A game you can’t lose: beyond the victim-creator dichotomy

by | Sep 16, 2013

three_principles_game_9-2013It happens to all of us. Once in a while we get down. Thoughts that circumstances are going against us occur, and we believe them. Before long, we feel like victims of other people or of circumstances. And as if that weren’t enough, we often add insult to injury, berating ourselves for being victims.

The psychologist Stephen Karpman developed the model of the Drama Triangle to illustrate the dynamic of victimhood. In this model, victims, persecutors, and rescuers exist in tension, constructing and reinforcing a negative narrative. Wherever there is a victim, there is a persecutor, and so on.

My friend David Emerald developed a lovely alternate model called the Empowerment Dynamic*. In this dynamic, victims become creators, persecutors challengers, and rescuers coaches. And, because it is a dynamic, because each role affects the others, a change in one role catalyzes a change in all of them.

Naturally, we want to move from playing the victim to being a creator. But what if there’s a larger reality that actually dissolves the victim-creator dichotomy?

We are always creators

Here’s something to think about with respect to being victim or a creator: we are ALWAYS creators. 100% of our experience of reality is thought created.

Sure, sometimes the reality created by our thinking is one in which we play starring roles as victims. But before you go feeling bad about that, consider this: the very ability to create a victim story is a demonstration of the astonishing creative power of Thought.  Isn’t it wonderful that, through the gift of Thought, we are able to generate such rich, multi-layered dramas?

What’s worthy of notice isn’t the content of an unfolding reality, it’s its nature. Because when we understand that our experience is always created by thought, that we live in the feeling of our thinking, we can be a bit philosophical when we find ourselves in victim roles. We can remember that, even though our negative experiences seem like reactions to outside circumstances, they are always projections of thought.

It’s about understanding, not control

It’s important to differentiate understanding that thinking is creating a victim experience from trying to control or change it. We don’t even notice the vast majority of our thoughts, so how the heck can we hope to change the negative ones or choose the positive ones? I mean really, how many of the 60,000 or so thoughts that you had yesterday were you actually aware of?

Fortunately we don’t need to monitor our thinking or manage it, because we have two things going for us that give us tremendous leverage in the creator role: our moods and free will.

Our moods are perfect barometers of the quality of our thinking regardless of how conscious we are of what’s going on in our heads at the time. When we are peaceful, content, and open, we have access to higher quality thought than when we are agitated, dissatisfied, and closed down. Thus moods give us a powerful advantage because they show us when it’s smart to rely on our thoughts as a guide and when it would be smarter to send our thoughts to Hawaii for a break.

I was talking with my husband about this the other day. I observed that when I’m angry I feel very, very smart. Later, when my mood has shifted and my thinking calmed down,  I invariably discover that what had seemed so smart at the height of my anger was actually quite foolhardy.

Free will allows us to choose whether or not to think into a particular thought or set of thoughts based on what our moods tell us about it.  When we’re in a relaxed and positive state, it makes sense to be guided by our thinking. When we’re not, no so much.

Declining to think into a thought is different from wrestling with it. Just think about it: wrestling a thought means grabbing on and struggling until you immobilize it. Hopeless. But declining to think into a thought (or sending it to Hawaii) works quite nicely.

We’re all in the same marvelous boat

Notice, nothing about this personal. Everyone has high and low moods. Everyone has high and low quality thinking. Everyone has the same amazing capability to create his or her reality via the gift of Thought, and that’s a marvel regardless of the kind of reality being generated in the moment.

With this awareness, we will naturally take our ups and downs less seriously. That allows the system to self-correct, and we begin to shift toward our default state of innate health and wellbeing. Sometimes the shift is instantaneous; sometimes it takes a while. But the shift is guaranteed. And the more clearly you see that victimhood and other forms of insecurity and upset are simply  creations of thought, the faster the system tends to correct.

My invitation to you this week is to be less concerned when you are experiencing victimhood and more curious about how thought is creating that experience. Without trying to change anything, celebrate the fact that Thought creates reality and that you are privileged to be a player in the grand game of life.

It’s a game you really can’t lose.

*Learn more about and order David’s book “The Power of TED,” at Amazon: amzn.to/11lTMfI.


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