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The Rescuer and The Victim: A Gateway to Healing

For all of us, part of our healing process will include experiencing the role of a victim. The extent to which this shows up in each person's life depends on their specific trauma and life path, and the ultimate goal is to rise up out of the victim energy and reclaim personal power. The victim experience can occur both on a personal level, but also on a collective level, such as with people of a certain sex, race or religion. As a result of working through victim energy, we become stronger because we had the opportunity to overcome something that was deeply challenging. I want to tell you that we eventually stop encountering the victim energy, but I don't think that's true. I believe it is part of the human condition and lessons or opportunities for us to learn something further from this dynamic will continue to pop up throughout our lives. However, I do not believe it needs to be quite as dense as it has become in our reality - this is where deep suffering lies.

Please note there is no judgment around anything that I discuss below, and know that all of what I discuss in all of my blogs comes from my own personal life experience. I share my perspectives to provide a new dimension or perspective to those who may seek it.

When the experience of victim is a current core lesson for a person, it presents in a few different ways. By core lesson, I mean something that the person is being asked to work through it right now or as a major part of their life lessons. The first way it presents is relatively obvious - the person who is a victim of every situation that unfolds around them. They are a victim of their loud neighbors, their abusive partner, their job, or even society as a whole. People who are trapped in this space typically have a bit more soul retrieval work that needs to be done and may require the building of a solid astral foundation before they can rise up out of that space. They are focused on what everything or everyone around them has done to them, which makes it challenging to take responsibility for their role because that would compromise their entire view of how the world works. This is a challenging energy to move out of and typically doesn't happen until we are truly ready. Although, this is really the case with everything in the spiritual development world.

The second type of person who is working through the energy of the victim is the one who rescues others. This shows up in many different ways, but I will highlight a few below because this is far more common and yet less understood.

Please keep one thing in mind as you read below. There is nothing wrong with any of these roles, they all have their place, and it can be beneficial to look at and consider these things as we explore healing on a big-picture level.

  • The person who rescues animals. This is often the person who has lost faith in humans as a whole and feels more connected to animals than to other people as a result. Animals bring us much closer to the natural world, so this is not a surprising dynamic. Rescuing animals validates their beliefs that humans are awful through witnessing constant abuse and abandonment and identifying with the animals who were the "victim" in these circumstances. As someone who did animal fostering and rescue for over a decade, I understand this one very deeply on a personal level. This category can also apply to a person who rescues children in some capacity for the same reasons listed above. My favorite personal mantra from when I intended to go to law school for animal advocacy was "I want to help those who cannot help themselves". For me, this statement says it all.

  • The social justice advocate. This is the person who loudly stands up for other people, protecting rights and speaking up when they feel they must do so. This can apply to certain minorities, women, children, people of certain sexual orientations, etc. It also tips over into accessibility and inclusivity, making sure everyone "has the right" to the same things. This person is often playing out the rescuer on behalf of a group of people instead of on behalf of an animal, however, the root of the energy is the same. There is an intense focus on justice and fairness to the point that it may actually be harmful.

  • The professional helper/rescuer. This includes some, but certainly not all, firefighters, missionaries, therapists, healers, nurses, EMTs, public defenders, coaches, or social workers. You get the picture. Our desire to help others turns into a full-blown career as we play out the need to be rescued. When someone in one of these careers experiences burnout, there is typically some victim/rescuer energy at play. It is an indicator that this dynamic is ready to be healed! If people choose to people go through the healing process that is being asked of them, they may or may not return to their careers. If they do, they usually get much better at what they do, more specialized with better boundaries, and feel more satisfied with what they do - without the burnout!

As you can see, there is a role for all of these people in our world. However, I challenge you to ask the question - if there was no one stuck in victim energy, would the opportunities to be the rescuer still exist? Or do they exist because we need them to exist? I believe this to be an endless cycle, and potentially one that we don't really need but think we do. It is possible that it may simply be one of the opportunities we are presented with as humans to experience learning/growth during our time here on Earth. On a personal level, I think the severity (or the spectrum) of victim/rescuer has gone too far in our world and it doesn't have to be at the point of suffering that we have collectively brought it to.

So here is where I am going to shift the conversation just a little.

When we are working through our own inner victim through rescuing others, it means that we are not yet at a point where we are able to look at the aspect of ourselves that needs to be rescued. Whenever we play something out externally through the act of projecting a dynamic, it is the first step to healing. It is also a step where most people get stuck. This can happen in many ways throughout our lives, but I find that it shows up most frequently in partnerships and in our current careers. It can be challenging to remember this when it's happening because we get so deep in the cycle. However, I find that once the concept is brought to our attention, it's a hard thing to not look at. This goes for many dynamics we need to address within ourselves - it's one of the reasons Parts Work or Shadow Work can be so helpful for people.

A word of caution on this though - this space is truly an easy place to become stuck in. By stuck I mean we stay in the rescuer role (or projecting role) for an extended period of time to the point where our quality of life is not good. These are the individuals who stay in the trenches because this feels safer or more comfortable to do so than to reclaim their power and step out.

However, for others, it is possible that this is just the space they need to be in during this lifetime and there is no "healing" needed or required. This is simply part of their path and nothing needs to be changed.

I am not here to judge people who are in this role, I am here to provide a perspective on rescue/victim dynamics and how it can play out in our lives. And I do firmly believe that we can work our way through these layers, such as being a rescuer in our job for many years, and then rescue energy comes back out in other situations, such as an attempt to rescue a friend who did not ask for it.

Perhaps we are always, on some level, attempting to rescue ourselves.

Another point I would like to discuss is how when a person rescues another person, they are denying that person the opportunity to rescue themselves. They are denying a person the opportunity to choose something better and to work through what they came here to work through because someone else thinks they need help. This is a judgment to say that someone needs help. We are saying they cannot help themselves, or that they *need our help*, which is of course not true.

On the flip side of this, when a person asks for help, we are having a completely different conversation. Sometimes they are unknowingly testing the resolve in our inner rescuer making sure we won't jump at the opportunity, and sometimes we are meant to provide the help that is being requested. That is when rescuing turns into a bridging or facilitation role.

This role of rescuer can also be manipulated to serve the ego or other shadow aspects of a person such as righteousness, control, or unconscious disrespect of certain other energies. I can see this very clearly right now as we talk about the topic of accessibility and psilocybin. We have used this crusade of accessibility to fuel a damaging path forward into clinical psilocybin therapy. A path that will have devastating effects we won't yet see for several decades all in the name of accessibility while quietly feeding profit and control (regulation).

Rescue/victim energy is a sticky and multi-faceted thing.

This obvious cycle of victim and rescuer is but one of many ways that victim energy gets played out and healed in our lifetimes. I find that shortly after we heal one layer of it, another one pops up in its place lol. Right at this moment, I deal with victim energy that I call "sneaky victim". It's where I create situations where I can be a victim of circumstances. Hah! Eck!

So how do we work through the victim energy? If only that were simple enough to break down in a blog. The path out of victim includes identifying the victim and getting to the root of the aspect of you that is asking to be rescued. This will involve doing inner child work, soul retrieval, taking personal responsibility, understanding things like co-dependency and projection, as well as many other layers. For me, I find that simply shining the light onto a topic that people don't often talk about can help start opening that door.

So the question I have for you is where does victim come up in your life? Where has it presented in the past and how has it come up in the present? Once we begin asking the question, it starts to show itself and then healing can happen.

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