Staying At Any Price Is Too Big A Price!

(An excerpt from Walking a Fine Line: Being Professional in the New Age, a book I wrote in the early  90′s that’s been living in my closet.)


I knew a woman once who was involved in a very abusive relationship with a man.  She also had read many New Age books and was absolutely convinced that the reason why she was in that relationship was to learn.


She often said that she and her unconscious thoughts had “created” this unfortunate situation.  Her raging partner was just mirroring some self-destructive part of herself.  She went to a New Age professional that totally reconfirmed her beliefs.  Together they wrote affirmations until they were blue in the face.  Unfortunately, the blue only added to the black and blue marks already there.

Of course, there is some truth to this woman’s theory.  Her partner probably was mirroring a very self-destructive part of her, but so was her New Age coach!

Who says that a willingness to learn always implies a willingness to stay?  She and her coach were convinced that if she just loved herself more, the man’s behavior would stop, that she would automatically “create” something better.  They were convinced that she was taking full responsibility for her situation.

I, however, was and am still convinced that she was a double victim, taking more than her share of the responsibility.  If convincing herself to stay in such an unlivable situation was not being a victim, then I don’t know what is.

I know many who have similarly misunderstood and misused New Age or ‘spiritual’ guidelines.  And I know more alternative practitioners than I would like to admit who have perpetuated such twisted understandings of what it means to step out of victim consciousness.  In the name of empowerment and a willingness to learn, people have been encouraged to put up with highly destructive relationships and circumstances, and this is not helpful.

An attitude of appreciation and a willingness to learn and make the best out of every situation — no matter how awful it seems — can be exceedingly helpful and empowering in life.  We are active and powerful participants in our lives.  Our thoughts about ourselves and our world plant the seeds from which our future experiences grow.  Sometimes, if we leave a relationship before we have healed the unhealthy pattern reflected by the relationship, we risk recreating the same problem.

Sometimes a true act of self-love, or a true step out of victim consciousness requires that we get out of wherever we are!  At some point, we get to a place where the only thing left to learn is to say goodbye.

If you are a spiritually-oriented healer or coach, please be open to supporting your clients/students in saying “goodbye.”  In a situation like the one I have just described, remember this:  if there is anything left to learn, your client can learn it somewhere else — somewhere where she is physically safe and has the surplus of energy to deal with the process!


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