The secret to salvation is that "we are doing this only to ourselves". This means taking full responsibility for everything we experience, all of our feelings, all of our reactions. It means owning everything about who and what we really are in truth, being in truth, being whole, surrendering all ego, and stopping all victimhood. This is the goal, the atonement, the awakening. So we're all working on moving towards this.
Now, as you work on realizing that you only do things to yourself, sooner or later this idea will pop into your mind as well - that other people are only doing things to themselves. And this also means, they are not doing anything to you, which helps you with clarifying the fact that you are not a victim either.
But the reason why this is difficult to 'get', is because of the way things appear when someone else 'attacks you'. But as we'll see... even the idea of 'attacks you' is completely false and is a mistake in our own perception of ourselves. It's part of us not admitting that we only do things to ourselves, and therefore we cannot be attacked.
So let's take for example some person you know who appears to be attacking or upset in any way. This person has an ego. Because of the ego, they have separation in their mind. The separation means they have a split mind, or they are "in two minds". When someone goes from having one whole unified mind to having two minds, something very weird happens.
The person retains one part of their own mind and thinks of it as the acceptable part, which they identify with, and think is all of who they are. Even though they have this whole other part to their mind which they deny. The part they keep is what we call the persona. Then, a profound denial and separation and unconsciousness is happening in between this part of their mind and the rest of their mind. They use denial to repress the rest of themselves and to relegate the rest of themselves to unconsciousness, hatred, darkness, and everything that seems to be 'not who they are'. They disassociate from this other part of their mind and think of it as 'not me'. This is what's called the 'shadow'.
Now, where is mind? Mind is supposed to be everywhere, inside and out, and is supposed to be the same everywhere, and it's also supposed to be whole and unified. That means that what is outside of you is also inside of you and is the same in all areas. This is what it means when the Course says "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind" i.e. the same experience is out there and in here and its all one joined-together oneness.
So when the ego splits the mind like this, the part it seems to keep becomes our own body and our persona, and the part it rejects (which is still part of that person), becomes the shadow and the projection of that. So everything seemingly 'outside' the person's body houses everything the person believes they are 'not', and everything inside their body houses the part of their mind they think they 'are'. And because of this intense repression of the 'what I am not' part, it *SEEMS* in a very distracting apparent way, that a) only what is inside the person's body is the whole of the person and there are no other parts, and b) everything outside the person has nothing to do with what person.
Of course this is not true at all. But this is how it shows up. People are walking around in two minds, one inside the body and one projected outside and disowned/denied. And, here is a law or rule, which applies all of the time no matter what kind of mind you have: You are always in a relationship with yourself. This is always true, no matter how you see yourself, and it also is part of the truth that you only do things to yourself.
So a person with a whole mind is always in a relationship to themselves as a whole mind and sees wholeness everywhere. A person with a split mind/ego is still always in a relationship to themselves, but it shows up as two parts - the inner/me and the outer/other. People only ever talk to themselves! People only ever relate with themselves! People only ever interact with themselves! People only ever see themselves! This is true at all times no matter how aware the person is.
Now this is where we get lost. We get lost when WE have an ego split mind ourselves. Only when you have a mind that is WHOLE, can you recognize when there is a split mind and can identify that both parts of the split are part of ONE mind. If your mind is not whole, and is split, then you are too unconscious to recognize or see this. And the result of that, is that you will believe in a separation between what is inside the person and what is outside. And that means, when someone comes along expressing 'split mind' in your general direction, you will fall for the appearance that the 'outside parts' of their relationship with themselves are in fact NOT anything to do with that person, and are to do with you. You will take that to be personal, and about you, instead of about them. And so will begin your experience of being a VICTIM.
You will be a victim whenever you do not remember that you can only do things to yourself, and that other people can only do things to themselves. You will be a victim when your own mind is split and therefore you perceive other people's splits as 'real', and take the split-off part of what other people are doing to themselves and believe that it applies to or does something to you. The other person's disassociation from this part of their mind makes it APPEAR that they do not own and are not identified with it, and therefore it really MUST be about you.
So when someone comes along being an asshole to themselves ;-) and they come up to you, and they call you an asshole, here's what's going on.
They are having a relationship with themselves and to their own mind in its entirety, so they are calling themselves an asshole. They are seeing a reflection back in a mirror of their own self attack. They have projected their separation/split mind onto the outside environment, which randomly happens to include you, and now they are attacking their own projected externalized part of their own mind using words. And because they believe that they are NOT this other part of their mind, they will 'frame' the attack in such a way as to believe they are not attacking themselves, but instead that YOU are the one they are attacking. Like, "hey Paul, you asshole". No, the person is not talking to me. They're talking to themselves.
If a person has an ego, they do not see you. If a person has a split mind, they cannot recognize your wholeness. If a person has a split mind, they are having a hallucinatory experience in a private reality that has absolutely nothing to do with you, and are projecting their split outward, and it's getting confused with what's out there, and so the person thinks that YOU have something to do with the hate they SEE, but the hate they SEE is their own hate toward themselves, which they are USING in order to maintain their split mind.
Hate and fear are tools and devices which create the illusion of disassociation and disownership and irresponsibility for the content of guilt in that person's mind. So if someone has an ego, they do not love you and they do not recognize love in you and they literally do not SEE you clearly. They do not recognize you as love, because they do not recognize themselves as love, because their mind is not whole. Love is wholeness. And if they were to have a whole mind, they would see you with wholeness and also recognize not only themselves as love but recognize you as love as well, regardless of your ego, and would see that the two of you are ONE.
So we get lost in this a LOT. I know I do. This is the main issue that keeps us being a victimized. The ego split in our own mind makes us buy into the ego splits in other people's minds. We keep taking personally expressions that other people are making, in a split mind state, toward themselves, which they project outward and make 'other'-oriented. It's still all about that person. It's still them attacking and doing this to themselves. It's still them accusing you of THEIR sins. And so other people never really accuse you of YOUR sins. And so other people are never really talking about YOU when they attack you or call you names. It's not about you.
This is really important to remember and to hone this skill of seeing with wholeness and recognizing the split minds of others and how it manifests as expressions of attack on 'otherness' (i.e. you) when in fact that person is really just at war with themselves. It's NOT about you. It's not you that they are really attacking. You have to learn to overlook the appearance of this. The form it takes, the words they use, the direction they aim it in, it's all part of their delusion.
So if someone is telling you they don't love you in some way, it's not true. They'r not even telling you that they don't love you. They are telling themselves that they don't love themselves. That's all. They're in a private world. They don't know what they're doing. Taking it personally and thinking that it is about you is a major error that YOU are making because YOU have a split mind that needs healing. Your own split is what causes you to be upset and hurt by other people's blind, impersonal attacks. So if there's someone in your life somewhere that seems to not like you or is your enemy... they don't like themselves. They are their own enemy. And no matter how it looks on the surface or how they express it, and no matter how much they seem to make it about 'you', it is NOT ABOUT YOU.
Remember the secret to salvation - you are doing this to yourself, and they are doing this to themselves.
If other people only do stuff to themselves, and if you only do stuff to yourself, and if nobody ever does anything to anyone else, then you are invulnerable, right?
When someone seems to do something to someone else, they are actually going into withdrawal, not attack. What looks like attack to us is a recoil. It's a withdrawal away from oneness. It's taking steps back away from love. It's hiding. Attack is hiding is the dark. Attack does not exist in the light. So nobody actually has any effect on anyone else. This is how God is unaffected by our attempted attacks as well. God doesn't even need to defend Himself because any kind of attack is a RETREAT away from love even if it takes on a form that LOOKS LIKE it's a forward attack. Attack is always a contraction away from love. So if you are love, you know that attack is always a form of avoidance. And that is complete truth, metaphysically and experientially, and it's built into reality.
So quite literally, you ARE invulnerable, and immortal, and cannot be attacked by anyone else, and have never been attacked by anyone else. You can only attack yourself and play with illusions of stories of how you attacked them or how they attacked you. None of that story is true whatsoever. We are all PERMANENTLY INVULNERABLE, and we are all completely, totally, wholly INCAPABLE of actually attacking anyone.
Nothing can assail the Kingdom of God. Nothing real can be threatened.