This is the eleventh of a series of articles about self-care.
Today we’re talking about heroes, villains, victims … and self-care as the way to peace within us and the world.
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We’re all heroes in our own way.
We do our best to save our kids, families, friends and strangers from pain and suffering. Sometimes, we try to save ourself in a backwards sort of way. We may believe we’re a heroic cowboy when we saddle up at the saloon to try and save ourself from the day’s drama. Or we may believe we’re a heroic saint when we overgive to others in drama.
We all play character roles.
As a means of finding our place in this world, we may identify ourself and others as one or all three characters. We share heroic stories of superheroes swooping down to save victims from dastardly deeds. We share horror stories of dictators and mass murderers causing mayhem. We share pitiful stories of innocent victims, possibly relating to them—or seeing ourself as “not so bad” because the victim are suffering more than we do.
What makes a hero, villain and victim?
Heroes are defined by their actions. What makes heroes heroic, is that they give to others, and not themself. Heroes are willing to sacrifice their life and needs, to save a person or animal from a deadly situation, albeit war, abuse or an oncoming car.
Villains, like heroes, are defined by their actions. What makes villains villainous, is that they take from others and give to themself. Villains believe that they are entitled to what is not theirs.
Victims are defined by their inactions. What makes a victim, is making another person or circumstance responsible for their life experience. Victims often believe that they are entitled to special treatment.
What’s the payout for being a hero, villain or victim?
Each of these characters are paid with attention from others. Whether in the news, a movie, a bedtime story, or in the sad looks and hovering attention of friends and family, heroes, villains and victims captivate our hearts and minds.
Heroes gain attention by lifting up people, places and things.
Villains gain attention by tearing down people, places and things.
Victims gain attention through pitying themself.
Seeking attention is a desperate act of fear and war.
We may be so desperate for attention that we are willing to do something that risks or takes away our own life (suicide) or the lives of others (war). When we do not get the attention we seek, anger may arises, which creates war within us. And this burning anger of war within us will push to be expressed. And when this anger is expressed, war will often arise in our world.
Heroes, villains and victims are a product of our time in history.
Although we need and feed off of heroes, villains and victims at this time, it is these very characters that make peace unattainable—within ourself and the world. To create and live in a peaceful world, country, state, house, family and body, we need to see that being a hero, villain or victim is a limitation and creates war within us and our world. Instead of grasping for superficial attention from others as a substitute for the love and peace we seek, we can focus our own attention on love and peace.
To eliminate war …
We don’t need more heroes, villains and victims. We need balance and peace within, and in our world.
Balance is peace.
We know this by experience. Let’s reflect on a time when we felt happy. We may have felt balanced, easy-going, accepting of others, ourself and life. And our own inner balance and peace radiated out onto others and the world. Everything felt brighter, possible, hopeful. And this peace outside of us, started with us, as we felt inner peace and balance.
Balance doesn’t take sides.
Balance doesn’t stand with heroes or villains or victims. Balance sees the validity in perspectives of the hero, villain and victim. Balance sees and seeks understanding, agreement, movement and balance for all.
To be balanced and promote peace …
Each of us need to make peace with our own inner hero, villain and/or victim. We need to become friends with the deeper needs of our hero, villain and victim, so we may make wise, joyful and peaceful choices to care for our deeper self. That means introspection, self-care, personal growth.
We may begin Introspection with two questions:
Question #1: Are you wholeheartedly willing to look, listen and grow within?
If yes, you will feel interested and curious to learn, and be accountable to take action. If there is any part of you that feels resistant, tired, irritated, annoyed or overwhelmed at the concept of introspection, consider accepting the resistance, getting curious about it, and seeing where that leads.
Question #2: Do you recognize your inner hero, villain and victim?
We can begin to recognize our inner hero and villain by getting to know what we think and feel. Our thoughts and feelings often battle as a living hero, villain and victim all at war within us. For example, the hero in us may be fighting to get healthy and eat an apple, when the villain in us wants to be immersed in pleasure and eat a whole chocolate cake. This is being a hero and villain at war, and the victim is our own inner peace. Or, maybe our hero wants to be celibate and our villain wants the night life our whole life. This is being a hero and villain at war, and the victim is our own inner peace. Or maybe we are sure that we are always getting used, abused, or the raw end of life. This is being a victim at war with life and others, as well as a victim to our own powerlessness, and inner peace.
Creating inner peace.
The more aware we are of our thoughts and feelings, the more aware we can become of what we don’t want (to be a hero, villain or victim, waging war) and learn to become what we want (balanced and peaceful). We cannot expect our world to change and be peaceful, without getting to know and understanding where we are waging war within ourself. As we learn to know, include and care for the deepest needs within us, we create and emanate peace.
What is self-care?
Self-care is love, acceptance, support and nourishment of our deepest needs. Self-care is often misunderstood—it’s not just pampering ourself with pleasures. Self-care is knowing how we feel, what we think, knowing what we need, what’s best for us, and allowing ourself to receive care. Self-care requires a keen mind and an open heart. And self-care requires action on our own behalf, knowing that by caring for and loving ourself, we are also caring for and loving for others, by being an example of care and love. And this makes the world a more caring and loving place to be.
What are the results of self-care?
With adequate self-care, we are satisfied and successful. With abundant self-care, we are fulfilled and at peace.
So how can we morph our hero, villain and victim into a being of love and peace?
Below are three steps—we may select one, none, or all the steps, as we choose, or find our own!
- When we feel the tug to: be the hero and save someone, be the villain and take from them, or be the victim and pity ourself, before we make a choice or act, turn our attention inward and ask, “What is my intention?” When we are playing a character, our intention will be to get attention and make ourself feel better by means of giving or getting something from another.
- Continue focusing our attention inward. Ask, “What is MY deepest need?” Ironically, when we our attention is on ourself, the urge to rescue or punish someone else passes and transformation occurs within us. And strangely enough, the other person may say they felt loved—simply because of the inner shift within us (away from needing attention from them).
- Say, “I give myself the right to fulfill my own needs, every day.” For me this was so important, because it required me to take action on my own behalf. In the beginning, it was easier for me to learn about what made me feel loved, rather than do what made me feel loved. I recommend starting small and then taking bigger steps. For me, that means I pace myself to stay happy and well by: taking breaks in nature, meditating, not pushing myself into such long hours that I get sick, doing something social at least once a week and sharing time with animals.
To learn and deeper self-care and stable inner peace, I recommend using one of our eleven Will You Grow journals to uncover and express thoughts, feelings, needs and accountable measures to provide self-care. You may wish to journal further by answering the questions below.
- Ask, “How do I feel?”
- Ask, “What do I think?”
- Ask, “What do I need right now? Is there a deeper need?”
- Ask, “What makes me feel loved?”
- Give ourself what we need and makes us feel loved.
- Incorporate these question and your answers into the journal as often as possible.
If we recognize that we feel unworthy of self-care and love …
Remember and repeat our three affirmations from the last ten weeks:
- I do matter.
- I am worth knowing.
- I am important.
I encourage you to get to know your inner hero, villain and victim—because by caring for their deepest needs, you can experience greater love. No one can do this for you, and by doing so, you’ll always know that somebody cares, and that somebody is you! Let us know how applying today’s concepts works for you. We enjoy hearing from you 🙂
We’d love it if you join us in Knoxville, Tennessee, any Sunday in April at 1 o’clock, for the Will You Grow, Love and Adventure Brunch Series at Knoxville’s Luxury Venue—Ancient Lore Village! Check out the event video for all the delicious details. Advance tickets are required to enter, so book your tickets now for future fun with us any Sunday in April at Ancient Lore Village!
Always with love,
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