Release Your Victim Story

by Jodi Cohen

Release Your Victim Story, jodi cohen arms up in mountains

Your ability to envision yourself as healthy is critical to your ability to achieve health.

This is a key reason why goal setting, vision boarding and other manifestation techniques work.  You need a clear vision of where you want to go in order to get there. Or to quote George Harrison, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

Critical to this vision of health is your ability to feel empowered and supported to achieve it.

All healing – be it physical, mental or emotional – begins with an empowered mindset.

That means taking accountability and responsibility for your own health and releasing your “victim stories”, stories in which you feel powerless or taken advantage of by others.    Victim stories can include feeling betrayed by your own bodies and powerless to change your circumstances.

Rewriting Your Victim Story

Years ago, I attended a self-help event where we were challenged to rewrite our victim stories.   At the time, I was navigating an abusive professional relationship that left me feeling incredibly disempowered. The event leaders challenged us to first share our experiences from the perspective of the victim, where we had no power, no choices and no hope of a positive outcome.

Next, we were asked to retell the story from a position of empowerment.  Interestingly, the words victim and victor have the same Latin root – the prefix “vict” which means “to conquer”.  The victor could be considered the conqueror and the victim the conquered, which pretty much sums up the tools I felt were available to me at the time for dealing with conflict.  I would either become the victim and completely shut down and allow others to take advantage of me, rationalizing to myself as I woman I was supposed to be nice and accommodating.  Or I would go to the other extreme, feeling so taken advantage of that I would over-compensate, fighting for my rights in warrior mode, which as a woman was often poorly received.

Unlike Goldilocks in the Three Little Bears fairytale who was able to find her “just right” level of comfort, I was always either too hot or too cold.  The “just right” approach of standing in my power, without acquiescing to either victim or victor/warrior roles continued to elude me.

So life threw me more opportunities to practice, like the sudden loss of  my 12-year old son Max in a tragic car accident.  People who barely knew me would look at me with those sad pitiful eyes and insist that “I would never the same again.”  It was there way of projecting their victim story onto me.

In their minds, a mother who loses a child is supposed to adopt the victim mentality. They are supposed to feel helplessness, powerless, and engage in blaming.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s model of grief backs this up, citing  disempowering activities like bargaining, anger and depression as 3 of the 5 stages of grief.  I intuitively avoided these 3 stages as I believe it is this victim mentality that keeps you stuck in a disempowered state where you very possibly would never be the same again.  How could you possibly thrive when you are stuck in the role of victim?

I also believe this is the reason people stay chronically ill.  When people tell me they have tried everything and nothing works, I know that oils will not help them because they are not open to helping themselves.  They are too attached to being a victim and unable to claim any responsibility for their situation or their ability to change that situation.

The victim mentality limits the possibility for any physical, mental or emotional healing.

It becomes almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Victims feel disempowered and unable to make progress. They blame this others or external circumstances for their disempowered state, never realizing that power for change lies within them, not externally.  Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we all have the power to control our own destinies, no matter what seemingly insurmountable obstacles get thrown in our paths.

As I said above, all healing – be it physical, mental or emotional – begins with an empowered mindset.

You can do anything you set your mind to do and essential oils can be used to help ground you in an empowered mindset and shift you into healing.

How to Release Your Victim Story

 

1. You Always Have Choices

A good friend likes to remind me that the opposite of feeling disempowered is feeling that you have choices. That is a critical step in rewriting your victim story – feeling like you have choices.  For example, in cases of physical attack, you could have chosen to fight back or scream. In my situation, I realized I could have ceased verbal communication which continued to be misinterpreted and insisted on keeping things in writing and therefore on the record.  My abuser preferred to bully me in person then twist my words after the fact. If I could keep everything professional, non-emotional and on the record, I had a better chance of staying in my integrity, which felt empowering.

Brainstorming choices also opens you up to potential solutions.  My friend J.J. Virgin likes to say, “When you ask the right questions, the answers suddenly appear.” And that has been completely consistent with my experience.  When you start listing options, even if those options include curling up in a ball on the floor or eating ice cream, you start to open up to new possibilities. My favorite memory to describe this is one rainy summer, my friend Amy and I sat at the kitchen table brainstorming different ways to spell our names.  Within 15 minutes, we had each compiled lists of over 100 options, include jo3di (the three is of course silent)

Applying a Grounding Essential oil blend, like Attention™ or Parasympathetic™, can help clear away distractions so that choices and opportunities more readily present themselves.  Read More about Essential Oils for Grounding HERE.

2. You Can Release Shame and Blame

Blaming others or yourself keeps you stuck in the role of victim.  Instead of focusing your energy on moving forward or healing, blame diverts power over the situation to other people or circumstances beyond your control and leaves you feeling disempowered.  When you shift your energy out of blame, you are able to take responsibility for your situation and shift your energy toward changing or improving your situation.

At its root, blame is a form of avoidance.  By transferring responsibility to someone else or carrying the blame of others, you stay stuck in the victim space, surrounded by negative emotions like anger, fear, resentment, shame, guilt that have been shown to contribute to physical and mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

The longer you stay stuck in these emotions, the longer these emotions stay stuck in your body, creating stagnation which can impede detoxification and contribute to inflammation.

Most situations are the result of multiple contributing factors, and can be caused by a mix of your own actions and those of other people.  The more you can take responsibility for your own actions – both for causing your own pain, and for managing the pain caused by others and circumstances – the faster you can heal.

Blame also ignites your fight or flight stress response, which interferes with your hormones and immune function.  Actually fighting, or resolving the situation, dissipates this stress response. But harboring ongoing emotions like blame, guilt, shame or self-loathing can cause your body to punish itself.  The ongoing mental stress literally keeps you stuck in the stress state, increasing blood pressure and inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.

Blaming others distracts you from resolving the stress.  It literally allows you to redirect, repress or utterly avoid experiencing uncomfortable, painful emotions, which in turn keeps you stuck and prevents you from growing and healing.  Repressed emotions often leak out in unhealthy ways, vibrating through the cells of your body, impacting your health.

Essential oils can be powerful tools to help calm blame, shame and guilt. Our sense of smell links directly to the emotional control center of your brain known as amygdala, where emotional memories are stored. Essential oils inhaled through the nasal passageways enable immediate access to the regions of the brain that house these intense emotions like anger, shame and guilt so we can integrate and release them.

Essential oil blends like Liver Support™ allows you to release anger, blame and shame.  Heart™ helps you shed guilt and forgive yourself and others.   Small Intestine Support™ can help ease feelings of shame by supporting clear boundaries.  Bladder Support™ is another excellent blend for releasing shame, especially any shame related to sexual assault.

Read More about Essential Oils for Blame HERE.

3. Stay Heart Centered

The answer to Goldilocks dilemma of how to strike the right balance between under-reacting in the role of victim or over-reacting like a warrior came to me during a yoga practice.  More specifically, a heart opening section of a yoga practice. The key to reacting in the “just right” mode was responding from my heart. This is known as a heart centered response, where you shift your awareness and response from your logical brain to your emotional and compassionate heart.  When you are able to respond from the heart, the response will always be empowered and kind.

Your does more than just pump blood throughout your system, your heart integrates and balances your physical, emotional, and mental health. When you look through the lens of your heart, you can see things more clearly.  Petty emotions like anger or fear don’t drive your actions. Instead you are able to clearly communicate your own needs without diminishing others. Communicating from your heart allows you direct access to your kindest and clearest version of yourself.

As a gal who spends most of her time in her head, I totally understand how challenging it can be to drop into a heart centered space.  Activating my vagus nerve with Parasympathetic™ oil and deep breathing practices, along with applying Heart™ directly over my heart (left side of chest) helps me access this heart centered space and speak my truth without any fear, anger or judgement.  Read more about the Heart™ blend HERE.

As many of you know, I have been through a really challenging year with the tragic death of my son, the loss of my father and the onslaught of intense legal challenges.  In the coming months, I will begin sharing more about the tools I have drawn upon to help me survive what at times felt like insurmountable obstacles. The strategies outlined above have become daily rituals that I could not function without.  No matter what personal, professional or health challenge you are currently facing, you need to know that you have the power to shift it. To not only survive what is going on, but rewrite your story and overcome it.

We are all in this together.  Please join us in our private Facebook community where I invite you to share your challenges, your success and your questions.  We are here for you and we are committed to helping you succeed and overcome!

Resources:

Ready to get started? Click the links below to order today:

 

About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

Leave a Reply