I’ve been looking at what begets what lately. That is, the cause and effect constantly at-play in life. It’s apparent in how we treat everyone from ourselves to our brothers to strangers:
Having the background in government/political studies that I do, I’m always keenly interested in the ways our upbringings affect our current lives & how what we’ve done affects how things will be. Call it karma, eternal recurrence, “you get what you give”, the law of attraction…
Whatever you want to call it, a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. No matter how you slice it, cycles arise in our lives.
And one picture that has been with me for YEARS, ever since I first saw it, is this one that sums up well the cycle of violence that arises in the context of domestic abuse:
And this is where my intellectualization of the subject ends, and personal experience takes over. It’s why I advocate so hard for letting boys express themselves, so that their hurts don’t turn into more hurt. It’s also why I talk so much about being (1) objectively aware, and (2) subjectively aware; to seek larger truth by living in our own:
I know what i feels like to hold onto anger and pain, without an outlet or the emotional access to deal with them. Repression is a go-to move in the South, as are avoidance and justification… so, a lot of bad behavior gets by under the guise of tradition, religion, or other forms of non-confrontation.
A lot of stuff cycles through, in the style of many social issues, without resolution or revolution. This is not judgment; I lived it.
I almost gave in to it.
Literally, one night when I was around 12, I came face-to-face with myself at the crucial turning point in my own cycle…
I had it in my mind that I would fight fire with fire, be just as mean and destructive as the force that had created those feelings within me… I had the opportunity, literally, in my grips.
And I couldn’t do it. Not that I couldn’t. I had every motive, justification, and – man – the chance to be as violent as I had endured.
I didn’t want to.
I didn’t want to win at being worst. I didn’t want to take myself to those levels of violence. I didn’t want to be that person with that stain on my conscience, memory, soul, etc.
Because I had already been that person… the angry girl who punched an opponent in the face during a basketball game after she pushed me too far (I’ll tell that story sometime)… the mean girl whose tough exterior betrayed a desperate need for acknowledgement and tenderness.
I wanted to be stronger than, better than, tougher than that negative cycle. It wasn’t going to take me down with it.
I knew I was not those things that were happening to me, but – without awareness – I had acted in ways that DID create in me very same thing I hated so much.
The night I broke the cycle was a turning point. The important moment came that I looked at myself and asked if I wanted to be the person who did what I had considered doing. It was intense – and maybe, one day, I’ll share the complete story – to realize the full power of the mind, of choice, of awareness…
It was momentous for me to remember my truest nature at that eleventh hour, for the kind and loving being who had been frightened into hiding to reach through all the fog of war – to see the hurt that had no outlet but to hurt me – and stop my transformation to absolute evil. I’m glad I chose to live my heroic timeline.
It gives me hope that everyone can choose the same.
I’ve failed to choose to “go high” when others have gone low.