It’s a sprawling estate replete with all kinds of rooms where the simple person can share a lament and look with hopeless eyes toward a distant land where freedom dwells and the world is less cruel.
As a recovering victim of sorts, I think I can speak up and share with you what I’m about to say, but let me preface it with this warning:
We are all responsible for our own choices and actions.
It is not the victim’s fault someone else decided to rob, beat, or take advantage of him. The acts of evil one person chooses to perpetrate should not be blamed on anyone else.
And it is this responsibility I wish to thrust upon the disheartened who are spending way too much time in the resort of self-destruction while life passes them by.
So with that, I will steer you back to the aimless vacation destination some people choose to live in indefinitely.
The Victim Villa.
This amazing piece of real estate maintains the status quo with its fences and monotonous color scheme. Things don’t change there. Bad stuff keeps happening and nothing can be done about it.
The lighting’s bad in this little corner of self-pity. Maybe it’s the walls blocking out the sun or all the clouds or perhaps it’s that the victim never looks up—only down. And that’s not all, it smells bad. A sick odor of defeat and loss stifle the breezes as they try to sneak something good into the pit.
It’s depressing, and yet the victim curls up on the sofa with a blanket and quiet resignation, as if nothing can be done. I want to scream and throw open the doors, toss out the garbage, and run away from that house built on lies and guilt and shame, and I can, but victim can’t.
Victim stays behind convinced that she lacks the strength to make the journey out. Believing in the lies more than the power of the truth. With the comforting sighs of hearts around him feeling his pain and focusing on his despair instead of his potential. All the while, victim hunkers down. This is his world. This is where she feels at home.
I look at victim, and I almost join with the others who feel sorry for her and listen to her woes, but then I remember.
I remember my room in the villa, and how I filled it with self-righteous defeat. It was home to me—a familiar, false thing of routine deaths where tossing my clothes on the floor or not putting my tools away was just the way I was and nothing I could change. Where speaking up for myself or even being myself were things far too selfish and cruel for me to ever attempt. I was the one hugging a blanket and seeing nothing but the box. It was me they consoled and patted with hollow words and empty hope.
How did I ever make it out of there?
Who helped me see the ugly house I’d made my home?
It wasn’t the supportive bunch who said definitively that I had to stay and be good and obey.
And it wasn’t the angry mob who held up a fist and said fighting would break me free.
No, they all meant well, but they didn’t see the truth.
Real healing, thorough recovery, and sturdy steps leading only out and never back come not from a formula or phrase. Not from a well-said prayer or carefully placed candle. No. This kind of taking up a new residence involves honesty and time. You must leave behind the safe walls of the villa and build a new home, brick by brick, stone by stone. It takes work, mistakes, and hope. It requires truth and love.
I have a new house now, and I look back with hungry eyes at victim in her villa. I long for her to be who she’s meant to be, to live, and to be free, but she ignores the door and whimpers in her pain. It’s time to move out, dear one. The lover of your soul awaits. He will free you with the truth and put your feet on higher ground. Throw off your blanket, push through the noise, and listen. He calls to you. He accepts your challenge, and he will help you.
The Victim Villa is not your home.