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Grandpa was tough as nails

My grandfather was born in Dancy, Wisconsin during the summer of 1920. When he was 9 years old, something really bad happened over in New York City, and the American economy (stock market) came crashing down.

The Great Depression dragged on from 1929 to 1933.

He lived in a shack, a proper shack: holes in the wooden roof so big that when he’d wake up in the morning, his bed was covered with the night’s snowfall. With no work for his Dad, he was just another mouth to feed. Around age 13, he set off to find work as a field hand.

He “rode the rails” around the United States, working on this farm and that farm doing anything and everything to earn a wage. Around 2002, I drove through Idaho with him. The window was down. He began taking in deep, long breaths through his nose; then his eyes lit up.

“I used to work on a sugar beet farm around here,” he said as he continued taking in those deep, long breaths.

Sure enough, a few miles down the interstate, we drove past a sugar beet farm. Nearly 70 years later, the smell of

 Characteristics of a Victim:

  1. What don’t I have?
  2. Waits for things to happen
  3. Why can’t I attain my goals?
  4. Focuses on the faults and negative
  5. Finds excuses
  6. Blames others and situations
  7. Knows everything
  8. Sees losses ahead
  9. Talks more
  10. Creates obstacles for himself/herself
  11. Repeats mistakes
  12. Holds a grudge
  13. Impatient and burns out quickly

Characteristics of an Overcomer

  1. What do I have to use or choose?
  2. I can make things happen.
  3. How can I attain my goals?
  4. Focuses on the positive
  5. Finds a way
  6. Acknowledges responsibility
  7. Takes correction and guidance
  8. Sees success ahead
  9. Listens more
  10. Creates goals for himself/herself
  11. Learns from mistakes
  12. Forgives
  13. Enduring and patient, a long distance runner in life

I’m working on a new project with marriage and relationship therapists, and they can categorize clients into these 2 categories, thereby, accurately predicting the likelihood of their future.

Clients stuck on the victim merry-go-round (i.e. somebody did a bad thing to me when I was a kid, so now I can’t help myself and do that same bad thing to other kids now, so my behavior is not my fault) tend to stay right there…going in circles. Clients willing to try something new (i.e. I don’t think what you’re suggesting I do will really actually work, but because I trust you, I am willing to change my behavior and try this a different way) often achieve their desired outcome.

We have choices. With God on our side, we can overcome any obstacle. Getting stuck in the “poor pitiful me” thought process of a victim, paralyzes us from making choices to be proactive and change our circumstances. Our challenge is to move through our problems rather than remaining stuck, feeling victimized by them.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-9:1 (NIV)

This relates to the victim mentality. If someone or something is negatively affecting our lives, our challenge is not to stop or change them, but to change our responses so that we are not adversely affected. If we feel stuck or require the situation or person to change for us to be happy, we have given away our personal power.

We need to look at the situations in our lives and identify where we operate these patterns. We need to listen to what we are saying to ourselves: Are we blaming people or the situation? Are we accepting responsibility for our own actions? Are we giving someone or something the power by blaming them? Is life unfair to us? Do we validate our feelings? Do we decide not to be controlled by fear and self-protection?

Today you have a choice, victim or overcomer. Which will you choose? Source: http://drmichele.org/think-like-victim-overcomer/

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