Victim or Victor?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Life can be brutal at times. The question is not about which incidents happen throughout life, it's about what happens to you throughout life. Have your disappointments, losses, and even traumas turned you into a victim, or have you pulled yourself up, pushed on, and not only survived; but thrived and become a victor?

I first heard the line: "Be a victor not a victim,"  from Gedale Fenster. I really love the line because when all is said and done, when facing trials and tribulations, we ultimately have one choice or another of how to proceed down the road of life. And trust me, there really is only one path to redemption. The other paths will only land us at that brick wall of desperation, depression, anxiety and fear. I know this because, as an "explorer", I have traveled down some of those paths...the ones where you get angry at G-d, resentful towards people, unbelieving, untrusting, wary, weary, rebellious, and indifferent. And do you know what all those paths have in common? You end up smashing your head into a brick wall. And that hurts!

As difficult as it may seem at first, what is way less "hard", is to simply look inward and change yourself. Through the practice (and yes, it is a practice) of changing our thoughts, our attitudes, and our perceptions, we can literally "reframe" our lives, becoming stronger, wiser and happier with what we have. Which opens ourselves wide up to attracting not only the solutions we were so long seeking, but also, the hidden blessings lurking in the shadows of our "problems" that we weren't even able to previously see.  Now doesn't that sound so much better than bashing our heads over and over again by trying to change the people around us, the uncontrollable circumstance surrounding us, and even G-d Himself.

So who's ready to go from victim to victor?

Let's start right now!

Below I'm going to go over 13 practical ways to achieve this new attitude, taken from the book, 13 Things Mentally Smart People Don't Do, by Amy Moran, which was the basis of Gedale Fenster's recent Wednesday night class.
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Here we go:

1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. 

Believe me, you are not the only one with problems. Why is it that some people with really massive problems seem to be happy and have a great attitude, while others whine about even the smallest things? It's not because some people are stronger than others; it's because the former refuse to sit in self pity, while the latter bathe in it fully. When we feel sorry for ourselves we place our minds into a cycle of negative thinking based on our past and fearing our future, which magnetizes our worst fears and traumas, bringing them to life in every moment, way past the time they happened or before they may ever happen, missing all the beautiful present moments.

2. Stop blaming others.

The act of blaming others, or even allowing others to impact our moods, days, and lives, is basically handing over our power to other people and circumstances. Set boundaries and stop giving away your power! You get to decide what you allow to affect you. And if you don't like something, take responsibility, learn from it, and move on.

3. Don't be afraid of change.

Change is good. Life is continually changing, so just dive in and embrace it. Feels scary? Good! That means you're exercising your spiritual and mental growth muscles!

4. Stop trying to control the things you can't control.

If you can fix it, then by all means fix it. If you can't, then just pray and release it to G-d.

5. Stop trying to please everyone.

Oh, I used to be an expert at this one. Not at actually pleasing everyone, but trying to. It doesn't work. Be authentic, be kind, take care of yourself, and if people aren't happy with you, it's none of your business. (Unless, of course you actually did something wrong and hurt someone, then it's good to own it and apologize. But not when someone has an issue with you just "doing you". )

6. Stop being afraid to take risks.

Life is scary. Anything can happen. Which means, yes, anything CAN happen. So if you want something in your life, take the risk and make it happen!

7. Don't dwell on the past.

Why is it that we often find ourselves watching a never-ending loop of the movie of our past mistakes and traumas over and over? It's because that's where the Yetzer Horah (evil inclination) tries to trap us in order to stop us from living in the present moment, therefore preventing us from moving forward. Forget it. It's over. Move on. Every single day G-d re-creates the world for leave the past where it the past.

8. Stop repeating mistakes over and over expecting new results.

Mistakes are only mistakes if you don't learn from them. If it didn't work, learn from it and try something new.

9. Stop resenting other people's success.

At some point, we all experience jealousy, but it's soooo dangerous. The only thing envy does is create a blockage in our own "flow". How about next time the green monster sneaks up on us we try celebrating our friends' successes with them. Try sending someone you're jealous of a message saying you're so happy and inspired by them, and see how you feel and what happens. Your stuff has nothing to do with their stuff, and their stuff has nothing to do with your stuff. As Gedale Fenster always says, "Stay in your lane."

10. Don't give up after failure. 

Those who avoid failure, avoid success. Failure is part of the process of growth and goal achievement. Don't take it personally! Embrace it, learn from it, and try again.

11. Don't fear time alone.

Time alone is golden. Make time every day to quiet your mind and just be alone with yourself. This is one my favorite ways to get unblocked and watch the creativity flow.

12. Don't feel entitled.

Around the time I was going through my "angry at G-d" phase, when I was starting to work on my Emuna (faith), I had an epiphany: Who ever promised me that my life would look the way I made it up in my head it should look like? The truth is, we are all only here on this earth for short while. We are simply guests. And whatever we get is a gift to be grateful for. And we certainly can't know or understand everything. So if you don't have it, it just means it's not for you right now. But that doesn't mean that tomorrow may be different. (See number 7 and 10.)

13. Don't expect immediate results.

In Judaism there is a metaphor about life being like a hallway. That's because we are always traveling through it. It's a moving process. And we can't always see all the millions of teeny miracles, details, curves and twists that create the journey that may or may not lead to the results we want. But we can trust in the process. Just keep moving forward. Don't give up. And make sure you enjoy the ride along the way!

So there you have it. I did NOT read the book, I just listened to the class, took some notes, and then added my own personal commentary. I hope these points help you. Try focusing on one of them a week (or month) and watch yourself live a victorious life every single day.

With loads of love,


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