A true story from working on a luxury cruise ship and the ‘force majeure’ of a victim mentality.
Had I known her victim mentality would attack with such a vengeance, I never would have asked the question…
“How am I?” She sneered with a New York accent, “And you call yourself a six star cruise line??!!!”
It’s funny how a simple question like, “How are you?” can lead to one of your big life lessons about people with a victim mentality. When they get to play victim, little peptides of pleasure jump up and do a happy dance. Those are the little organic chemical releases that your brain sends out to your body whenever your ego-intellect gets fed what it wants.
If it were today, I’d jump on the self-irony train and say, “ Okay, I’ve gained a little weight but not enough to call me a six star ship for crying out loud. Actually, I’d call myself a Divine Soul having a human experience.” But, this is now and that was then.
Then, was when I first went back to working on a luxury cruise line after having been gone for twenty years. I was filling in for a Social Hostess who was on holiday for six weeks. It was my first embarkation day on the job and I was excited to be on a luxury floating hotel, surrounded by beautiful furnishings and fixtures, and going to exotic places around the world with educated people who’d be grateful that they had the means to travel in such opulence, far removed from the hunger and poverty they would see in the countries they were visiting.
That was before I came to know how self-centered people really can be. How people with a professional-level victim mentality also have an Inner Tyrant that attacks with a vengeance. Talk about naive.
I was also nervous that someone would ask me where the bathroom was and I wouldn’t know because I was so new to the ship.
So I fed my own peptides of pleasure that like it when I’m informed and ready to serve. No victim mentality for me, no way! I scoped out all the nearest bathrooms to the lounge. Women to the left. Men to the right.
Now I was armed and ready to dutifully follow through on what I had been told to do: Go socialize and welcome people on board.
The Grande Dame was the first lady I walked up to in the lounge. Super groomed and well turned out, her simple black Armani dress probably cost more than my monthly salary. Her shoes were Manolo Blahnik and her cocktail evening bag was definitely Italian leather although I didn’t recognize the label. This ensemble was accessorized by hair that was recently coiffed and sprayed to where the air couldn’t modify its basic form even if there were gale force winds. Her face was meticulously made up to get the most out of her last in an obvious series of face lifts. In fact, it was so stretched, it looked like it’d actually faced those gale force winds and stayed frozen that way.
Still, we all have our own idea of beauty so who was I to judge? She probably thought I was in serious need of making close friends with her plastic surgeon.
“I’m sorry?” I smiled with what I hoped was a helpful expression on my face. “Is there a problem?”
“Is there a problem?!!” She screeched and launched into a tirade that could have won an Oscar in a remake of Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’. “Yes, there’s a problem! How can you possibly call yourself a six star cruise line when there’s no magnifying mirror in the bathroom? Every hotel that calls itself luxury has a magnifying mirror, for gawd’s sake. The Plaza, The Four Seasons, the-the-the…” she started to sputter.
My brain geared into fix-it mode. “Where can I possibly find a magnifying mirror now that we’ve already sailed?” I asked myself.
She picked up rhythm again with an up-and-down look of contempt clearly etched in the shape of her raised eyebrows. “Well, you should know that six star hotels all have a magnifying mirror, especially if you’re pretending to be six stars.”
“Well -” I started to interject to offer up a solution.
“Look around you!” She sat up on the edge of her chair with a burning outrage that made even her diamond earrings quiver. With a sweeping arm gesture that punctuated the anger that spewed forth, she sneered, “Just look around you! Do you see any young people? No, you don’t. You see older people who need magnifying mirrors. We have chin hairs to pluck for gawd’s sake. Imagine how I felt when I walked into my bathroom and saw there wasn’t one. Hmmm?”
Her bobbing head and narrowed eyes left no room for doubt about the depth of her personal accusation. In her mind, I was a flaming idiot and there was simply no excuse for me even being on the face of the planet much less standing in front of her in that moment of her personal history.
I relaxed my face muscles into a calm social mask, but our bodies can’t lie. My skirt fluttered against shaking knees and my back muscles knotted. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this going to be a normal part of my job on board? If so…”
That small inner resistance on my part gave her the hook she was seeking. It fired her up to the next level of self righteousness.
“Hmmm? No, I imagine you don’t! So I’ll tell you. First impressions count you know. I felt horrible. I felt betrayed by my travel agent who said this was six star cruising. How can I possibly consider this is a six star cruise line when there’s no magnifying mirror?”
I was so demoralized by her tirade, I was ready to get down on my knees and beg her to take my own magnifying mirror—out of my personal toiletry kit if necessary—in an effort to make her happy. So much for not having my own victim mentality. I didn’t even own a magnifying mirror.
That’s when she added with a flourish, “Thank GAWD I brought my own.”
HUH???!!! I was flabbergasted. Numb. I think I plastered a rather sick smile of vague agreement on my face and murmured, “Yes, that was good thinking on your part…” I let it trail off before adding weakly, “Well, you let me know if I can help you in any other way.”
The victim mentality from her past conditioning ignited peptides of pleasure that went on a feeding spree. They were insatiable. She had problems with everything.
The elevator was too slow and she wanted me to make it go faster. The shore excursion bus wouldn’t make unscheduled shopping stops and she wanted me to fire the shore excursion operator. That, in itself, was a highly interesting demand since the Shore Excursion manager was a much higher ranking job than Social Hostess. She booked reservations in the specialty restaurant for the wrong day and wanted to blame me for the error. I didn’t even work in the food and beverage department; I was in the entertainment department.
It took me a week of personal attacks and ducking into nearby doorways whenever I saw her coming to figure out the lesson. Like most lessons, once you learn them, they’re so obvious that you wonder what took you so long to get it. The lesson was this:
There’s one other big lesson I got out of the experience. I realized how my peptides of victim mentality pleasure got released when I accepted responsibility for other people’s actions.
Needless to say, I definitely released that past conditioning to Divine Light Vibrations for transformation into illumination. On that front, it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
I understand that there’s a chemical reaction in the brain which releases peptides into our bodies—it works like a happy drug—when we create situations that feed our worldview belief systems. Her worldview belief system probably read something on the order of a professional victim/tyrant and she got her happy peptides of victim mentality pleasure released when she acted out as she did, trying to ‘gobble’ at the Light of others.
But, isn’t it silly to settle for little peptides of pleasure when we have access to an infinite fountain of Unconditional Love?
It’s like trying to climb an anthill without destroying it, rather than flying straight to a mountain top to enjoy the view. Or trying to swim in a glass of water when we have an entire ocean at our disposal.
We always have the choice to leave behind the habit of looking outside ourselves for things to fill us full, and which never can. We can let ourselves be filled full from within and then let it flow outwards in wave after wave of Unconditional Love. The only thing we have to do to access the grandeur of this Love is open our hearts to the voice of our Divine Soul who will lead the way.
If I’d known then what I know now, I would’ve had a better action plan…
What you do when you’re verbally attacked by someone with a tyrant and victim mentality:
This might seem too simple to work, but it does. Like a charm.
- Immediately place your attention behind your solar plexus and onto your Divine Soul Knowing of Unconditional Love.
- Let Divine Light Vibrations flow up through your heart like you learned from doing the Basic Activation of Divine Light Vibrations meditation.
- Mentally repeat to yourself, “The Divine in me greets the Divine in you,” and let Divine Light flow from your Divine Heart to other person. It’s enough to intend it and your Divine Soul will do the rest.
- Remain neutral! It isn’t about you. It’s about their fear.
- Watch their tirade slowly die down and melt away…
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What are you ready to release for transformation into illumination?
Post it in the comments below and let’s send each other Divine Light to go deeper into our spiritual awakenings.
(My apologies to those whose comments were lost when I switched over to this new commenting system.)