I don’t believe that I have always taken responsibility for my life, and I think most people have times during their lifetimes when they feel victimized by circumstances. But I have come to know that taking responsibility for yourself and your life is one of the most liberating and empowering things anyone can do for themselves.

Even when circumstance seems random and challenging, owning that circumstance gives one the feeling of being in charge of the outcome. We are, each of us, never powerless, unless we abdicate that power. And standing in your power takes courage. Make no mistake. It is never easy to say, “This situation is mine, and only I can make the changes necessary to make things better.” But once you come to the realization that the power to alter circumstance comes down to you and you accept that, you are suddenly at the helm of your life. It will be a most freeing moment. Relish it for what it is. A release of being the victim.

Once you set victim-hood free, you can act. As long as you remain in victim mode, life will feel static. There will be no flow. You will think you are inextricably stuck. You will blame everything and everyone around you for something that is really of your own making, coming down to the choices you have made. When you are able to let go of being the victim – or  should I say, playing the victim, because it is really a role one takes on – you can suddenly move forward.

Accepting responsibility for your life is an act in defiance of the victim mentality. And as such, it flies in the face of blaming, whining, feeling “Woe is me”, and gives you the sense that you have been set free of shackles that held you down. I know for myself, the moment I took my life back and accepted responsibility for my role in circumstance, I felt like I could do anything. I felt strong, empowered, alive once again. And I realized what a living death I had been in. I could feel the breeze against my skin, the sun on my neck, the stars came out for only me, and I was connected to the Universal flow again. I had a unique sense of belonging to something greater than my self, and while I felt my singular-ness, I felt at peace in my oneness with the All. It was a moment I will never forget. It brought me back from the edge of the abyss.

I still must work at accepting this responsibility every day that things do not go my way. I played the victim for a very long time, and even though that was aeons ago, old habits and patterns sometimes insist on rearing their ugly heads. But the work is no longer that difficult anymore. The rewards of owning my life surpass everything the old habits gave me. The freedom one feels is too sweet to want to to go back.

A big part of me died as a victim. But I have rediscovered and reclaimed it, and feel more whole than I ever thought I could.


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