No, 2020 was probably not what you wanted it to be . Maybe you’re feeling alone, sad, angry, or depressed. That’s OK!

I’m learning that all of my emotions can teach me something; they can show me how to heal old wounds, how to let go of the past and be more present, and how to truly accept myself and others as we are in the moment.

I’ve learned to sit with my emotion and ask what it can teach me and what it needs to heal. My inner child may be reaching out from the past looking for what it didn’t get back then when it first appeared in me. When I didn’t yet have the capacity or wisdom to recognize it for what it was. 

As an adult I can give that inner child the love, understanding and compassion that it needed at that time.  I’ve also learned to never blame anyone for not giving me what I needed. Because that just makes me a victim and I am done with that. If I want to be empowered I need to step into my power and blaming another gives my power away. I used to live in that energy because that’s all I knew. But now I know better.

I’ve learned that there are three roles that the victim can play, and I’ve stood in each of them over and over. First is to blame others by saying that someone else “should” have done things differently. But the past is over and it cannot change. And I know and understand that if they knew how to do things differently they would have. Everyone is reacting from their own toolbox. And if that tool box is empty the ego is in charge. The ego lives from fear and is constantly trying to protect the illusion that I am not enough or everyone is better or people are out to get me. In ego I feel attacked every time someone laughs out loud or whispers to another, as if everything has to do with me. The ego is never satisfied and is always seeking more and more. It is insatiable. And to live there is to never feel content, never feel truly at ease or at peace. To feel like I am never enough and that others are always better than I am is a lonely existence that no one should have to experience. 

But as an adult I now step into the parent role for myself. I say to myself the things I may have craved to hear from those who couldn’t say it or never heard it themselves. And then place that wounded child in a safe space in my heart where I can return again and again to peel away as many layers of wounds as needed and bring in more healing until she feels safe and unconditionally loved. 

The second way the victim may appear is by pointing out others shortcomings. It is called the persecutor. See, to diminish another is to pump up the ego and make it feel superior. The ego can never celebrate another’s success genuinely for it is constantly comparing and competing with others. Comparing is the thief of joy and when the ego is in charge joy is but a dream. To feel true joy I know that I must lift others up and to do that is to see myself in others. One way is to put myself in another’s shoes. To imagine how that person feels and sees the situation. I can also simply ask for clarification in situations.

And the third role of the victim is to become a rescuer. I often referred to myself as a defender of those who could not defend themselves. It made me feel useful, like I was making a difference. But many times when in this role we have expectations and obligations of those we help. This is the disfunction of the rescuer. And like anyone who has been through the “program”; AA, Na, etc., we know that people don’t change until they are ready to change. We cannot do the work for another no matter how hard we try. So now I allow others to “have their own experience” and figure things out for themselves. It’s been a difficult road and I am still learning to NOT try to save the world. I can only save myself.

Thank you Sarah for teaching me all of this. Thank you students for listening and giving me a space to speak my truth. And thank you mom and dad and family for being my teachers.

Categories: 30 till 60

Lynne Baum

Lynne Baum, ERYT, has been a full-time Yoga teacher since 2001. She believes meditation is the highest form of practice. and is writing her first book about the practice of Yin yoga.