Are you a Hero or a Victim?
This post came to me from reflection on the stories I tell and the stories I’ve heard others tell who are close to me. I’ll warn you, this might ruffle some feathers. How do I know that? Because it ruffled mine and I’m the one who’s writing this! But hang on because I think you’ll see like I am the need for what we discuss in this post…
Think of the stories you tell… The ones of a conflict, or a funny story. Maybe you’re a regular communicator and you use personal illustrations in your speaking engagements; think of your 3 most recent. If you recently had a falling out of a relationship, think of how you retell that story.
Now answer this question: Are you the hero or the victim in your story?
Why is it that in the stories we tell, most often, we are either the hero or the victim? We either came through and proved we were right or came through for someone… Or, we were the victim of somebody else’s wrong doing. What if…. What if we were neither? It takes a level of humility to tell a story in which you were maybe the antagonist (aka: you were wrong) or maybe you were the student (you learned something valuable).
Stories where we come out on top or maybe need to “vent” are fine but we lie to ourselves when they take up a majority of our stories. We “pass the buck” far too often (speaking to myself here). My belief is that when we start telling stories where we learned something or are vulnerable enough to admit we were wrong, there will emerge a new level of courage in our world. Others will follow in those footsteps.
I’m talking about authenticity here. Nobody is the hero all the time. And nobody is always the victim either. For my own life, I’m finding that I’m typically neither! I’m typically just a student learning or I’m wrong and need to learn from that too.
A challenge to reflect before you tell.
I’m challenging myself (feel free to join me) to reflect on the stories I tell myself and the stories I tell others. I’m reflecting on if I’m the “victim” or the “hero” too often. I want to be authentic and encourage others to reflect on a deeper level. In each conflict, situation, or circumstance we have so much to learn. I want to be a student of life and listen to what God is teaching me. Personally, I think that takes more courage than always writing the story where I play victim or hero.