[In my time alive, I once held the conviction that I would weather the company of certain folk. The things we do for love, ey? It turns out, I was wrong. Painful. Bitter. Hurt. That’s how it felt. This post draws it’s essence from one of James Clear’s newsletters, a missive that struck the bull’s eye with my own personal experience with some people. Yet I was blind to it at the time. Naturally, this post will never grate the eyes/ears of it’s subjects; for this is a haven in which my sincerity, wrong as it may be perceived to be, is penned without the abrasion of confrontation. Here, I write my notes, a benevolent well thought out offering to the me that is yet to emerge, a whispered guidance for the moments that lie ahead. This long-ish introduction is a subtle marker for my future self and friends too, to illuminate the reasons that compelled me to craft this post]
Life has its way of cornering us in to conflicts and conundrums, some really painful to bear. In the midst of these storms, it’s easy to cast ourselves as the hapless victims, a perspective that can darken even the brightest of days, and even subtly steer opportunities—or dear ones—away from us. But oh, how marvelous it is to consider life through a different lens, a lens that refuses to paint us as mere victims of circumstance. With that spirit in mind, let’s dive into some intriguing ideas to help us out of the victim perspective:
- The Reverse Lens: Stepping into Their Shoes. What would the other person in this conflict say and in what ways might that be true?
When embroiled in conflicts, our perception, and worse, our community’s well-intentioned, yet non-clear “support” can become an echo chamber, reflecting only our own sentiments. But imagine this: What if we dared to see things from the other side? What if we took a walk in their shoes, contemplating how they might view the situation? Could it be that their perspective holds kernels of truth we haven’t yet considered? By donning the reverse lens, we invite empathy and understanding into our narrative, shifting the story away from victimhood and into a realm of shared experience.
- The Long Lens: Gazing into the Future. How will I most likely view this situation in 6 months?
Present conflicts can be all-consuming, clouding our judgment and emotions. Yet, imagine zooming out, extending your sight to six months from now. How will this current situation appear from that vantage point? Will it still hold the same weight, the same urgency? The long lens approach nudges us to see beyond the immediate storm, reminding us that the tempests of today often turn into mere ripples in the grand river of time.
- The Wide Lens: A Canvas for Growth. Regardless of the outcome of this issue, how can I grow and learn from it?
Life’s canvas is painted with vibrant hues of experiences, both light and shadow. Instead of fixating on the outcome of a particular issue, what if we shifted our focus to what we can learn and how we can grow from it? The wide lens invites us to see challenges as opportunities for development, a chance to sculpt a better version of ourselves. It’s in this mindset that victimhood fades, replaced by your own personal stance.
In the end, life’s tapestry is woven with various threads, and we hold the power to choose which colors dominate our canvas. The victim perspective might rear its head, but it’s merely one of the myriad options. And options are that just that; options, choose them wisely. As we journey through the maze of existence, let’s remember the wisdom in embracing alternatives that uplift and empower; not ones, justified as they may be, that hold us back and keep us bitter. Staying messed up helps no one, yourself included. With the reverse lens, the long lens, and the wide lens, we craft a narrative that speaks not of helplessness but of resilience, a narrative worthy of the protagonists we truly are!