Monday Musings…Circumstantial Evidence
I am not a victim. I am not a survivor. I am thriving in spite of my circumstances.
How much of your life is really under your control? You can be on your regular drive home and… boom… you are rear-ended by an absent-minded driver. You plan a weekend camping trip and…boom…it rains, again. You are working on a project on your computer and…boom…it suddenly shuts down and you didn’t have the autosave on. You might say that we are all victims of circumstance.
Do you consider yourself to be a victim? When I hear that word, I think of a violation against a person and a sense of powerlessness to defend themselves or change the situation. As bystanders, our response is often pity and empathy, maybe even taking the initiative to set up a GoFundMe page. When we’ve shown our concern and support through our good deed(s), we get to carry on as ‘normal’. But if you are the victim, well, when the help has gone on hiatus, you are likely to remain perpetually afflicted by your loss of possessions, personhood, and oftentimes, your purpose. Casualties of unforeseen circumstances are told they have two choices: sink or swim. But you, the victim, are doing neither. You’re treading water. You’re breathing, but not moving. You're a walking shell of humanity feeling utterly dead on the inside. You cannot escape. You have total recall. This mindset is literally unsustainable. Many with this history know exactly what I’m talking about, as death becomes the outlet to let you out of the trap your mind has set.
Maybe you are a survivor. You are alive despite enduring incredible circumstances that you didn’t think you’d ever get through. Days dragged on to months, maybe years, but you pushed through and came out bearing not the white flag of surrender, but the flag of your own territory. You swam to the island of peace and tranquility and erected the flag pole in victory. We applaud you, the survivor, marvelling at how you did it. But the island is in the middle of the ocean. In time, you will run out of supplies and you’ll need to return to the mainland where your ordeal has long been forgotten by the others. That’s ok with you since you don’t really want to remember it. But still you are left wanting. You are in need of provisions to keep you going, to maintain the serenity you’ve found. But we all know hurricane season threatens, on an annual basis, to blow out the windows of your soul, and shake the foundation of your faith. A survivor hopes and prays ‘it’ will never happen again, but then, they had no say in the evolution of their original circumstance, did they?
I want you to be neither a victim nor a survivor. I want you to thrive no matter what storms you’ve weathered or what unsuspecting tsunami lies ahead. I want you to not begrudge the events long past, but instead see the gift that came from them. I want you to consider the frailty of the force of those who have wronged you, and then see the strength that surpasses human understanding that fills your heart today. I want you to look fear full-on in the face and then defeat those demons that taunt you saying you are damaged goods, you’ll never amount to anything now, you'll never be good enough. Because you ARE enough.
Whatever you have gone through has a GREATER PURPOSE. You are meant to chart a new course, to swim past that island into the vast ocean, yes the ocean of the unknown, using that history to propel you forward. Along your journey you will come across an assortment of creatures who need to hear of your victory in the circumstance, so you can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort you yourself have received.
A victim is perpetually plopped in the past; a survivor fixates on fear of the future. Someone who thrives is guaranteed gargantuan growth as they come to understand that there is Divine Purpose in the pain. I should know. I am Living Proof!
Let those who thrive, cover the earth, leaving evidence of hope in every circumstance.