Last Sunday one of the boys from the HEART™ programme ran away because he had stolen money from another boy the Wednesday before. There is no excuse for what he did and it will take time for the two boys to be friends again. Like everything we do in the HEART™ programme we ask, “What good will come out of this?” REVENGE! GETTING EVEN! PAY BACK TIME! JUDGEMENT! The common denominator in all of this is obvious – FEAR.
You see, our original childhood mental rehearsals are perpetuated in some form or another into adulthood. We rehearse what we might have said, or how we should have responded, and these rehearsals are just as glamorous in a “Hollywood” sense of the word as they were when we were children. This glamorous perspective seeks to make heroes or heroines out of us. ”One-Upmanship” All too often, it is a “get-even or get-evener” response that seeks to claim victory, at least in our minds, that is rehearsed. Like a child, some seem too tethered to the notion that their worth is fragile and best redeemed at the expense of others. In other words, if I make someone feel inferior, then I have established my own superiority.
It is a strange world we live in when the criteria for establishing one’s self-worth are based on the subtraction method. Subtract for the first boy, and somehow we gain??? The mature adult recognizes quickly the fallacy inherent in this kind of thinking. The circular nature of getting even or “getting evener” creates a world of insecurities and distortions, both in the physical and mental.
The truth is that whenever we denigrate another, we subtract from ourselves. To the precise degree that we make less of another, we make less of ourselves. Further, this precedent subtracts from all of humanity’s potential. Mankind’s unkind tolerance for unkind deeds perpetuates only unkindness. Thus, fear itself is fed both by the acts of unkindness and by the inherit circularity of getting even,
In our resistance to being mocked, ridiculed, criticised, or in any other way treated in some undignified way, we create the very thing we desire to eliminate. We choose to “fight fire with fire” and in the end find ourselves burning away our own dignity and potential. All of this begins with our mental rehearsals, most of which arise from scenes right out of some television or theatrical presentation. Hollywood heroes and heroines of the kind portrayed in get-even events may make cute sit-coms but not serious role models. You may remember E + R =O. The Events in my life + My Reaction to these events = The Outcome I experience.
Think about it this way:
Of the potential outcomes in the various scenarios, which one is going to make YOU feel good twenty years later? Boy No2. told Boy No1. “I do not hate you for what you did, but friends do not steal from friends, and we cannot be friends again until you have paid me back and trust is restored.”
Which choice is going to feed YOUR character, YOUR esteem, and YOUR integrity in years to come? Boy No2. kept his integrity and gave Boy No1. the opportunity to redeem himself and learn from his unwise choice to steal.
Which will subtract from YOUR sense of personal well-being? REVENGE! GETTING EVEN! PAY BACK TIME! JUDGEMENT!
Changing our beliefs may be the most empowering and most difficult aspect of personal growth. Self-limiting beliefs are exactly that….self-limiting.
You can never unconditionally love another person you judge and that includes judging yourself.
Arohanui & God Bless