While sitting at my computer doing income taxes, my vibe began dropping drastically. I was freaking out about money and having loads of trouble with the online tax program.
Anxiety began to build as I stared at our income (or in my view - lack of income) and I started making growly noises, because - GRRRRR - that's what I do.
Soon the grunts weren't fully expressing how annoyed I felt. So I moved into some manic fist shaking, a fair amount of baring of teeth, and finally amped it up with some loud yelling about glitches in the muthaflippin software.
My beastly noises escalated until it'd become obvious that the Internal Revenue Service, Americans' favorite persecutor, had officially RUINED my day.
So what did I do in my poor me victim state?
I ran outside, hopped in my tiny car, and raced down to the gas station where some Krispy Kremes were waiting for me.
I jammed a donut in my face, drove home, sat at my desk and continued snacking on sugar till I was numb enough to finish entering our taxes without any more snarly sounds.
It was a fabulous solution!
Well...until my belly began to ache.
Now that right there is a great example of a Victim orientation to life.
And it's one I still occasionally use to justify high volume donut consumption.
But, happily, I was introduced to a couple of freekin' genius diagrams that help re-frame my low vibe victim perspective into a fun, powerful, and freedom-based Creator orientation.
The story of the victim/drama triangle is one we all know by heart - think "Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor" - a tale of Victims, Persecutors, and a Rescuer.
This predictable triad describes all of our drama-filled relationships. It's also illustrated in countless books, TV shows, movies, and the majority of news stories! And what I didn't recognize until recently is that all three roles believe they LACK POWER.
Another example on the Drama Triangle is my well-worn role as Rescuer. Friends and family would get themselves into a jam and I'd bail them out with time, energy and money. I'd feel good about myself for helping these needy victims of circumstance, but then if they needed too much help, I'd feel victimized by them. Around the drama triangle we'd go, each of us with a belief in our powerlessness against external situations.
I've written plenty about being a Persecutor on the blog. It shares the same belief in lack of power, but it's just a more aggressive approach. It's where I'm telling Pauly that he's doing every single thing wrong on our fixer upper or blaming him for not warning me about my wild eyebrows.
It wasn't long after reading about this Drama Triangle that I realized that the literal Christian theology I was familiar with fit the Victim Orientation to a T!
In this theology, an anthropomorphized God is displeased about our fall from grace and therefore, we're always teetering on the edge of some kind of punishment. We inherently sinful humans are the victims of this moody God (persecutor), but, Jesus has come to our rescue. He sacrificed his life so we wouldn't be eternally damned. As long as we acknowledge our rescuer, Jesus, and accept him as our savior and follow specific Christian rules, God will show mercy and instead of punishing us, will love us.
To me, this Biblical interpretation is the perfect example of conditional love: "Do these specific things to satisfy my perceived needs and then I will love you."
It's Victim Consciousness played out on a big, fat, cosmic scale.
I've never been fond of that take on Christianity, but it's a popular one because our human minds often cling to the basic presumption of lack, in this case, original sin and powerlessness in the face of an upset God.
Here's the antidote to that entire way of perceiving:
A dynamic where no powerless and lacking victims can be found.
There are only empowered Creators, Challengers and Coaches.
From a Creator orientation, I could see every challenge as being beneficial for my growth.
I could've chosen to focus on the ways that taxes benefit us all and simply do my part. I could've even told Pauly that I was feeling anxious and he'd likely become a Coach, asking me questions to help me look at what false thoughts about money and lack were bringing on the anxiety.
But, hey, I chose donuts instead! No biggie. I can always choose again.
In terms of being a Rescuer, which I used to do to feel like a "good person", I now help people when it brings me joy. I've begun to question the whole idea of seeing others as victims, and am able to see people as powerful creators who are requesting a little boost. Acting as a Coach makes it waaaaay more fun for me and for the person who's asking for assistance.
As a Persecutor, sure, I could holler at Pauly a little less, but he tells me I'm cute when I yell. As a middle aged, potbellied lady, this offers my ego little incentive to change. "Why fix what ain't broke?!" it vainly says.
However, once I realize that blaming others isn't REALLY that fun, and my voice is tired from all the yelling, I'm able to shift into a Challenger role. I take full responsibility for my life, express my authentic self, and ask others provocative questions to encourage openness and growth.
So here's a new approach to the old theology!
Instead of God being an angry-old-man-in-the-sky Persecutor, I could choose to define God as All-That-Is, an unknowable, undefinable energy source animating every single thing, meaning that we're never separate from each other. And yet this energy source offers us all contrast, highs and lows, and acts as a Challenger for our expansion as consciousness.
I am a Creator, making choices about what I want to experience, which includes my challenges.
And Jesus is just one example of a self-realized Coach. There are many self-realized, fearless, religious and non-religious beings acting in that role.
As I remember my empowered state, I'll be doing taxes and even EATING DONUTS YEEEEEAAAAAAH! from a place of peace instead of lack/neediness. There's a huge difference in any experience when I do it with a joyful and powerful Creator's mind.
To me, this means taking 100% responsibility for my experience.
And although I'm not accustomed to acting from a Creator Orientation in all areas of my life, I am taking baby steps towards it.
Because creating lovely and joy-filled experiences for myself and others is easier when I see all of us as being powerful creators.