to regroup and let go of some of the things that are pulling at me and threatening to tear me apart or crush me into pieces.

What about you?

Everyone needs a time to rest; a time to relax. A time to do only what you want to do.

Some time to say this is MY day to be with me and no one else. To spend time catching up with yourself. Asking yourself what’s gotten you in this shape and what you need to do to get yourself back to you.

And don’t be afraid to answer yourself.

Go to your quiet place and just be you. Do what you enjoy most by yourself. It may be reading, writing, painting or drawing, creating jewelry, or just taking a walk on the beach or having a massage.

We all need this escape from time to time, to be at peace with ourselves. Not in a bunch of pieces that seem to get more and more broken as we go along. To put those broken pieces back together.

Take some time to find your peace this week. Before life starts to break you again.

Do You Like Jigsaw Puzzles?

A book I read recently by Sarah Morgan had this quote which I absolutely love: “A relationship is like a jigsaw. Made up of tiny pieces. Whether it’s with a partner, with friends, with children…it’s made up of hundreds of tiny pieces. Some perfect, some imperfect. Those characteristics unique to each of us, the genes we inherit, our life experiences, the way we behave. Tiny misshapen little pieces that make us who we are….”

Personally, I really enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles. Actually I do them on my iPad. No lost pieces to contend with. And once you complete it, you don’t have to try to figure what to do with it, because who really wants to take it all apart after you’ve spent all that time working on it?

If you look at the pieces, they’re all slightly different. They may be a similar shape, but there’s only one piece that will fit exactly where it’s supposed to go. And unlike a conventional puzzle, on an iPad you sure can’t force that piece to fit where it’s not supposed to go.

But this piece isn’t about actually putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Unless you stop to consider all the tiny pieces of your life that go into what makes you unique. Like a completed jigsaw made up of thousands and thousands of pieces that are put together to form who we are.

But there’s a difference between the pieces of our lives and a jigsaw puzzle. 

Because a jigsaw puzzle has a finite number of pieces that can only go together one way to make one particular picture. Now the puzzle program on my iPad allows me to change the number of pieces I can use, from a mere 16 which is way too easy, to 1400 which I can’t even imagine trying. 

So just imagine a jigsaw puzzle with thousands and thousands of pieces which can be rearranged at any time as new pieces are added. All of our experiences, good or bad, become part of that jigsaw puzzle that is us. 

Like the jigsaws on my iPad, we can view the pieces as a combination of major events in our lives (the bigger pieces) or the minor events that become parts of the larger pieces of the puzzle that makes up our lives.

How we view our circumstances, how we make our life decisions, is determined by the way those jigsaw pieces are put together. But unlike the puzzles on my iPad we can add pieces, and rearrange those pieces we already have to make room for the new ones.

Our lives are a complicated puzzle, which is why no two of us are alike. Nor will we ever be. No one else has exactly the same circumstances in their life that anyone else does. And everyone’s puzzle pieces are put together in different patterns.

And our puzzles are 3-D rather than the flat puzzles we normally associate with jigsaw puzzles. Can you imagine the work that goes into the puzzle that is our life?

We must also remember we are all a continual work in progress. On a daily basis. And our puzzle pieces continue to change and rearrange themselves until there are finally no more pieces to be added.

I picture my personal Jigsaw puzzle as a collage of  bright colors, with lots of flamingos, Yorkies, books, and of course an abundance of family. Being 3-D it also shifts its shape, constantly moving as pieces are added and rearranged.

Think about it. What does YOUR personal jigsaw puzzle look like? What pieces will you add today?

Fear

Fear can immobilize us. It can make us incapable of putting one foot in front of the other.

Fear can keep us from sleeping. It can tell us we’re not going to survive what we’re facing, and scare us out of taking the correct actions.

Fear can cause us to step away from a correct decision because that decision involves stepping into the unknown. 

Fear can prevent us from stepping out into something we’ve worked for, dreamed about, and prayed for, because we can’t make ourselves take a chance and risk failure.

Fear holds us back when we should be running ahead.

Fear is the voice we hear that says “no you can’t,” and outweighs the voice that says, “yes you can.”

Fear is what stops us from being successful.

Fear prevents us from relationships because we’ve had such bad luck in the past, and we’re afraid to take another chance.

Fear prevents us from going forward and holds us back, because fear doesn’t want us to succeed.

Fear is what prevents us from becoming the person we’re destined to be.

Fear chains us to a wall that we cannot escape from until we realize that fear is the only thing holding us back.

Fear can be overcome when we realize we’re stronger than our fears.

Fear goes away when we decide to take hold of our lives and become who we’re meant to be.

Fear becomes but a distant memory when we achieve what we’ve been purposed to do from the beginning.

And then fear becomes a voice we can no longer hear. Because fear has been put out of our lives forever.

You May Plan Every Step of Your Life

But sometimes life happens. And you have to let life happen. Your plans don’t always happen the way you planned.

And change can be unsettling, sometimes scary. 

But once in awhile you have to let go. And take a risk.

Because if you don’t take that risk, don’t try to see what you can accomplish, you’ll never know what could have been.

Think about it. 

What if you’d ignored that phone call you didn’t really want to answer…you know, the one asking you to come in for an interview for a job you really didn’t think you wanted. But you were desperate.

And although it wasn’t what you’d planned, it turned out to be one of the best decisions of your life.

What if you’d turned down the person too many times who kept asking you to go out because every relationship you’d had turned out to be a disaster? What if that person had given up before you gave in and said yes?

And that person turned out to be the one you’d been waiting for all along and didn’t even realize it. And twenty years later you’re still together enjoying a wonderful life. Maybe not who you’d planned it with, but so much better.

What if you’d decided to give up on your dream to become a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, or an author, and spent decades of your life doing something you really didn’t enjoy, while dreaming about what could have been.

You can plan your life. You can plan every step of it, and refuse to change one thing, but what if there was something more that you wanted, but were afraid to take a chance?

And what happens when the life you have is suddenly not there, or suddenly changes, and you have no idea what to do? 

You make another plan.

Life happens, and change comes knocking on your door when you least expect it. Sometimes it gives up and goes away to give that opportunity to someone else, and sometimes it breaks your door down and forces you to make changes you don’t think you’re ready for.

But life knows better than you do; better than we do. And in the end, the life you thought you wanted and needed, becomes the past, and a new life opens up for you.

Life had another plan other than the one you’d planned.

And you discover it’s the one you wanted all along.

Wanting Something

…doesn’t make it happen.

You have to work for it to make it happen. It’s not going to come to you by thinking about it and dreaming about it. You can’t just wait for it to happen. You have to do something.

Yes, I’ve heard the saying good things come to those who wait. But I know people who’ve been waiting for years for that good thing to happen and it hasn’t. Because sitting back and waiting doesn’t make it happen, does it?

You have to take a first step in order to make it happen; to accomplish your goal. 

But first you need to define that goal. I don’t mean just saying you want a new job, or start a business, or find a new place to live, maybe lose weight, or find a new relationship.

Those are goals, but a goal can’t begin to succeed unless you have a plan.

Just wanting something, dreaming about something, don’t make it happen. Telling all your friends what you want to do won’t make it happen either.

You actually have to do something to make it happen. Step out of your comfort zone. I know it’s not easy, but if you want something bad enough, that’s what you have to do.

You won’t know what can happen unless you try.

And that first step isn’t easy. But the second is a little easier. 

And by the third and the fourth…you’ve got this!

It’s Sad When Someone You Knew

Becomes someone you knew.

How often does that happen? Too many times as far as I’m concerned.

There are many reasons. People relocate to new places and meet new people. Interests change. Spouses change, making once close relationships uncomfortable.

It’s tough maintaining relationships today. But as we get older, we learn to appreciate those who stay with us, and those we reconnect with after several years.

Facebook and Instagram have helped me reconnect with people I’d sadly lost contact with over the years, which I’m delighted about. I may not see some of these friends often, because they aren’t living close to me. But we’ve rekindled friendships, which are important.

The sad thing is, many people I used to know who are living here locally are no longer people I know.

Oh, I know them. And we used to be close. But life changes, and we don’t even realize it until it’s too late and those friendships disappear, lost in a sea of being too busy or not really caring any more, or having such strong viewpoints on subjects we can’t even agree to disagree on. And the friendship is gone as quickly as it began.

And they become someone  that we used to know.

Fortunately, in my case, many friends who moved away are still close, and we see each other a few times a year, but talk or text regularly. Friendships that are still strong and growing.

It’s sad when people we used to know become just that. People we used to know. Maybe we were friends, but maybe we really weren’t. 

Maybe we never really knew them, because we now hear them say things we could never imagine them saying or even thinking!

Sort of hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?

Age is Only a State of Mind

Or at least it should be, in very many ways.

My mind is still in my 40’s, and sometimes my 30’s. My body is usually more in its 50’s. But my actual age is none of those. It’s older.

And my best friend is some 15 years younger than me.

Several of my female friends are happily dating, or married to, men 6-10 years younger than they are, which used to be something that just wasn’t done. Those women  used to be called cougars, but that’s a term I really haven’t heard much lately. 

Age is a state of mind as much as a date on the calendar. I know people who are in their 30’s who act like they’re in their 50’s if not older. And vice versa. 

For example, the majority of people in their early 70’s are retired. I’m still working a full time job and having a great time with it. I have no plans to retire yet. My husband still works 30-32+ hours a week and plans to continue working for another ten years or more.

As long as we’re healthy and enjoying our lives, what’s the point in stopping what we’re doing? After all, life is meant to be lived to its fullest as long as we can. And that’s what we, along with many other people in our age group, are doing. 

We know people who have begun second careers or even started a small business in their 60’s. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re able to do it, go for it! Although you may not be doing the same type of work you did in previous careers.

Many seniors are still active in sports such as tennis, bike riding, golf, paddle boarding and even surfing well past their 60’s. Not me, though, except for bike riding, but I never did the other activities anyway. My husband would still be playing tennis except for his pulmonary issues.

My family is known for its longevity. My mom passed away at age 94. Her oldest sister was about that same age, and her younger sister is still in fairly good shape at 95. My grandparents lived well into their late 80’s, and my mother’s dad was still actively farming the day he died at age 88.

Yes, I do think about my age at times, but I don’t sit and calculate how many years I may have left. That’s not my decision. When the Lord calls me home I’ll go. And not a minute before.

I hope to see my grandchildren at least graduate from high school, even though I’m 66 years older than our oldest grandchild. And with my health the way it is so far, I have no reason to doubt that will happen.

What I’m saying is, your age shouldn’t limit what you do. You may not be as capable of certain physical activities as you were several years ago, but as long as your mind stays active and alert, you’re still able to do a majority of the activities you always did; only maybe not quite as fast!

My advice to my “senior” friends? Live your life to the fullest. Enjoy your golden years. Do what you want to do rather than what others say you should do. If you want to take a chance, take it, as long as you know all of the things that could happen and as long as your loved ones support your decisions.

Personally, I’m enjoying my life, and I’m nowhere near ready to quit what I’m doing. 

Who knows? I may write another book or two, embellish my jewelry making talents, or learn to paint, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

As far as I’m concerned, the best is still to come. I have a lot more things I want to accomplish before I go home. And hopefully my husband will be with me as well.

How about you?

Every Flower Blooms

In its own time.

It doesn’t rush; it doesn’t hurry because someone else wants it to bloom right now.

It doesn’t take in extra nutrients and water to hurry the process along because it knows that would alter or even destroy the beauty that is to come.

It doesn’t fear the storms around it that may threaten the growing blooms because it knows those tiny buds are formed for a specific purpose and they are also designed to withstand those storms.

It doesn’t worry that not everyone will appreciate or even enjoy the beauty that emerges, because it was specifically designed for that one special touch of color and design that will make its area of the garden a more special and perfect place.

But only for a time. The time may be short, lasting only a day or so, or it may last a week or even two. And when it’s time, its beauty begins to fade.

It doesn’t begrudge the fact that its beauty begins to fade; it changes as it ages, as it’s designed to do. There’s even a special beauty in a drying bloom that sometimes only it’s creator appreciates.

But even as that bloom prepares to die and return to the soil that nurtured it, it spreads its seeds that will become more blooms, just like it once was.

And the flower lives on through its descendants, which grow and bloom in its image.

And in their particular appointed time.