There is no escape from victimhood until we realize that we are responsible for our suffering. This doesn’t mean we’re in control of what happens—we’re not—but we are in complete control of our response to what happens. I can be naked and bleeding and not be a victim. A victim is a victim of himself.
Resignation is not acceptance. Resignation is a mental construction, a poor-me narrative. Acceptance is a thrumming vitality, a sense-charged liveliness. In the precise moment that a situation is completely accepted, the situation changes.
Eckhart Tolle credits the Greek philosopher Epictetus with being the first person in recorded history to see that we suffer, not because of what happens but because of our interpretation of what happens.
One man says, “There is a pain in the body.”
Another man says, “Oh, it’s terrible, I tell you, really, really terrible, this pain that I have in my body. It won’t go away. What am I going to do?”
One man has pain. The other man has pain and suffering.
Pain is obligatory; suffering is optional. We do not choose to have pain. We choose to suffer.
Suffering is perverse. Its first murmur is complaint.
Lucifer contorts and curls in the bodies of men who have fashioned an identity for themselves out of suffering, who use look-what-life-did-to-me to get what they want.
Lucifer is a minor entity but he has the vigour of a hooked eel.