The definition of the word victim: A person who is harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action, or someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event.
Victim mentality: I am not going to look up the definition of this, but I think we all know what it is. And perhaps we don't realize that we all suffer from it, to some degree. In my mind, it's this: to suffer because we perceive we have been wronged. Usually we've done absolutely nothing, then someone else says something rude, hurts our feelings, makes an innocent comment, and oh dear...it starts the thoughts going, and poor me.
It's very clear, on paper, or in theory, to see the foolishness of this. But when you're actually in the midst of it, it's very hard to determine what's really going on, and to get free from it.
I have a husband of few words, unless he's talking about history, war, sprints, making bone broth, or deer hunting...or podcasts on any of these things. Sometimes he's talkative, and we cover what's going on with all the kids, and it's good. But other times, I say something to him, and he has something on his mind, and he just says one of two things, "uh-huh", or his classic, "I don't know." He says this in a very final way, as in, End Of Conversation.
So he and I, we've been through all this before, and I already know he isn't being like this to be mean, he DOES love me, yet...when it happens, ouch. It hurts my feelings, makes me feel insignifigant. Then before I know it, I'm thinking of all the things he's said in the last few weeks to back up my case, he really doesn't respect me. He doesn't care. Then he asks me a question, and I think, in the spirit of giving him a taste of his own medicine, to answer him, "I don't know". He just looks puzzled, because we all know that I have a million things to say about everything, he has no idea in the world that I was hurt when he answered me this way earlier. No idea.
So my case is building against my husband in my mind. I'm hurt. I am the victim. Then, oh no, one of my daughters is rude to me. Now EVERYBODY hates me! Poor me!
So what do I do? Go jump off a cliff? Keep in mind that it's these bitter thoughts, these bitter roots, that we are warned against...(I'll start at verse 12, because this is such good stuff! Hebrews 12 12: "Therefore strengthen the hands that hang down,and the feeble knees, 13: and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed. 14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness sprining up causes trouble, and by this many become defiled.")
This morning, I took a nice long walk, thank you Duke for waking me up at ten minutes to six. On this walk, I thought about things. It seems so real, so important, how we are perceived, how we are treated. We know to turn the other cheek and to forgive, but when we are in the middle of feeling so wronged, it's not easy. But for myself, I know. I KNOW when I'm treading down the wrong path in my thoughts. I happen to have a very sweet and kind husband, and I know I am very blessed in that. But that doesn't mean we magically get along perfectly. There are trials. And when these things happen, what do I do? I truly believe that if I gave in to these thoughts, continued to give him tastes of his own medicine, hardened my heart...things would go very very badly.
So I know what to do. I need...to humble myself. I need to pray, I need to thank God that I have had the grace to see how I am, and to really learn what it means to be good. Because it's SO easy to be good when the sun is shining and the tails are wagging.
Of course I am just giving an example of what I have been struggling with, and not trying to put Paul in a bad light. He's a good guy, very kind and responsible, a caring man.
And all of this makes me very very thankful. And it gets me thinking...perhaps I have been an idiot, maybe all of my own actions and comments aren't perfect and kind and gentle. Maybe, just maybe, I have been a tiny bit offensive, ha, as unbeliveable as that may seem.
And you know, standard marriage advice: talk to each other! So later, I'll try to bring this up...and he'll probably have no idea what I'm talking about:) But if I get things sorted in my own mind first, and don't go into the converstation accusing him of being a huge jerk, it will probably go a teeny bit better.
So these are the battles that must be fought! I walked down the road this morning, and saw a deer, and a John Deer tractor, and a few cows, and lots of wild flowers in the woods, and tulips in the neighbors' yards. The air was cool and fresh, and there was green everywhere. I was walking. I am alive. It is a day of grace. And I am thankful I know better than to let myself drift into bitterness, by God's goodness.
Today is a good day. It's going to be warm and sunny, and I have to take a quick trip to the library. Sam is home, and he is up for some fun days with the homeschool kids. I already know that these days with him will quickly fade into good memories, as he has to get a job soon, and will be going to college, and will get too busy.
So today, I will be thankful.