Turn the other cheek instead…

May 31, 2017

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog gives good advice on how to deal with those who might verbally disabuse you – “Never wrestle with pigs.  You both get dirty, and the pigs like it.”  (George Bernard Shaw).

pig in mudThose who verbally bully others or who’s overt disparaging remarks seek to hurt you are the pigs in your life and they love it when you react to their attacks – when you wrestle with them. Those types of people do what they do in hopes of “getting a rise out of you.” They want you to come down to their level and wrestle in the mud of hate or prejudice with them.

In Matthew 5:39 we read “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

I suppose that this verse could be interpreted literally; however, it is useful in a figurative sense also. Turning the other cheek to those who have verbally caused you harm is choosing not to wrestle with pigs, not to get down in the mud with them.

It is difficult to resist the reaction of lashing back at someone who has just hurled anbully.png insult at you; however, if you can bring to mind Shaw’s advice, there will likely come a smile to your face as you imagine wrestling with pigs. Nothing disarms the would be verbal bully like a smile in response. They just can’t figure out how you can take the abuse and respond with a smile. Resist the urge to throw in a little “oink”, even if that comes to mind.

Remind yourself that the taunts or hurtful remarks are coming from a negative person and heed the advice of Hugh Dillon – “Life is too short to spend in negativity. So I have made a conscious effort to not be where I don’t want to be.” Think about it. Do you really want to be down there in the mud, wrestling with pigs?

Instead, perhaps you can focus upon the words of Dr. Martin Luther King – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is sometimes hard to love thine enemies as we are instructed to do; smiling womanbut nothing that I’ve ever tried to do in response to some personal attack has worked better than showing forgiveness and love to those who tried to drag me down into the mud with them to wrestle in hate.

So figuratively turn the other cheek today and find it in your heart to forgive. Once you have stopped the urge to get down and dirty with the pigs, you must find the strength to forgive them.  H. Jackson Brown, Jr. put it well when he reminds us – “Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.”

Use your resources today.

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Don’t make yourself the dumb-ass…

November 2, 2014

One of the people who “liked” one of my recent posts has a blog called talktherapies.wordpress.com. The blog actually has the title Happiness, Health and Hypnosis when you visit. I went there, as I often do when someone new starts following me or “Likes” one of my posts. The blog owner, Sue Griffin, a UK-based hypnotherapist, had one post in particular that resonated with me – “Do you bully yourself?” 

I suspect that I’m like a lot of people who do get down on themselves if they realize that they just made a mistake, screwed something up or otherwise did something dumb. Like most I immediately criticizeman mad at himself myself, usually with the self-inflicted label “dumb-ass.”  I think that is somewhat human nature and the feeling usually passes fairly quickly; unless of course what I just screwed up is a costly mistake that I will now have to replace or redo. Then I revisit the dumb-ass dungeon often until I get things right. Perhaps, that too, is human nature.

What I think Sue was writing about are those people who take this self-criticism beyond a momentary reaction to something that we’ve done and “institutionalize” it into an ongoing self-image problem. These are people who have progresses well past some temporary anger or reaction and into self-destructive behavior that then also becomes self-fulfilling. Left uncorrected it can eventually lead to depression and despair.  As a hypnotherapist Sue can help with that, as can my local favorite hypnotherapist – Nicole Merline (visit MTUHyponosis .com).

Hopefully, whatever level of self-bullying or self-criticism you currently engage in hasn’t progressed to the point where you need their intervention. I find that soon after I’ve reacted to the event and called myself a dumb-ass, I usually can’t help laughing at the whole thing, especially the dumb-ass part. looking at selfWhatever just happened, it’s almost always because I failed to completely read the ad or the instructions or something like that, which is pretty lame and leaves me no one else to blame; however, it hardly warrants a continued reaction and most often serves as a teachable moment for myself.

From what I have read on the topic, many people who now bully or denigrate themselves are just carrying on what they heard as children, unfortunately much of it from their parents or perhaps from siblings. The kidding that we take as children can quickly turn into bullying, even if the party doing it doesn’t realize it. Most of the time they actually do understand what they are doing, but just don’t realize the potential long-term consequences. Sometimes it results in people who grow up bullying themselves later in life; but, many times it just creates another bully who goes looking for his/her own stooge to act as their victim.

While it may not be possible to catch yourself as it happens and stop; I’d certainly recommend stopping as soon as you can to reconsider just how much self-inflicted flogging you want to meet out and for how long. The sooner that you can get a smile or laugh out of the situation, especially the inward directed anger parts, the better. I’ve found that if I go to a mirror and make a really stupid looking face
funny face at myself, the feeling quickly passes; because, I’ve seen the face of the dumb-ass and I don’t want to be him. I usually can laugh at myself at that point.

So, don’t beat yourself up. You may have made a mistake, but you’re still standing and the world did not come to an end. Don’t be the dumb-ass. Instead go back and read (re-read) my post on “I like me”. It was one of my posts in the Three little words that will change your life series.

Have a great day and a great week ahead!