By Kim Knight, The Art of Health, Auckland, New Zealand
‘Become your own Master’
Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, Head of the Kriya Yoga Institute
One of the things I have noticed working with chronic fatigue clients over the last 4 years are a number of across-the-board similarities. The one I’d like to talk about today is the concept of victimhood.
In every case I have met, there is to some degree or other a level of dis-empowerment – or victimhood. Now I know that being called a ‘victim’ is not particularly endearing, but the fact remains it’s true. And I include myself in these statistics, obviously, as a recoverer of chronic fatigue.
So what is this dis-empowerment issue? It seems to run very deep, and often subconsciously. Many years ago I became aware that I was what one could call a ‘covert martyr’ – as opposed to the overt type who are quite obvious in their cries for attention. The covert martyr often ‘soldiers on’ with their life, trying to get ahead but constantly being held back by a deep level of inner dis-empowerment and ‘poor me’ mentality. This weakness usually stems from childhood as a result of circumstances such as over-bearing caregivers, being bullied, physical or emotional abuse, feeling unsupported and much more.
For whatever reason (and there are countless reasons) the child grows up feeling weak and unsupported emotionally, which translates into not being able to support and stand up for them self. People with chronic fatigue often allow other’s needs to supersede their own, can’t say no, put work and other people before themselves, and generally feel ‘less than’ anyone else. The feelings of inner loss of power translate into self-defeating behaviour, spiralling down into feelings of despair, hopelessness and depression. And all the while there is still not a recognition of the intense state of victimhood inside.
So what is the solution? Well, as always, to first identify and acknowledge how things are. Recognize and accept that this is how it is. It does not make you a bad person, it just means there are dis-empowerment issues which need to be addressed. As good ol’ Dr Phil says ‘You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge’.
Then start to notice the feelings of dis-empowerment. Notice when you start behaving like a victim. And start to notice what it feels like when you act like a victim. Slowly you will start to recognize that actually it does not feel good at all! Whereas in the past, when the initial behaviour was set up, we felt better by playing the victim, we start to notice that our body does not feel good at all when we play ‘poor me’. And when this happens, ask yourself how you can do it differently. And start doing it differently!
I’ll give you an example. A few years ago when I was on a sickness benefit with chronic fatigue, I went overseas for more than a month which meant my benefit was stopped. On returning I could have re-applied and technically was still able to. However, as I contemplated going back on the benefit, I could feel how heavy and uninspired my body felt at the thought of doing that. So I tuned in and asked myself how my body (not my head) would feel if I didn’t go back on a benefit. And it felt completely different – much lighter and happier. So I decided to listen to my body intelligence (and that’s what Mickel Therapy is all about – listening to your body not your mind) and decided to take a huge risk and not re-apply for benefit.
Was it scary? You bet! Terrifying. But was it the right thing? You bet. And here’s the thing: once we commit to a decision which is life-supporting, life will support us. There is no doubt about that. It doesn’t mean things will be easy, as we will still have to work on those old patterns and beliefs which we have lived with for so long. But slowly, slowly (and sometimes faster than that) things will change. And as we move towards self-mastery, life will get better and better, you will find yourself feeling stronger and stronger, and being a victim will become a thing of the past.
I wish you well on your journey! We are all born to become our own masters.