Can I be braver?

Gilana's picture



Average: 5 (1 vote)

Maybe it is the new year, maybe it's just time, but it is becoming apparent that there is a chance to grow up more. I won't say a need, because I can certainly function this way for at least the rest of this life, but a chance is opening up...an invitaion...

I see, a little, how my own stake in my own childishness i.e. my fears, my idiosycrasies, my preferences, my dislikes, my mistrust and disdain, are influencing my experiences. I have a new craving to open them up a little more, to be a little braver, to be a little more vulnerable.

Maybe it's truer than I thought that you are just like me.

Maybe it's true that I, too, have something innately lovable about me, even though experience has repeatedly denied it. Logically it seems inarguable and of course always has, but in experience...

Can I accept more responsibility for understanding what is already known



Gilana's picture

What's the right balance of passion for God and compassion for m

I watch my kids happy and satified, sad and loving.

Then I see them angry fighting and pouty.

I see they are on the right track when they are happy and satified, and even on the right track when they are sad and crying, but not resisting. But it's very obvious the angry fighting and pouty side is unacceptable.

What must God think about me? I pout, sigh, cringe, judge, dispute, and get stubborn: resist. I won't and you can't make me.

Who said I was allowed any of that? If I get frustrated with my kids, how hard must it be to see a "grown adult" acting up? How easy is it to judge and feel sorry for everybody else who does their version of the same thing?

My reaction says, "I would never do that. I allow everything. (Except abusive people. They shouldn't be that way.) I allow growth in others. (Except stupidity. They should THINK! First and for themselves.) I am giving and uncomplaining. (Other people should pull their weight, without anyone watching over them! Then we could all live in heaven!)

Every "I can" comes with a "and THEY should, too."

Under my acceptance and laughter comes some bit of bitterness, some wish that the world would catch up, waiting for them to step up. Every "I love" comes with a "but I'm afraid of THEM." Under the really true love comes a feeling of separateness from the cruelty I feel is a real danger in the "other." I know it's in me too, but I know I will not cross the line. Conversely, I've experienced enough torture from others to be afraid THEY don't have that control.

But what can they really do to me? It's no small thing to be hurt, bodily or emotionally. I'm afraid. It hurts, but does it really damage me in any way, except temporarily? Has it diminished my love? Has it created a barrier I can't cross? Has it diminished my knowing? (I don't mean knowledge, but even that has increased.)

Maybe it's actual effect is to increase my abilities. Maybe I have developed more courage, more persistance, more acceptance, more understanding as a result of other people's cruelty and abuse.

Let's see:

1. I know that good people do bad things. I know that they do them as a result of passion for goodness...they think it will increase goodness in some way. Maybe their passion for the "right thing to happen" has carried them away and they are responding more to the passion than to compassion.

2. I know that I am not touched by their cruelty. I am only hurt. The core of me is not affected...all that is affected is how much and how I hide. I have a wide repetrar of ways to hide ranging from phsycial dissapeering, to phsychological soothing, to emotional openess and closing. I am very responsive to the abuser's needs...I can do a lot to sooth them into relaxing. I use these tools obstensively as a protection, but a deep love that originates from that "un-hurt core" allows me to develop compassionate ways to handle threatening and damaging situations. I once soothed potential drug-induced abductionsists to "be good, like your mama would expect."

So how hurt can I really claim to be?

3. It's my participation that allows the real damage. I haven't been hurt by some big things but I have been hurt by some little things. Now, how is that possible if the critical portion is the "damager"?

Stuff grows back, injuries heal, emotions are softened. I'm not saying that they become "perfect" or "normal" but they adapt somehow. The seemingly heartless admonition that "Life goes on" becomes an assurance that somehow we can go on and we will have opportunities to receive happiness and love again.

I think the real hurt stems from the admission that I have to make that people I love will not put their compassion above their passion in specific circumstances. They won't put me above what they will do to me if I "don't act right." And that scares me. And more than scares me, it hurts me. Why am I not more important than that?

I wonder: Do I have anything to do with it? What's the right balance of passion for God and compassion for man?

Gilana | Fri, 01/08/2010 - 18:57