I am a Victim no More, with Licia Berry
There was a time when Licia Berry could say, “I am a victim.” She could still be saying that; however, she has chosen to expose her pain, acknowledge it and then use it to create something beautiful.
In this, article two of a three-part series, Licia is going to tell us her story of painful abuse. She’s also going to illustrate her turning point, when she proclaimed, “I am a victim no more.”
If you missed the first part of this series, please go back to What is a Victim? with Licia Berry. In it, you will find the definition of the word victim, as well as a reflection on 2020 and how turning pain into a prize is not only possible, it’s the best way forward.
If you’re a digital learner, you may wish to view the entire Brand Builders TV episode, I Am Not a Victim, I’m Victorious (Part One), here. Or, just read on to continue through this priceless series on pain, healing and victory.
Let’s learn it, model it and get shit done!
More About Licia Berry
Licia Berry is the president and founder of Daughters of Earth Women’s Leadership Institute, has been an educator and trainer for nearly three decades, and is trained in systems theory, quantum mechanics, neurosciences, creative arts, world cultures, psychology, shamanism and family dynamics.
Licia Berry uses her personal and professional experiences to help others to conquer pain, to feel more connected and to express themselves as only they can.
So without further ado, let’s join Licia as she enlightens us, in her own words, on the subject of victimhood, her story of victory over pain and…wait for it…compost.
Power Over Victimhood, as Told by Licia Berry
How do you feel about the word victim? Do you feel triggered like I do when I see it? When I see that word, I don’t want to look at it or feel it, because I’m not a victim.
When you look at the definition of the word can you see there’s a difference between that and what the word has been created to mean in our culture? It should mean powerlessness in the moment of something happening to us.
How do we turn the word victim into victory or victorious or victor…in which we do have power?
We may not have had power in the moment of a traumatic or difficult circumstance, receiving the onslaught of an unkind stranger or having some tragedy occur. But once we have lived through and are clear of that situation, we have the power to choose how to transform that pain into something useful and productive for all creation. That is the power. Then we are no longer victims.
Use Pain to Make Compost
I’m curious. Are you a gardener? I have had an organic garden since the 90s. I know something that makes organic gardening work, and that’s compost.
Compost is the stuff that makes the most beautiful, strong, resilient and productive plants from the grody leavings of your kitchen and your yard. It’s made up of grass clippings, coffee grounds, bits of ends of veggies and fruits, eggshells, etc.
You would normally throw that stuff away. It’s the yuck. We think it’s valueless. But if we save it and turn it, add some air, water, fire…it becomes black gold that creates the most success in our gardens.
It’s why I called my 2012 book Soul Compost. Nature shows us all the time how to live right.
My Darkness and Pain
I have experienced my share of darkness and pain. I was a victim, at one time, of child and sexual abuse, gun violence, attempted murder, sexual assault…all by the age of 18.
My preparation for adult life lacked a lot. When I went out into the world, I was unprepared for living in an empowered way. Not my fault, right? I was powerless as a child, and there was nothing I could do about what was happening to me in those moments. By definition, I was a victim.
But there came a time in my early 20s that I realized I was miserable, and in a lot of pain. I didn’t want to live my life that way anymore. I was newly married to my beloved Pete, had started a career in education that I absolutely loved…and I had everything to look forward to.
But I was haunted and depressed by my history. No matter how I tried to move forward and run from my past, I couldn’t escape it. It was heavy and dark, and it hurt.
One day, something really important happened. I was conversing with an education colleague. I shared my state of mind with her. I exposed my pain. Exposed my belly and my throat.
Does that make you shiver? The thought of exposing your pain? Exposing pain is a great risk, in any circle of the world. But it is the answer. It’s about dealing with what is real and saying, “This pain is not me.” “This thing that happened to me is not me.” “I carry the effects of it, but the pain is not me.” “I can show you this pain, and it’s okay because exposing the pain opens the door.”
Opening the door, on the day I exposed my pain to my colleague, was very painful. But it moved me from that contained, painful inner world to all the possibilities of a bright and joyful future. It opened the door from a dark, scary, small, tight, compressed space into a place where everything was possible.
My colleague recommended a book called The Courage to Heal. It contained 800 pages, which I read veraciously, as if my life depended upon it.
Then I entered cognitive therapy for two full years
That was the beginning of my healing journey.
And here I am, 30 years later, living the life of my dreams with a six-figure business; a loving marriage (still with the same man); two fabulous, grown, fully-actualized children; and a community of people who want to learn from me.
I am so blessed and feel so fulfilled. I feel deeply grateful.
I Choose to Say, “I am a Victim no More”
I’ve been asked, “Do you have pain come up?” Of course I do. I am a human being. The historical stuff doesn’t come up so much anymore, but there’s pain in life. There’s suffering. But I now have a choice and a voice—and so do you!
I am no longer a victim. I have power and tools to take care of myself. I’m going to be sharing over my entire time on Brand Builders TV how to make compost out of the challenges in your life—so you can move you (and those parts of you) from victim to victorious.
Have You been Saying, "I am a Victim?"
How great is Licia? She really knows how to access those parts of all of us that are in pain, doesn’t she?
I hope you have drawn some wisdom from Licia’s words, and that you can open the door to your own pain, realizing that it’s not all of you. It’s just a small part of you that should be acknowledged, accepted and used to build your own personal victory.
Now it’s time for the final instalment of this three-part article series with Licia Berry. Head on over to Turn Emotional Pain into your Prize to wrap it up with an experiential exercise. Licia will ask you three provocative questions, and what you learn about yourself might be all you need to move past your pain and toward your prize!
This is the kind of uplifting material we delve into with every Brand Builders Club activity, including our Thinkubators. There’s no long-term commitment, and you have nothing to lose by joining. On the other hand, you’re losing countless opportunities to network and grow your brand with every day you choose to stay away. Join us now! Rub elbows with Licia and dozens of other accomplished entrepreneurs, in a safe environment filled with inspiration, wisdom, tools, accountability and so much more.