A New Earth (2005)
My wife, Susan, bought me this book for Christmas in 2020. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d already read the first edition, years ago. At the moment, I’m looking for something to read and decided to give this one a second viewing. It’s good, but, after 16 years, seems passé.
However, I came across a passage on pages 87-8, and thought that it would be a good one to share:
“A very common role is the one of victim, and the form of attention it seeks is sympathy or pity or others’ interest in my problems, ‘me and my story.’ Seeing oneself as a victim is an element in many egoic patterns, such as complaining, being offended, outraged, and so on. Of course, once I am identified with a story in which I assigned myself the role of victim, I don’t want it to end, and so, as every therapist knows, the ego does not want an end to its ‘problems’ because they are part of its identity. If no one will listen to my sad story, I can tell it to myself in my head, over and over, and feel sorry for myself, and so have an identity as someone who is being treated unfairly by life or other people, fate or God. It gives definition to my self-image, makes me into someone, and that is all that matters to the ego.”
Does this remind you of anyone?
We all do it, don’t we?
But does this really define who you are? Is this really how you see yourself?