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26 November 1998
There is something I find hard to do sometimes, so I have to be tough with myself. If someone does something which hurts, annoys or otherwise upsets me I tend to think of this person as bad, evil or wicked. I tend to turn them into demons. I spend a long time thinking about them and the real or imagined bad thing they have done. But when I or anyone does this we start to give this person power over us. We spend time thinking about them and the bad thing they have done. And we may start to be afraid of them because we give them an evil motive.
Do you ever think it is right to think like this? Do you believe you ought to think of them in this way - otherwise you are weak or naive? Do you really think it is right to make yourself afraid of this person? Is it really sensible to spend so much time thinking about someone or something you don't like?
In truth it is the weak and the wretched who cause us problems. Strong people tend to be helpful and good. Although sometimes we are all very human and do things which, later, we regret and make us feel ashamed.
What happens if we ask ourselves:
Perhaps we would be very upset, afraid, or ignorant of the effects we create in others.
And what would we hope the person we have hurt would do? If the other person was aggressive with us and called us names, what would we do? Be more inclined to change? Or think of the other person (us) as a demon, as a wicked person and want to harm them further?
But what can we do?
Firstly admit that the other person is weak, perhaps has never been taught how to behave properly, . That is very human!
Put the hurt out of your mind like this:
Imagine what someone unaffected by the experience would think about it. What thoughts would go through their mind? What would they feel? What pictures would they see in their minds eye (Might they see the other person as Tom Thumb, small and obnoxious, yet ridiculously inept?) What sounds or music would they hear (Monty Python music is very good for this, or breaking wind!) How would you feel different about the hurt if you thought about it in this way?
Or, ask yourself what would you being doing, if you weren't spending all your time thinking about someone or something you didn't like - and upsetting your self more and more?
Of course we are not dealing here with really serious hurts, and we still might think it is better to let the other person go their way, and we go ours. Yet we would not endow the other with super-human powers and waste our time thinking about them and what they did. We'd be feeling better and better and being less and less upset. Wouldn't we?
Most Recent Revision: 20-Mar-99.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,
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