Â Heena, I can hardly believe what you have said here... truly, it "makes my day." You wrote: " it is you who needs the first commendable pat of showing such courage to voice an opinion which is contrary to the existing one. its your voice which encouraged me to follow it with my own experiences..." This is wonderful to hear. As I have said many times before, "The only popular thing I have ever done was to pick up the check." You have no idea how many times I am attacked for voicing an opposing opinion. I have never thought or been told that I had given someone "courage to do the same." This is wonderful, and perhaps... just perhaps... this is a kind of "gift" I have been given, instead of a curse! But when I see something that I believe is in error or is wrong, I cannot resist. I have to say something, come what may. And usually I am instantly "odd man out." So you have given me a great deal to think about. Truly. You also wrote: "its only when ones faith in ones own love is coupled with discipline and discernment that a balance is achieved. grateful to you to help me to reiterate faith in my own love and discernment." This is the best part of all. "Discernment" is the one thing I am truly lacking in, as to this day I don't know what it truly means. I get taken in by any sob story or "person in need" and I am known for my generosity that never asks for proof of any kind, so I attract all kinds of losers, liars and thieves. It seems like I look into their heart and I see someone suffering, so I try to help them as I feel sorry for them and want to help cure what ails them. But all that really happens is that whatever virus they are carrying gets into me, and I am soon out of money and out of patience and out of "love" as they have stolen it all. And returned hatred, resentment, jealousy or potential violence to me. Raging codependent that I am, I made a pact with myself to learn to "help myself" and not help one person for a whole entire year. All went well until I broke that promise to myself, and what started out as a dream quickly turned into a nightmare. And not for the first time, but I hoped for the last. But no, I had to return to my God-awful "helping" a few more times until I finally learned. I used to give jobs" until those were the thieves who almost put me out of business. Now I work and spend time with people who take care of themselves, and are happy for an honest days pay for an honest days work. Things are finally changing. I loved what you said about "unconditional love and discernment" when it came to raising children. I did not learn this in time for my own son, who has a terrible sense of entitlement and does not believe he is required to do ANYTHING for anyone else, and it has cost him his marriage and many jobs in the past. I hope for his sake and his soul that he can learn whatever lesson I failed to teach him, and for him I still have "unconditional love" but I "love him from a distance." I won't enable him or any others, even if it makes me very unpopular and sometimes on "enemy status." Until I read what you wrote, I really didn't know if I was doing the right thing or if I was on the wrong path, especially reading all this "unconditional love" stuff and even the story about the woman who adopted the murderer who KILLED HER SON. That story was so horrifying it has stayed in my mind, and some people's responses agreeing with this made me think I must be crazy or out of my mind. But no, "love and discernment" is actually what is always needed. Now if I can learn the discernment part, all will be well. Looking forward to more of your thoughts anytime you write them. And thank you, my friend, you have given me much to think about and much to ponder. Gracias, amiga. "All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."[Hide Full Comment]
Thank you Heena... I was concerned that I shouldn't post something so seemingly contrary to the general outlook of "unconditional giving" expressed by so many. But I know from long and sorry experience that it only breeds all the flaws that you note and my own raging codependency and ultimately jealousy and resentment in others.
The best gift I can do for myself and for others is the old adage "teach them to fish instead of giving them a fish." That's the only way to bring maturity and independence to all. Loved reading your comment; I really did. Gives me hope for the future; hope for myself and for the world. I thought I was the only one!
Have a blessed day...
"The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails."
Please show me The Way.
Of course we don't have to stay in the fire, and obviously if we survive, we have climbed out. But the question is directed towards how to find peace and healing when you are covered with scars for the rest of your life. Even if you successfully manage to avoid those people in the future, knowing that they are ready to throw bombs or wish you dead with any contact at all, for any reason at all, means the wounds are never able to really heal. And when you accept an invitation to "resolve things," and they use that as another opportunity to attack, all wounds are broken open anew.
So, the choice of "staying in the fire or getting out of the fire" only addresses that one incident. Not all the years that follow and how to heal from years and years of damage and heartache. "Forgiveness" doesn't take all the pain away, either, knowing that there is a group of people out there that want you DEAD. When it's "family" that is supposed to love and protect each other above all others, then what do you do? What do you say?
"I forgive you and stay away from me for the rest of my life?" What kind of healing is that?
All these answers I read sound so simple in their generalities, but trying to apply them to real incidents is where I get lost.
OK, I have read through all of Pancho's excellent comment on "what happens when we are wounded."
I understand NOTHING about what is being said, but I would like to know. Yes, I am alive and my body/mind has somehow managed to come together enough so that I am not dead, but after so many attacks and wounds that are continually re-opened, none have healed. I am nothing but a mass of scars, as a person who was burned alive. This is the legacy I live with. What does "love" have to do with this?
How to "love" the people who threw me into the fire?
Somehow I stumbled on this discussion again (I think someone may have commented and I was notified) and I thank God I did.
The notion of "universal love" and wounds is something that still tortures me. I have no love in my heart right now; I have only pain. I re-read Pancho's comment about "once we are wounded something miraculous begins to happen" et voia! For the first time my mind did NOT automatically begin to close. Of course I couldn't finish reading it, but I have copied it and will attempt to, bit by bit.
I will still say that I do not believe people do not try to wound you. Many people want nothing more than to hurt you. So that's something I still don't agree with or understand. I grew up with a family of hateful individuals who lash out and hurt anyone they can. It's their sole pleasure in life, sometimes. So I know first hand that sadists do exist. And I refuse to be their victim, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still bleeding.
But it's time for me to re-read Pancho's treatise on love and wounding and hopefully healing. Thank you so much to the latest commentor who miraculously brought me here, when I needed it most. Now THAT'S something I can agree with!
You wrote: " don’t you think it’s significant that the leading western religious authority all but proclaims that life is a comedy"
Who is "the leading western religious authority" you are refering to?
Thank you Dan for this wonderful reflection. I have never heard it. Changes everything, doesn't it?
From Hymn Of Entry by Archimandrite Vaselios of Iviron Monastery, Mt Athos
''Thou hast taken me captive with longing for th
ee, O Christ, and hast transformed me with Thy divine love. Burn up my sins with the fire of the Spirit, and count me worthy to take my fill of delight in Thee, that dancing with joy I may magnify both Thy Comings, O Lord who art good.''
—9th Ode—Transfiguration Canon
Reading the comments, I am struck by James Marco's comment. I have always agreed with what James is saying. If someone can't or won't "practice what they preach," then I have no use for them and for me, it ruins anything of value they say. I can't believe any of it and don't think it should be repeated.
Then I read Somik's response about "not taking gold because the hands that offered it were dirty." What a difference that made.
I'm still not sure about any of this. But I can say that I stopped even trying to do yoga back in the late sixties and since then - because the "gurus" I met were sexual predators of children and young women (such as myself) so what good did it do to try and lead a "spiritual life" when the people who were espousing it were devils and demons?
I don't see these things as "weakness," although perhaps they are. I see them as wrong. Corrupt.
Therefore their message must also be corrupted in some way.
How do we discern the "gold" from the "dirt?" Does it even matter? Is there even such a thing when we are surrounded with foolishness and negativity? That is the question for me. How do we "wash our hands clean?" How do we really find more than a fleeting and ephermeral peace?
Does any of this really matter? Yes. It matters to me.
I have to say thank you to James. Finally someone has said out loud what I've said for many years... people need to be taken to task for their negative behavior and other people need to be forewarned to know what to watch out for. And I have to thank Somik for telling another side of the tale. So now I have even more to think about.
" it made no sense to throw out what he said because he could not live up to it. The value was for me to keep."
Wow. I need to be reminded of this again and again... thank you so much. Just what I needed to hear today. So now I begin. Gracias, amigo...
On Jan 5, 2016 Catherine Todd wrote on I Have Decided to Stick With Love, by Martin Luther King Jr.:
My question is this: How does JUSTICE fit into all this? How do you "love" someone and still bring them to justice? I'm not advocating the death penalty, but how does a judge who assigns punishment (i.e. jail time) "love" the criminal? How do we "love" someone and still report their crime? We must have "rule of law" or we live in dangerous chaos. How to love at the same time?