Friday, January 20, 2017

Turning The Other Cheek

I was trying to explain how to deal with violence, abuse, and negativity from others. Dictating into the tablet is not as clear for me as typing it into my laptop. I'm sure I confused them terribly.
What I was trying to explain -- and it has been a hard lesson for me to learn -- is that we affect people around us by OUR attitude and thoughts. I finally get what 'turn the other cheek' really means and it is not the act of turning your cheek when accosted by an opponent intent on violence and subjugation. Maybe that is going a bit far in describing opposition from others . . . and maybe not.
The change has to come from within you. If you turn the other cheek when slapped or struck and you grit your teeth and force yourself to back down while holding resentment, anger, rage, and violence against them (I'll get you whenever I get the chance kind of feelings) then you've missed the point of turning your cheek. Turning your cheek is not dismissing the assault on you nor is it backing down, swallowing your pride, giving up control, or any of those negative activities and feelings. Turning your cheek is the outward symbol of not returning their assault with a mental or verbal assault of your own. Turning your cheek is not about you, but about what you express within yourself.
Maybe writing it out won't help anyone either because I cannot find or do not have the words to express what I feel.
It is not pity or understanding of the other person's motives and actions. It is something within yourself -- within me -- that has happened and continues to happen because it is an ongoing process.
Though I may in time come to understand what drives the other person to act as they have, it doesn't matter because what I feel within myself is peace and calm. And even love. Not the airy-fairy kind of peace and love I once made fun of and joked about, but a deep down peace and love that has changed me inside.
We are all connected. Every person, child, animal, plant, rock, and mineral on this planet and throughout the Universe because we are all the same. We are different facets of the Universal Thought that created us all.
Before you call for the men in white coats and dismiss me as needing a wraparound jacket that buckles in the back and look for a padded cell, stop and think about it. You can change the world ad the people around you, but you must first change yourself at the quantum level. People will still be the way they are until they change themselves fundamentally.
I was verbally and mentally, and sometimes physically, abused as a child. I have spent most of my life on the defensive, ready to defend my position and my body even before anyone said or did anything to me because that is all I knew from the time I was very young. My parents were overtly cruel, although everyone offered my their pity for the way they saw me being treated, shaking their heads because they didn't understand why I was being abused, especially not in public. They didn't get and neither did I. All the people who claimed I was full of rage confused me. I wasn't full of rage or anger or violence. I didn't feel that way and I'd certainly never harbored feelings like that, except that I did in a way. I was always defending myself, proving myself, giving evidence as though on trial that I was not a liar and that was where I lived -- always on trial, a whipped dog cowering and waiting for the next kick, the next slap, the next abusive word, criticism, and ridicule. I didn't know how deep that went until I began to change myself.
That old story about the woman who keeps getting dumped and dumped on by men is asked what the one thing all those men had in common finally made sense to me. What did all those jerks, liars, abusive, and violent men have in common? The woman.
As above, so below.
What you give, you receive.
Turn the other cheek.
They are all the same and emanate from the same source. You.
And me and everyone else in this reality.
When I forgave my abuser, even though the abuser was dead, I began to change. I began to be at peace and became calmer. It's like Carrie Fisher says in her one woman show, "Wishful Drinking." Resentment is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
People still ridicule, criticize, and abuse me but I no longer feel the need to defend myself. That is why when a discussion veers into that place where names are called, violence is offered, and ridicule is heaped, I let go and walk away. Without a focus for the name calling, violence, criticism, and ridicule, the other person will still fume, froth at the mouth, and be angry and will eventually move on and the flames will die down. With no focus for their negativity, there is no longer any point.
I find myself avoiding those situations more and more. I've nothing to prove and nothing to defend. I hold no ill will towards my abusers and see no point in giving them fuel to rage on. It is not important that I win or that I prove my point. They will either see things as I do -- or they won't. The world will keep spinning and life will go on. If they don't learn now, they might later or in the next life, but eventually we all learn the one Truth. Love can conquer hate. Not the romantic and physical kind of love, but pure love. Peace comes from that pure love and that is what we think we're striving for when we talk about peace and goodwill toward men, even though we miss the point.
By becoming more peaceful myself and approaching that pure love that is available to us all, I approach the better part of me and hopefully become a source of that peace and love that will affect everything around me. It changes me a little more each time I choose that peace and get closer to that pure love. It is a struggle, but I'm getting there. I keep tripping over my old habits and defenses and I keep getting up, look at why I tripped, and find that peace inside of me.
I have so much to atone for and, though I think of myself, have always thought of myself, as a good person, I still have a long way to go. I'll get there because I feel myself change a little more every day, every time I pick myself up after I fall. And the rage inside me dies a little more, replaced by the peace that approaches that pure love. That airy-fairy stuff I used to laugh and joke about in others. It's not in religion or vegetarianism or marching and civil disobedience that I have found that peace. It is, and always has been, inside of me.
I turn the other cheek not because I need to feel I'm better than you but because I no longer feel the need for anything but peace and love. It makes everything and everyone around me look and feel different because I am different.

That is all. Disperse. 

No comments: