Transforming Bad News
Michael Neill’s recent newsletter got my attention. Not just because I’m a fan of both Michael and Katie, but also because I, too, regularly encourage people to find a perspective that feels better.
Often clients hear that request (to find a better feeling perspective) as instruction to “deny reality.” But the truth is that there’s no such thing as black and white “reality.” All there is is our perspective of the world, which is what creates our “truth.”
If we find a different angle from which to view the world, we can find a better way to feel about it. And that changes everything.
Here’s the story Michael shared while making the case for purposely shifting from victim role to creator role (which is how we transform “bad news”):
The other day a client I’ll call Dale said to me “Can you believe what’s going on with the economic stimulus package?”
When I said I could, he said “I mean, it’s like both sides are putting scoring political points ahead of taking care of the country.”
After nodding my head in agreement to this and a few more statements like it, I finally asked him what it was about the possible accuracy of his observation that was causing him to act like a victim of it.
“What do you mean?” he asked. “Are you implying that I’m NOT a victim of this? After all, I didn’t create this – I don’t even have a mortgage. But my business is still suffering for it. If anyone’s a victim of this economy it’s me!”
I then told him a story about the foibles of living in a victim culture.
A few years back, Byron Katie was a guest on a show I was hosting. As she likes to do, rather than be interviewed she chose to work with callers. The first woman who called in unfolded her story hesitantly, and it was a horrific one. She had been kept in a cage as a child, and was subject to many of the things you would expect someone who was kept in a cage to have been subject to.
After about ten minutes with Katie, this woman had found a peace with her childhood experience that had eluded her for nearly thirty years. While as a child she had been an innocent victim, as an adult she was able to let go of that victim status and reclaim her rightful place as the creator of her experience and the owner of her life. And then, much to my surprise, the phone calls started coming. Rather than congratulate Katie on the awesome shift she had been able to facilitate in this woman, person after person (some of them proudly declaring themselves as therapists and counselors) denounced Katie for “making it OK” for this woman to be free of the past she had carried with her for most of her life.
What this story points to is both our cultural tendency to see ourselves as victims (and in so doing create a world filled with villains and heroes), and the potential any one of us has IN ANY MOMENT to make different choices and create a completely different experience of being alive.
The minute you make the shift from victim to creator, what’s happening in the world stops being bad news (or even good news) and becomes instead simply information – information you can use to make informed decisions about what you want to create moving forward.
I think three things are important here:
- to become aware when we’re in victim mode,
- to ask ourselves what payoff, if any, we get from that role (so we can release it) and
- to develop skills of neutralizing “bad news” in order to align vibrationally to what we say we want.
This post is long enough, so I’ll leave it at that for now. Thanks to Michael for sharing such valuable insight, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂