Emotion unlocks the secret chambers of the mind and is sometimes necessary for healing.
We live in a world filled with miracles and savageries. Not one of us, regardless of our gender, race, or social standing, is immune. When you’ve experienced a savage event of any kind or any degree, the natural first reaction is to feel victimized by the event. It’s inherently unfair that someone else’s words or actions have caused you physical or psychological harm.
Here’s the thing. Victimhood is a normal and natural beginning of the healing process. There’s a legitimate push for legal or other repercussions for the person that harmed you. That’s all healthy and legitimate.
There comes a point, however, when remaining in the status of victim becomes detrimental both to the healing and to moving forward with your life. It can become your identity and that doesn’t serve a healthy and prosperous life. Despite that fact, people cling voraciously to their victimhood.
Eventually, a victim feels the side effects of this approach and they seek some kind of help or relief. There are many efficacious ways to get that help. Professional counseling, medicines, and, yes, personal development or self-help techniques.
Before I begin, let me clear. I am not personally defending Tony Robbins for anything inappropriate he may have done. That seems to be having its day in the court of public opinion and perhaps eventually in courts. Hopefully, justice will be done for Tony and his accusers.
People with big emotional scars have been attending Tony Robbins events for decades. For better or worse, his techniques have been practiced on millions of people. In a sample size that large, there are going to be some who find those techniques exactly what they needed to free themselves from their disempowering victimhood. The evidence by way of personal testimony is that’s the case.
Conversely, there are going to be some people for whom his direct, loud, and aggressive techniques don’t mesh with their personal psychology and it may cause further distress. Mixed outcomes are to be expected with any modality. I’ve been involved in personal development for 30 years. I’ve also used counseling other modalities as a part of my journey. Every technique I’ve ever been exposed to has it plusses and minuses.
There is simply no denying Tony Robbins has helped many people over the years. How do we know? There’s no shortage of people who have given him credit for helping them break their victimhood and other destructive patterns. While his techniques may offend or feel like abuse of the victim to some, to others they have been precisely their salvation.
Beyond Tony Robbins, self-help, personal development has helped me and millions of other people aspire to and achieve a better life. It really angers me that the media and others use this instance as an excuse to attack the whole field as charlatanism and snake oil.
Credentialism has become quite a thing in our culture. You see this in many areas of thought. Everyone should just leave the thinking to the “experts.” That makes for a culture of dependence. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t listen to the experts, but we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves.
“Self-help Gurus” are attacked because they lack credentials. Having taken all the psychology, psychiatry, and counseling courses does not grant one an automatic corner on human wisdom that might help others. I would argue that personal experience combined with reflection can provide as much benefit as book learning.
Persuading people to walk over hot coals may seem cultish to an outsider. Getting in someone’s face and calling out the BS may seem rude and unprofessional. Our culture of atoms and matter still has a bias against the power of the human mind to heal. That said, if some of the allegations are true, Robbins may have gone too far in some instances.
The question again is, have these techniques worked? The answer for many is yes. Rather than attacking Robbins and others for their approach, perhaps they should just come with a warning label.
If you’d rather spend 15 years on a counselor’s couch talking through your issues, that’s fine. A Tony Robbins event is probably not for you. If, however, you’ve been there and done that and you’re ready to try something more radical and cathartic to change your situation, then it might be perfect for you.
My point is there is no one right way help someone mentally and spiritually heal. One person might like hard rock and someone else might like classical music. Who’s right? They’re both right for the right person. The same goes for healing modalities.
Power Hack: I’m not going to let you off the hook on the victimhood thing. Someone telling to it you straight is not necessarily more dangerous than your chronic victimhood. We are all victims to one extent or another and for one reason or another. It’s part of the human condition. I could make you a long list of ways I’ve felt victimized over time, but I’m just not going to let them decide me.
In the meantime as I said in another recent post, you can become stuck in the victimhood and waste time here waiting for life to be more fair and our society to be more just or you can do the only thing any of us can do. You decide that you won’t be anyone’s victim, including your own, any more.
That’s empowerment and however you get there; it’s cool with me!
Wishing my American readers a wonderful Memorial Day and thanking you all for your support in reading, liking, and sharing this blog.