Don’t be a Victim – Be Victorious
The only way that you can have self-consciousness, self-acknowledgment, and self-respect is that you must totally, privately and personally verify your defects. Before people find your defects and embarrass you, before people find your defects and harass you, before people find your defects and make you miserable, find your own defects. Then, you can be absolutely strong and capable of handling, facing and confronting them.
If you do not want to be a victim, you must be victorious. There is no alternative to life. Either be a victim or be victorious. If you want to be victorious, you must know your defects before they get to you. If you do not know them, you cannot defend yourself.
– Yogi Bhajan from Success and the Spirit: An Aquarian Path to Abundance
The human psyche is very delicate. Our sensitivity is such that we don’t ever want to look bad – look bad to ourselves or in front of other people. We have an automatic defense mechanism. When things go wrong, we blame someone else and see ourselves as the victim. Being a victim protects us from having to acknowledge our own shadow. It gives us an excuse to hide from the aspects of our own personalities that are dark and difficult; that contribute to the problems and disasters in our lives.
In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, as Yogi Bhajan taught it, a critical part of self-awareness is to directly and personally see our own shadow. To own it and, in that ownership, to ultimately be in a position to handle it. Sometimes, we think that being spiritual means to get rid of our defects and become “perfect.” But our ideal of perfection is inaccurate. The shadow is there. The five poisons of lust, pride, greed, attachment and anger are there. Defects in the personality exist. Being spiritual is to become fully aware of them without self-judgment or self-condemnation. When we become aware of our defects, then we can develop conscious strategies for how to heal them.
Some defects are like scrapes and cuts. If handled properly, they will eventually heal completely and go away. Other defects are chronic – like diabetes or cancer. We will have to continually work to heal them throughout our entire lives. With consciousness and self-kindness, we can learn to manage those defects and keep them from damaging or undermining our efforts. Even if they stay with us until our last breath.
Why is it so important to know our own defects? When we look around – isn’t it easy to see the defects in others? We can always see the problems in other people that they refuse to face in themselves. Yogi Bhajan used to say, “Everybody knows your weaknesses but you.” It’s true. We know the weaknesses of those around us. But when it comes to our own weaknesses, we’re blind.
Failure, set-back, and disappointments often come through the hand of that inner blindness. People may use your weaknesses against you – to control you, manipulate you, exploit you, or triumph over you. Sometimes, no one else in involved at all. Our own shadow simply trips us up and causes us to self-destruct. Being victorious begins by knowing that the source of our failures lives within. Honest, naked self-dialogue about our weaknesses gives us an extra advantage. If we can privately know the worst in ourselves, it gives us a conscious chance to continually deliver our best.
With Divine Light,
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa