Teach only love? How is that possible against one’s enemy? America’s beloved superheros practice ‘higher’ principals against dark forces but they all still fight. Are we not supposed to fight? If we just allow the injustices of some, to harm the masses, then does that not make us complicit? How do we turn the other cheek and still take a stand?
This is a messy topic, one many writers shy away from. It’s an emotional landmine for many that will illicit a kaleidoscope of ‘reactions’. So be mindful of your reactions when you read this. Pay attention to what comes up for you. As you read ask yourself questions. Perhaps there are unhealed pieces of yourself this will trigger. This is a thought provoking process. When we are provoked it can be an opportunity to see what is within and heal it. If we detach from our ‘rightness’ and our ‘story’ we may gain new insight and experience personal growth.
Do not look here for answers that you can only find within. Each person, in each situation, at each developmental stage of their life, will have a different frame of reference. If life were a continuum, then perhaps we are all correct in that space in time.
Let’s start with Jesus’ teaching on this topic. Taxes were being imposed by Caesar and the people wanted Jesus to take a stand. They were hopeful he would oppose the tax. Some thought they were “spies” sent by “teachers of the law and the chief priests” to entrap Jesus. The question they presented was “should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
Jesus asked that they produce a Roman coin. He asked them to say who’s name appeared on the coin. When they replied “Caesar’s” he responded “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”.
Now if we work our entire lives and someone comes to take it all away is this not a naive view point? To just give it all away?
However, if we are sure to lose something, and we’ve done all we can, but we accept we have lost, would it not make sense to let go and detach so we no longer suffer?
Maybe it’s the middle bits that trip us up? What if we are ‘threatened’ but nothing has happened? Do we plot and conspire to do harm? Do we simply think strategically and defend ourselves ? Do we act from instincts? These are important questions to ask. If we stop autonomically reacting to life then we can truly experience our choice and therefore our power in every aspect of our life. Are not many of us too afraid to take ownership of our choices? Do we numb out and just let life happen then complain about what we get? At times do we become an endless stream of reactions without focus or purpose? Is this the life we intend to live?
Growing up I was exposed to a crooked legal system. I heard things like “I have all the judges in my back pocket, so I wont lose”. At a young age I learned that treachery and wickedness did “win” at times. Some very ‘nice’ people were ‘destroyed’. I both enjoyed and was repulsed by the spoils of victory. Bloody meat. Cigar smoke. Liquor and lot’s of it. Deep laughter. What is interesting is that many of those same people 30 years later ‘destroyed’ themselves. They have had multiple loveless marriages, their children hate them or use them or both, many are alcoholics, dead, some were finally caught and shunned, forever tarnishing their legacy. Many of them were brilliantly talented.
Even those who publicly got away with their ‘crimes’ are privately tormented. Many do not care. Their mission in life is to acquire power and prestige at any cost necessary. Are you willing to pay that cost? If you are not willing to pay that cost then perhaps you are not a victim. Perhaps you have been spared. Is it possible you ‘lost’ at their game simply because on some level you chose a different path?
What did they really get away with? On some levels, they do seem to ‘win’. Many megalomaniacs brutally rape and plunder many before they are stopped. Sometimes only death is what finally stops them. Have any of us bent our own moral compas to do their bidding? Worse do we sit by and do nothing? What justifications do we hide behind in our own life? In my own life what of those people who decided to forgive, to let go, to reinvent themselves? Later in life I saw them also. They were happy. They were more successful than ever. They used those circumstances to transform their life in a more powerful and meaningful way. Some did not. They hung on to their hate and bitterness. They are broken empty shells or simply live life jaded and detached.
“After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so re-motivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment.” The Urantia Book.
This is only true if we choose to make it so. For those of us who watch our external lives crash and WE DECIDE to see such ‘catastrophe’ as an opportunity to shift our perceptions and reinvent our lives, then we learn one of the greatest secrets of life. None of the external really mattered. Now we are free.
“When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat around the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit…..” The Urantia Book.
These seem like complex ideals. However, when I think about what message to give my children they seem rather simple. My daughter had someone in school target her and said some mean things. Through a series of questions it came out the little girl that was being mean had a hard home life. Her parents were fighting. We considered her options. She could tell the teacher. She could refuse to play with the little girl. She could tell the girl to stop! and still play with her. She could confront the little girl with love and understanding.
She made her choice. She didn’t want to tell the teacher. She wanted to work out her problem on her own. She also liked the little girl and still wanted to play with her. She just did not like her ‘meanness’. So she decided to tell her this “Listen, I understand things are hard at home but you don’t have to put your anger on me.”
What is most interesting is that my daughter did not take on the hurt of those mean words. She realized the little girl was angry and wanted to hurt someone else the way she was hurting. My daughter can see this little girls ‘meanness’ for what it is. A cry for love.
My daughter, 6 at the time, did not believe she was a victim. She did not ‘fight fire with fire’. She instead looked to understand her opponents point of view. Then she decided to confront her tormentor. Finally she decided to “Teach only Love. For that is what you are”.
“If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love….” The Urantia Book.
My little girls agenda looked like this:
Step One: Look to understand your opponent.
Step Two: Confront the problem…. with Love and Understanding
Step Three: Teach only love. For that is what you are.