From Victim to Victor: Becoming the Initiate of Your Life
“For those people pursuing a goal, life should be treated as a lab.”
Will Gompertz, Think Like an Artist
In the mid-to-late 19th century, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and many of the Impressionist painters of the day faced harsh opposition from the traditional art community in France. This did not stop them, however, from holding onto a vision and a set of beliefs that were independent of what was conventionally acceptable for the day. They did not wait for an endorsement, a degree, or a professional qualification to decide that color was as important of a subject matter as the subject itself. In doing so, they brought vibrant hues and ecstatic forms to canvases, creating one of the most important art movements of the 19thcentury. Their initiation was their life, their canvas their symphony—odes to the love they discovered in being, doing, experimenting, expressing, and evolving as artists.
As the new year begins, I think it is an important lesson for all of us. When we finally realize that life is an initiation, we see there are no victims—just students. There are no schools of ancient wisdom to attend and there’s no rush to go or be anywhere. Instead, life is our playground—an alchemical laboratory where we’re given free rein to tinker, toy, experiment, learn, and create.
If we’re not intentionally creating our life, however, we are victims to it, and as victims we react in very predictable ways. Being a victim means that someone or something in our external environment is controlling us, thus we believe we are powerless in changing how we act and react to those circumstances. Why does this occur? Because our brains have become neurological records of the past and our bodies emotionally and chemically conditioned to the past. Then we wind up wondering why our lives stay the same, when the truth of the matter is it’s because there’s an exact match between the biology of our inner world of thoughts and feelings and our outer world of reality.
When you start to view your life as a test or an initiation—when you stop thinking the same way, unconsciously demonstrating the same behaviors or habits, and emotionally reacting in the same manner to people, things, or circumstances, and instead hold on to a vision independent of the circumstances in your life—something interesting happens. As you do things you might not feel like doing, yet things that are consistent with your vision, your mindset begins to change and you no longer believe you are a victim with no choices. As a result, you meet the challenges of your life from a greater level of mind. Then all the sudden life starts to seem more like a game and less like a do-or-die situation in which we are helpless, hapless victims.
From Victim to Victor
There are no victims on this playground, just volunteers.
So how do you create the internal states of mind and body that enable you to overcome the external conditions in your life? Clearly someone in history has faced problems or challenges similar to yours. This means either they or someone else has written about it. Your job is to study their life to discover what pieces of knowledge, philosophy, truth, information, and understanding these individuals uncovered to overcome themselves and the challenging circumstances in their lives. Then when you apply it to your situation—and thus make different choices, modify your behaviors, create new experiences, react and feel differently—you will see you can produce a different outcome. That’s how you meet your challenges with a greater level of mind. The more you learn through knowledge of what’s possible, and then initiate that information into action, the more you’ll master yourself and change your reality.
What you’re bound to discover is that the very act of moving in a new direction and making different choices will bring new things into your life. As you undertake this journey, keep your eyes open and stay alive to possibility—that unpredictable prompt that sends you in new directions and opens you up to novel ideas, learnings, people, and opportunities. It is in this process we are initiated into greater degrees of awareness, energy, love, gratitude, and wholeness. This is called evolution and it’s what we’re doing here on earth.
Eventually, with the awakened eyes your new level of mind provides you, you’re going to find a thread that connects events in your life, and you’ll see that everything you’ve done has fed into everything you’re doing. As you meet your life from this greater level of mind, you become more skilled at distinguishing between the elements that work for you and the ones you need to leave by the roadside. The side effect, of course, is a greater degree of self-love, and it’s this wholeness that brings us closer to our divine nature.
As we start the new year, face new challenges, and experience new dimensions of love and joy, remember that life is the initiation. We are here in this dimension because this is a staging ground to demonstrate what we believe to be true, and to prove to ourselves that we can evolve to greater degrees of wholeness. All of us have negotiated the very conditions in our personal lives, as well as our bodies and genetics, to create our best chances of spiritual evolution. We are here as souls on a plane of demonstration to demonstrate greatness—to demonstrate god-like qualities and to evolve. Once we embrace this concept as the truth, then it becomes less about getting things in our lives and more about who we’ve become.
There are no victims on this playground, just volunteers. So why not make 2017 your year to meet life with a new attitude and evolve from philosopher, to initiate, to master?