Ask: The personal story, victimhood, and roles...

Can you please explain further these comments you made?
What do you mean by "victimhood"?
What do mean that I am attached to a role I play?
What is my personal story?
I have to look at the story I have about myself. What does that mean?
- JJ


The personal thought system (ego) in your mind has a story for you. A Course in Miracles refers to this as your individual or personal past. This story begins with your birth into the world and includes your childhood, adolescence, etc., all the way up to now. This is your “personal story” and it is not an obstacle to peace in itself but functions as one when you identify with and are attached to it because it is not reality.
In Reality you are One with God, so you are formless being. But you have an idea in your mind of a form (body) in a universe of form. It seems like this idea began at the “birth” of the body, but really it is just an idea in your mind right now. In itself this idea is not an obstacle to peace. You can choose to simply observe it as you rest in peace within. When you do so its story will unfold harmoniously as an effect of your peaceful mind. But when you identify with this idea your mind is in conflict because it is not Truth. Your mis-identification with the personal self then manifests as a discordant story for the personal self.
You know that you identify with and are attached to a personal story when you feel that it defines you and that you have to defend it. When you identify with it you feel under attack by others, the world, and sometimes even your own “nature”. In other words, you are an innocent “victim” surrounded by cruelty and you are powerless. You are hurt easily and you take everything personally. You see everything that happens around you, like neutral events and other people’s actions and words, as being about you.
The personal identity is one of roles: victim, savior, parent, professional, artist, intellectual, etc. Some roles, like “parent”, are facts and are not obstacles to peace unless you so define yourself by them that you cannot let them go. Some roles, like “victim”, are interpretations that always function as obstacles to peace because they are the result of you projecting your own thoughts onto others.
The personal thought system projects from its personal story into the present to perpetuate the roles that it has assigned to you. For example, let’s say that your personal story is that your father left your family when you were a child, leaving your mother to struggle to support you and your siblings. You have grown up thinking of yourself as a victim of abandonment. You view your relationships with others through this filter. You expect abandonment and interpret others’ actions through this expectation. You may also be attracted to others who are likely to abandon you so that you can perpetuate the victim role.
You will also take on other identities and roles from these earlier parts of your story. You were poor as a child, so your story may be that you feel destined to be poor. Or maybe you have risen above poverty through hard work and see yourself as a “survivor”. Perhaps you were the eldest child and because you had to take on more responsibility as a child, as an adult you still see yourself as the one who has to take responsibility for others. Your reaction to your childhood story could also be the other way: Because you took on more responsibility as a child you do not want to take on any now.
Inner peace is the result of being aware of the Truth (God) within you. When you first invite Truth into your awareness you experience a magnificent peace, but you soon find that it is hard for you to maintain an awareness of Truth and to stay at peace. The reason is your belief in and attachment to your personal story for yourself. So when your peace is disturbed you must look at this story and all of your conscious and unconscious beliefs in and attachment to it so that you can recognize how this affects you now. As the Truth becomes more real to you, you will find that you can let go of this story because you have Something with which to replace it. In time you will simply rest in Truth within and let the personal story unfold in front of you, without judgment on it or attachment to it. You will recognize that it is not you, but only an idea in your mind.


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Learn about The ACIM Mentor Articles, the Plain Language A Course in Miracles, and 4 Habits for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

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