The Wisdom of Victimhood

Photo: Mattia Faloretti

You’ll find it difficult to make it through a contemporary book on spirituality without rubbing up against the notion of “absolute perfection.”

The idea's purest form is this:

Everything is perfect, always, exactly as it is.

And this idea has the capacity to make life way, way better.

If you really hold the idea of perfection, and gaze at life through its lens…

Your daily experience transforms from disappointment, frustration, and boredom into a blooming technicolor gift of dynamically divine harmony.

Recognizing perfection produces an utter serenity with any and all things that arise.

It creates a presence rooted in the unshakable contentment of grateful acceptance. It gives birth to true peace.

In other words: the idea of perfection gets at least one solid thumbs up.

In fact, it might even get two thumbs up—

If it weren’t painfully clear that life is not actually perfect.

A second idea has replicated itself through many spiritual circles, as well as every self-help book ever written:

You are the creator of your reality.

People often encapsulate this idea with the term sovereignty.

And this idea serves an incredibly useful purpose as well.

The notion of sovereignty liberates us from the paralyzing constraints of victim consciousness—the worldview of perceiving life as happening to us.

If you believe you’re at the mercy of forces outside yourself, you will be.

And conversely: embracing a belief in your sovereignty makes you genuinely more sovereign.

Recognizing freedom and power increases both.

Realizing your sovereignty might involve a transcendently spiritual experience…

...(such as realizing that you are divine consciousness itself, deliberately choosing a human experience)...

...Or it might take the form of an exceedingly grounded and practical insight…

...(such as realizing that when someone asks if you want to hang out this weekend, you don’t have to say yes)...

But regardless of the specific form it takes:

The notion of sovereignty can change nearly everyone’s life for the better.

The only problem with it is that, as with the notion of “perfection”...

It’s very clearly not true.

After Philando Castile was murdered on the side of the road when reaching for his license, his partner Diamond and her four-year-old daughter were held in the back of a cop car.

You can watch footage from the car of Diamond’s daughter pleading “Mom, please stop cussing and screaming, cause I don’t want you to get shooted.”

If you were there, in that moment:

Would you tell Diamond, or her daughter, that they had “sovereignly created their reality?”

Would you tell them that “life is perfect” exactly how it is?

The horrors of oppression, murder, sex slavery, starvation, and tyranny—all of which are still very much alive in the world today—bring these basic realities into sharp relief:

-Life is clearly not perfect

-People are clearly victims to the malicious actions of others