Quote for reflection: “…returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”~Martin Luther King Jr. MLKjr
King jr’s birthday memorial
The following description of a video I viewed and the conversation that ensued, came the day before Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday memorial, January 19, 2020. I felt it important to mention this because of two things. One was the synchronicity of not realizing King’s birthday was the next day. I honestly didn’t have a clue. And that my position in the conversation came from a non-violent awareness which is how King jr lived his life.
In now honoring a truly caring and courageous man who stood in his truth risking his life, he shined a light on an aspect of true leadership that didn’t blame others but called out the actions and asked for accountability. He shared and demonstrated how to change things in a society that was (and still is) entrenched in hierarchical divisions of people. Unconditional love was the essence of King’s teachings.
Two of many competitive cyclists crossed a narrow stone bridge with low rock railings. Both speeding cyclists had their helmets on with red racing tops and bottoms. There were people lined up before the bridge watching and cheering them on.
As the two were riding in parallel across the narrow bridge, the one on the left pushed his arm out towards his competitor. It appeared like quite an intentional attack. This action threw the other cyclist off the bike and flipped him over like in a side somersault. The one who pushed him, fell over as well in riding his bike into the side of the low stone railing due to the counter thrust impact.
Two men, from the start of the bridge, came running towards the cyclists who had been watching this intense interplay. One observer picked up the man who had been shoved over to help him.
The other observer pushed the cyclist who initiated the shoving, hit him on the back, picked him up by the jacket, pushed him so that he was up against the stone railing of the bridge.
In attempting to regain his balance and protect himself, the cyclist was pushed over the stone bridge railing by the observer into the rushing waters over a hundred feet below.
I was stunned…horrified! I felt a deep need to speak to my shock in what I just viewed. I sensed that who posted it might not have felt the way I did, though I know her as a very caring, supportive, intelligent and concerned person.
The following dialogue then occurred about this video. I will only give initials to protect the others participating in the conversation. But I will identify myself and use ‘J’. I corrected some of ‘R’s spelling, commas, and phrasing as little and best as I could so the readers could understand the train of thought.
Judy: What the man did in pushing the other cyclist off the bike, wasn’t ok at all. But what was done to him, in being thrown over a bridge by a third person, wasn’t ok either…could have killed him. I know it’s supposed to be ‘funny’ and a way for us to relieve tension, but my experience was a jolt to my body. Violence only begets more violence.
D: You are entitled to feel that way…I don’t see anyone trying to kill anyone here. I suppose sometimes only a bully can teach a bully. I love it. Though I do realize that if all the young man has ever known is violence, this would not serve any lesson at all except to perpetuate it. It’s a balance.
W: Everyone gets a prize, doesn’t work either…
J: What if the man fell into shallow water, hit a rock and died? Or he couldn’t swim and drowned? Such reactivity is what happens in the world. You are both welcome to your opinions, but what I saw was violence and that will not teach lessons of peacefulness. I stand with King jr. And an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ mentality only gives less insight.
R: Aww, the snowflake got scared. What if, what if it is just that, what if your mindless liberal ass took time to look at the person on the ground that was pushed off their bike rolling in pain. What if the man who through the scum off the bridge lived there and knew just how deep the water was? What if we just let scum do whatever they want without severe consequences? What if you are just a brain dead liberal fool?
D: Not everyone you disagree with is a mindless liberal, much less all the other insulting terms you lambasted her with, least of all Judy. I agree the man who threw him over was townsfolk and knew exactly what was up with the water, and the young man was even wearing a helmet. [what occurred in the video was not known personally to either ‘D’ or ‘R’] No one would have let him drown. I did not see any violence, but Judy did. She is absolutely entitled to that, in my opinion, especially since she works with trauma victims and is a dedicated healer. She brings a lot to the table with her perspectives as do I and as do you…different people, in different ways.
R: Judy is a fool because you can ‘what if’ all you want. Judy made no mention of the victim in this case and had only concerns for the perp. Judy is displaying classic liberal stupidity. You made no mention of the man who was obviously injured and are more concerned for Judy’s right to be mindless of what actually happened. I guess I should be more concerned for the pharmacy CEO than the children that are harmed by him just trying to do his job.
D: I didn’t see any “violence”, just bad behavior, frankly on both sides…but fair and good, immediate karma! So, I guess we all see things differently. I find that interesting and nothing to get mad at anyone for. But that’s just me.
R: I am not mad, just telling the truth. The truth is Judy expressed zero concerns for the man that was obviously injured. In my observation, she is mindless, driven by her emotional response.
J: It’s obvious to me, ‘R’, that your projected anger isn’t about me. I won’t be taking on what you wrote personally as I find it similar to what 10 year olds do when they think someone doesn’t get them. Name calling doesn’t make for being heard, only disconnections in communication. It’s like you make up a story to enter the blame game.
You seemed to have read selectively what I wrote. I spoke about both men, not just the one pushed over into the water in my first post… (“What the man did in pushing the other cyclist off the bike, wasn’t ok at all.”)
And I had to laugh that you called me a liberal. I just find that your responses probably don’t show your care for those who get hurt, but instead you use your words to attempt to diminish others. This is called bullying. Is that how you were raised? And how you raised your children?
And there is a big difference between sharing one’s truth and projecting onto or bullying/name calling towards another. Truth sharing is a learned skill in staying with one’s experience. You don’t know me. But you do quite a bit of assuming in who you think I am.
I don’t plan on discussing this more with you as I don’t find you actually wanting a conversation or discussion. It feels more like you want to dominate, the upper hand, rather than an open dialogue. But please prove me differently, and I’ll join you there.
Pink elephant the living room
Being present to the reality of this situation seemed clearly visible to me. I’m not a person who dances around ‘a pink elephant the living room’ and says it’s not there. When the levels of violence presented were minimized to ‘immediate karma’, ‘bad behavior’, and assumptions that the townsfolk knew how deep the water was when the cyclist was pushed, when there is denial of how words show obvious emotions and reactivity, it’s time to pause, and assess what is really happening.
I had found out from ‘D’ through a short, private conversation before I responded to ‘R’, that ‘R’s reactivity flares up with many and often. I knew I would not want further connection with him in the way he expresses himself.
I chose to speak to the interaction to share my experience, question the projected statements, and point out the ‘pink elephant’ in front of me without using violence, bullying, diminishing, and/or abusive ‘languaging’. Mercury retrograde starts its shadow on the first of February, today, and is full on by the 18th to March 9th. It exists with its exiting shadow until March 29th. That’s a long period to keep tempers curbed and learn skills to communicate with others in ways that demonstrate emotional regulation, care, and consideration rather than hierarchical power-over.
Patterns or beliefs to notice
Minimization patterns- the act of throwing someone off a high bridge described as ‘bad behavior’. [I can see the news headlines if this occurrence stayed in a minimized pattern…‘Parent throws child off bridge for hitting his sibling.’ Is this considered ‘immediate karma’ for the child? Is it fair? Or is someone acting violently with another who lacks skills and regulation? Many adults have not worked on their issues and act out their childhood issues.]
Justifying patterns: harming another for the way they have ‘behaved’. [Harming another for their behavior and conscious consequences are not the same. Isn’t this what happens to children in being punished? Isn’t this why we have societies of prison mentality? Isn’t this played out in the world through wars?]
Competition patterns in the video: like a belief that ‘competition is necessary to enjoy a sport’. [Really? Creativity and fun don’t ever have to be competitive. This is about a hierarchy of relatedness.]
Denial of anger/feelings patterns: And how it’s expressed by calling people names [The act of name calling or projecting a derogatory label onto another demonstrates that there is at a minimum, the feeling of frustration. I wonder what was felt by the emotionally dysregulated white people involved with King jr.]
Assuming motives, character, and political patterns: [The definition of telling the truth is about owning one’s experience or feelings. It’s not about assuming what the other’s motives, assumed character and political affiliation is. This is a huge pattern in dysregulated and abusive families.]
Switch and bait patterns: Changing the topic being discussed to an assuming political affiliation about the other, or an off-the-wall topic that has no relevance or relationship to the discussion in an attempt to get the other in a defensive or reactive mode. [When repeated emotional reactivity occurs with ‘upper’ hierarchical positioning in a conversation, the persecutor role of the Drama Triangle is present.]
‘R’s style of communication can often be triggering for people. It’s extremely disrespectful. Being raised in families where continual disrespect (emotional abuse) was prevalent is difficult enough. If it continues to the present through lack of necessary self-care boundaries or projecting it back to others, there is inner work to do.
For me, I don’t allow disrespectful conversations to continue. I felt clear that his bullying was about himself, his own unhealed issues. I called it out in questioning his actions without making him wrong.
I also set my boundaries. I don’t accept bait, ad hominem (character assassination) or gaslighting. And yes… it took me years to figure out that I was even experiencing any of these retorts to be able to find clear and regulated ways to deal with and respond to them. It’s a continual practice of refining. My dream is to be able to speak this clearly off-the-cuff, because it’s easier in writing than communicating outloud for me.
My response came from working with, and being worked on by the energy of Interconnective Communication™ [December 2019 Blog for the Soul topic https://theflowofhealing.com/2020/01/01/interconnective-communication-consciously-respond], in being mindful in relating to others, and changing my beliefs using ThetaHealing Technique®. These have continued to help me refine my communication skills.
And February is the ‘love month’ so remember to give lots of love, care and tenderness to yourself in how you speak to you within and in being a priority in your life.
Wishing you clear, caring and connected communication in the Mercury retrograde, and Happy Valentines from my heart to yours,
Helpful Creator’s teachings/downloads
I know what it feels like to, how to, when to, that it’s possible, that it’s safe, that I’m worthy, deserving and good enough, that I can, I do (or I am/am able to be):
- Exemplify true leadership through accountability
- Think before you react
- Live without creating violence through your use of words (bullying)
- Engage your courage to speak up against violence when it’s safe and feels appropriate
- Communicate so others feel they can participate
- Tell the truth without assuming another’s motives or character
- Point out another’s dysregulated action without making them wrong and/or by questioning them
- Clarify your own motives
- Live without assuming another’s behavior is about you personally
- Clearly decide when to stay in communication with a dysregulated other
- Creating boundaries out of respect for yourself
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