Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stopping The Saboteur

We can't make choices for others. We can't reason with others that don't want to reason. We can only know what our intentions are, what our motivations are and do our best to match that with both word and action.

Some people will always need a villain in their life and that says more about how they feel about their own lives than it does about our own. Maybe, there are elements of truth in what these people say to us, but that is merely accidental. Being objective when someone is being irrational, counterproductive and damaging is one of the most difficult activities to master. 

It is terribly difficult to do the right thing when the loudest, most nasty voice is personally attacking you. It is far easier to understand how a stranger would make all the wrong assumptions than to the assumptions and manipulations that our inner circle, especially family, can wage upon us. Those that should have every reason to understand become yet another saboteur.

Usually, that role of the saboteur is our own self. What those closest to us fail to recognize is our common, shared humanity. They see us by our choices and consequences, not by our intentions and motivations.

It is so easy to ridicule and demean. It is far more difficult to understand, to have patience and to have compassion for those experiencing difficulty, not to mention for ourselves. And, most of our lives are so difficult. One person’s joy becomes the focal point of another’s projected pain and suffering. We deflect how we feel about our own life, our own consequences and deliver both to others.

Too often, people sense the precarious nature of someone’s life and state of mind. A weakened target is so much more appealing than the target we should be focusing on . . . that which stares back at us from the mirror. 

As we perform an inventory on what we have and what we don’t have, we can increase our own victimization. Often, we focus on what we don’t have, and that leads directly to those who we perceive as having all that we want. They become the villain.

There is another choice. We can focus on what we do have. We can so easily laugh or experience joy . . . those are possible in every moment. Sometimes, this is inappropriate. However, if all we do have is our laughter and our joy, that’s a stronger foundation than focusing on what we want but don’t have, or worse yet, what we have but that which is quite tenuous and fleeting.

When everything is lost, all we have that is positive and uplifting is our capacity for laughter and for joy. We can come back to those core experiences at any time. Otherwise, all we focus on is the pain and suffering. That pain and suffering isn’t something to ignore. In fact, it is something to embrace as much as we embrace our laughter and joy, as it connects us to all others. 

Everyone experiences pain. Everyone suffers. Some people devote their entire lives to avoiding both. When we avoid what is real and what is true we’re inviting ignorance into not just our own lives but into the lives of all others. It’s those closest to us that we often harm the most.

When our inner circle goes on the attack, we should increase our compassion, increase our attempts at understanding and absolutely try and remain patient. Their words and actions aren’t lining up with our motivations and intentions. If we continually come back to where we are and where we want to go, we don’t as easily become dissuaded from making word and action flourish in our lives. We don’t have to allow others to re-task the original saboteur. We instead can embrace our common humanity and let go of reasoning with the unreasonable.

We can do this. We need only focus on what really matters. Our own intentions and our own motivations matched with our own words and our own actions. That is the best we can do for ourselves; the best we can do for others.

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