Bobby Allyn

On Being A Martyr

I’m not exactly sure when it happened. I’m completely unclear of when I believed, to the point of knowing, that my life was sacrificial. It was a teaching that took shape very young, becoming a thought, then a belief and now it’s so deep inside me that although I have insight that it is not organic to who I am, I’m stymied at how to identify when it happens. I do know that being a martyr is not native to my make up, however it feels wrapped up with each interaction I have.

I was not born for pain. I was not born to absorb the slings and arrows of others or for others. I was born strong and groomed early to hide to my strength, for once revealed, (which inevitably my strength always would be) it would be syphoned from me like milk to a famished infant or the engine of an F15 swilling fuel to propel itself. My life became food or fuel for others to grow and thrive. I did not have to be happy about it. Happiness was inconsequential. I had to be compliant. I had to be dutiful.

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To be compliant when the life is being wrung out of you means you must have someone teach you to justify the death of your dreams and inspirations. You must believe that you will feel fulfilled in the fulfillment of others. Your life revolves around others and their dreams, hurts and experiences. You become a source for their life force, and then you become so saturated with that existence you use your will to keep on being a wellspring for others. Eventually there is a certain point where you come across a healthy person who is repelled by your chronic caretaking because they don’t need your life force. They want to share and enjoy you, not take life from you.

And then what? You change. You grow. You read self-help books, take classes, meditate and dream of being your own person, of finding people who uplift you, etc. etc. and once again, you find yourself being a martyr because you have to change for someone else, again, someone who wants you to be healthy. It’s like a thread that comes loose in the wash and binds up other clothes with it. You have to writhe, twist and turn and find the thread so that you can eradicate it and set your clothes free, or at least get them out of the washer.

Just feeling a bit helpless today (super martyr-y). Finding my martyrdom is so enmeshed with my being there is always something that can knock me off balance, take my time, my care and my intentions for a “greater good” that more than likely no one ever really asked for. Right now what I ask for is clarity to see my victimhood because once I see it, I do recognize it and I innately understand the martyrdom, the victimhood, the blaming does not belong to me. The constant state of vigilance for others and forfeiting my aspirations for others is an impediment to my being who I really am, which is universal love, joy and wisdom.

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