My last blog post, I wrote about anxiety and how I had struggled and still struggle with it. I realized, as I received positive feedback from friends and family about my honesty, that I have shared more in writing than speaking. There are so many reasons why. Firstly, writing is easier. You can refine your delivery and polish up your words. With speaking, in face-to-face human interaction, there is no refining and no polishing. It can be a higher form of vulnerability (and one that can make me quite anxious). Secondly, I feel like a victim when I open up with struggles; a feeling that I’m quite comfortable with and yet have grown to hate. Comfortable, because it lessens my responsibility and that is the reason why I hate it.
We live in a culture of victimization. We can point to anything, family, circumstance, government, God, and say “it’s your fault!” It’s an old favorite pastime of mine. You point a finger at me and I point a finger at you. Yet there is some truth in pointing the finger. We are constantly wronged against, and are affected negatively by people and circumstances. You can argue that I am a victim of my old anxiety and of hurts that people gave to me. Yet we can take it to such an extreme and forget that there is some element of choice in our struggles. I can choose to wallow in my anxiety, focus on it, allow it to grow or I can acknowledge the anxiety and attempt to move on forwards anyways. In forgetting that my own actions matter, I get stuck, and I hate being stuck.
We can go to two extremes. One is being overly judgmental and critical of ourselves. That judgement that judges solely our actions, forgetting that our emotions and the hurts that we feel are stronger than we like to think. That weight of judgement only presses down and overwhelms, leaving you stuck. The other is shifting blame from myself to others or other people to others. That shifting does not allow for healing but it only allows us to be stagnant, stuck and trapped in our issues. The middle ground is where we need to be. It isn’t healthy to solely be the harsh critic or the bitter victim. The middle ground is recognizing both we are both, a broken victim who has a choice to move on or not.
We are all fallible and broken victims but our choices matter and we are responsible for those choices. We all have resources, a toolbox if you will, that we can draw on so we don’t have to stay in the same place. We can move on. What am I going to do about it? I look in my toolbox and see my resources; Jesus, family, friends, long walks in the fields, intense down-on-my-knees prayers, that deep heart-felt cry “I am broken but Christ is whole”, the act of writing something and releasing it, and I have a choice. I can do some of these things, utilize my toolbox, or I can allow myself to be swallowed up by my own weaknesses.
I don’t want to wallow in my weaknesses anymore. I am (not) a victim. I’m a broken human being; but that does not mean that I can’t be whole.