Do you feel trapped in your life with no way out? Do you believe you’re a victim of your circumstances? Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith says many people dwell in a stage he calls victim consciousness, where they tend to blame bad luck, fate, other people or even God for their lot in life.

    “Every victim has a victim story,” he says. “You ask somebody—a victim—what’s going on; they’ll give you a list of complaints about what’s wrong and who did it. Fannie Lou Hamer once said, ‘I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.'”

    There comes a time, though, Dr. Beckwith says, after you’ve hit your spiritual low point, when you can see a sliver of possibility and redirect the course of your life. To achieve this, he says, you need to dig deep within yourself, reflect and pray for divine guidance. “That’s where prayer comes in,” he says. “That’s where meditation comes in. That’s where life-visioning comes in. So, you just said, ‘Help. I’m open. I’m available to something new.’ Now, you’re on your way.”

    Sometimes, Dr. Beckwith says, the simplest prayer has the power to help you transcend your suffering. “Help is a prayer,” he says. “When I use the word ‘help,’ I say, ‘Hello, eternal loving presence.’ That’s what help means to me.”