The moment I start punishing people in my present for how I was treated in my past I cease being a victim. I am now the predator.
This is the warm fuzzy thought that came to mind as I meditated yesterday morning before my first cuppa joe. I contemplated that word *’predator’* before posting it on Facebook, figuring it’s tone would stir the pot and I’d get some blow back for it. (which I don’t mind) Because I don’t mean it in a Gerry Sandusky sort of way. I mean that through the inventories I’ve done over the years I’ve seen a definite pattern in my resentments and harms done others. So much of the ways that I guard and protect myself – a direct result of heinous things done to me in my childhood, are exacted upon the characters in the currently running off, off, Broadway play of my life today in ways that harm, hurt, betray and starve emotionally. I may be simply protecting myself from getting hurt but in reality I’m making motherfuckers pay *by taking it out on you.* And that just makes me an asshole, wearing my ignorance around my neck as if it were a virtue.
Fear *always* tells me that I need that big stick to swing at everyone around me so I can’t get hurt again. That I MUST be ever vigilant to guard against long dead boogie men. Not realizing that in continually making them my focus I am drawing new versions of them to me, blinding myself to all that might be wonderful around me, and most horrifically continuing to bond myself to them – become them; jaded, mean spirited, cynical, emotionally withholding, aloof, verbally cutting. (the 10th step in the 12×12 has a pretty awesome list)
Owning that frees me to chart a different course. Love, without expectation, in spite of all seeming evidence to the contrary is that path.
This was my solution. By ‘Love’ I mean manifesting the principles in my daily life; Honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, courage, integrity, faith, humility, brotherly love, justice, persistence, contemplation, service – they all manifest Love. Practicing them in the moment, each day as life presents itself is my solution. For free and for fun, without hidden motive or expectation, frees me. Over and over it does so. Sometimes to my shocked amazement! Emboldening me to take just-one-more risk with these ridiculous principles, in one more situation where normally I MUST swing The Bat… I instead extend my hand, with Love. And I am free.
Super big bonus: When I quit swinging that bat at others as a byproduct I also quit swinging it at myself. When I start treating you with the principles in the steps – I start loving me. Make no mistake, it happens in that order. I see lots of people in the program trying to love themselves first. They’re still unhappy, Still not free. Still self obsessed. It’s the disease wrapped in spiritual verbiage.
Love, for free and for fun, as manifested in the principles, right here, right now, right this second. It doesn’t beat the bully – it renders the bully nonexistent.