“A lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family. Most psychologists believe that about 85 percent of families are dysfunctional, so all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me. My mother divorced him when I was six…I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or not. The real question is, what are you going to do now? What do you choose now? Because you can either keep focusing on that, or you can focus on what you want. And when people start focusing on what they want, what they don’t want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.”
In a world consumed by consuming and a culture that uses the amassing of goods and services as the gauge of self worth we have become trapped in the poverty of expectation. We are forever wanting. Wanting to fit in, wanting to be thought of in a positive light by others, wanting to feel we are somehow superior and by extension safe or spared from life’s little inconveniences. This is a dangerous mindset for anyone let alone those in recovery.
As Canfield asserts, if we continue to place the blame on others, not take responsibility for our own prosperity and gauge success solely by our ability to amass things we are doomed to remain trapped in the role of the victim. Success and prosperity are not about outward signs of success but the inward sense of purpose and the choice to be happy. If we have the courage and strength to move ahead and focus on what really matters everything else falls away, and a true sense of accomplishment and joy can emerge regardless of the circumstances.
This is the root of the recovery process, the right to choose to be happy; to realize you are not a victim of circumstances, and to define your own set of expectations. The things that have happened to you in the past or the things that others say you should do not define you. You are responsible for your own life; you define what is important to you. All you need do is believe that and work hard to focus your efforts to get what you most want out of your life.