Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde Safety

Ever wonder why someone who could be perfectly nice, even-tempered, supportive, polite and friendly can suddenly turn into a hot mess of dysfunction, discontent, hateful, or downright mean? Before you start jumping to conclusions about Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), or Bipolar Disorder, consider this person may be practicing a form of self-preservation, a sort of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde safety net, or precautionary forcefield.

People will do the darndest things to protect themselves when they feel threatened or are triggered, and it’s nearly impossible to know what’s going on inside someone’s head. People carry with them a lifetime of experiences, some of which can be quite frightening or painful, and the human psyches will do just about anything to avoid the risk of suffering due to the reinjury of an unhealed emotional wound.

This is a very base survival instinct at work, which if viewed without judgment, would be impossible not to empathetically understand from a compassionate point of view, rather than picking up stones to hurl them, retaliate, punish, or stomp out someone who is simply trying to make it through life in the best way that they possibly can.

To you, looking at the surface condition, you might witness someone with whom you’ve had a particularly peaceful and close relationship, suddenly experience a dramatic change in character, and might become quite abrasive, mean, and/or nasty. Naturally, you recoil because you’ve been surprised by the sudden change in character, but wait, and consider what might be going on behind the scenes before you accuse or defend yourself.

We all have different skill sets and respond to threats differently based on our experience. Some people who have suffered trauma, abuse, have low self-esteem, or have not learned high performance coping skills may have fewer tools available to them to reach for when they are triggered and may act out inappropriately to isolate themselves from a perceived threat… and they may not be very nice about it. You might even think they are being rude or mean.

Some people with low self-esteem will strike out at well-intended friends, or people who are getting close to them, as a way to protect themselves from being hurt. They have a sense of safety and security in being isolated and threatened by being too close to someone, or vulnerable. For them, it is better to be safe, by pushing people away, than sorry (potentially exposing themselves to potential pain).

Others try to manufacture a safe environment around themselves wherein they can safely navigate their lives by maintaining a high degree of control. They have strict guidelines that participants in their life can safely move about within. Step outside the boundaries they have set and expect to be ejected. Depending on the skills they have accumulated at the time, your expulsion may be unglamorous and hurtful. Nonetheless, this person is doing the best they can to preserve their sanity while maneuvering his or her way through life.

Fear is the predominant motivator of these incongruent outbursts. If you are afraid of losing your life, you are likely to act in ways that are not normal for you in an effort to prolong life. The same is true for some people who are afraid to lose their reputation, love, connections, finances, sanity, safety, or security.

Such a person might strike out at you when they are feeling vulnerable or threatened by name-calling, devaluing you, raising their voice, threatening, or right-out total rejection of you. They may try to blame you for anything they might be feeling, falsely accuse you, or even use their influence to discredit or demonize you.

Such a person will feel better not having you amidst his or her presence and not feel much guilt for getting you out of their life, either momentarily, or permanently. To soothe themselves, they will often huddle people around themselves, polarizing them against you, to justify and make sense of their outburst.

Again, do not take it personally. This person is in pain, and they are doing the best they can with what they have, even if they appear to be acting out in a Mr. Hyde fit of rage. Just because they are acting mean doesn’t mean they are a bad person.

Have compassion and empathy for such a person who is trying to make it through this life carrying such heavy weight of burden from their past, anguish, and pain.

May God bless them, and hopefully, they find better ways to live a better life. If not, they are not wrong or broken for doing the best they can with what they have. They are perfect, and we love them just the way they are.

Only a Fool Would Say That

Even though we like the welcoming, warm feeling that comes from being surrounded by like-minded people, there is no impetus to try to convert others from one point of view to yours. Certainly, there are people you like or admire whom you would like to have join you on your journey, and maybe they can be great traveling companions, but to try to convert them from where they are to where you are, is unwise, if not possible.

It’s not to say that they couldn’t come around or eventually find their way to a more resonant vibration if that is part of their journey in this life. It is not incumbent upon you to save anyone from anything or to make someone think the way you do.

I like having many different kinds of people joining me on my journey while trying to be mindful and not judge people for being who they are. At first blush, this might look like a politically correct “celebrating diversity,” but it’s much more than that. It’s not looking at the diversity (diversity is a form of judgment), it’s allowing anyone, everyone, to simply be. To be who they are, where they are, to come and go as they please.

Just because someone else might share a particular resonance with you today, does not imply they we resonate with you tomorrow. We are all on our own journeys, our paths cross from time to time, to stay in one place too long leads to complacency and stagnation. You must keep moving if you want to continue to grow, change, and evolve into the best version of yourself, and allow others to do the same.

If you disagree with someone’s point of view, to criticize them for their belief is an act of violence. To impose your belief on someone else suggests you are supporting yourself with a sense of superiority, in essence looking down on someone else for not being as enlightened as you. You might even insinuate or call them a fool, as you sit on your self-endowed high throne of superiority.

Only a fool would say,
Only a fool would say that.

On your own road of enlightenment, you may be able to recall concepts which you held close to your heart, things that you believed so much and held so dearly, that you would defend them with everything you’ve got, even possibly give your life in defense of it, only to find out later, that belief no longer serves you. How could you not bless someone else for being on a similar journey on their own path to enlightenment?

No two journeys are the same. Even amongst the like-minded people you share experiences with, none of them followed the same path you followed to get to this point in time. Some may have had similar journeys but no two are the same, even if you’ve traveled hand-in-hand along the way.

To judge someone else for their beliefs is to disrespect their journey, and doing so explicitly demonstrates your lack of tolerance. For as much as you feel more awake or enlightened than someone else, to devalue another for where they are on their path is preventing your expansion, tethering you to your barbarian roots.

Pick Your Perspective

Fear or Love

Judgment or Tolerance

Tolerance is the polar opposite of judgment. Judgment is rooted in fear, tolerance is powered by love.

When you meet someone who believes something differently than you do, bless them, try to see their belief from their perspective, love and accept them for who they are, where they are, and celebrate their life, without the imposition of your beliefs.

This is not to say that you cannot share your perspective, certainly, you may, but do so with love and compassion, only to leave clues for someone to ponder along their journey.

To debate, to try to convince or convert someone is barbarism. Aren’t you ready to cut the cord that binds you to those archaic thought forms and leave them behind?

What if you’re on the receiving end?

How do you feel when someone tries to convince you that you are wrong and that you must change your mind or life to align with his or hers? No doubt, you can feel the barbarianism behind that approach when you are on the receiving end.

Your first response to being attacked by someone is

Fight or Flight

You could turn and run, or post up, defend your position and prepare to engage in a battle of wits, or you could choose to

Love

When you choose to love someone who is assaulting you, you try to see things from their point of view. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings, expressing explicitly their point of view, and blessing them for where they are on their journey with compassion, not condemnation.

If you are safe and secure in what you believe, you have no need to defend it. You are impenetrable. If you harbor doubt and fear about what you believe, you are more apt to take a defensive stance, because there’s a part of you (that higher part of you) that is incongruent with your belief, so the ego takes over and prepares to battle in an effort to impose congruency by brute force.

Seeing different people as different, through the eyes of fear, building walls and separating them leads to chaos. You know that. Take a look around… You see it every day.

Seeing people as harmonious, through the eyes of love, allows you to see the perfection in everyone and everything. From this vantage point, you can see everything is connected and perfect.

Life is a Battlefield

Life is like a war zone. Everyone is fighting for their lives, for their survival, for their preservation of their self. It’s a constant war of me-versus-you. In some cases we create teams or troops, then it’s us-versus-them. Even so, it is not uncommon for a barrage of me-versus-you appearing within the troops of the us-versus-them. We are surrounded by the war we wage for our self.

Are we all so narcissistic to think that we are so superior to any other person, that any incongruence that we interpret or sense justifies suiting up and weaponizing anything available to us in the immediacy of that moment when our self feel threatened, disregarded or disrespected.

We strike out, strike back in a full on devil may care battle to defend our self, to annihilate the enemy taking no prisoners.

If you don’t see this taking place in your life, you certainly can see it in others. In fact, you may be keenly aware of others posting up to defend their selves and striking out at others, even labeling and pointing out their behavior to others, but unable to see your own participation in the battle. Maybe, it’s out of denial – or an all-out attempt to refuse to see these attributes within – or, you might be using a different set of weapons, hiding behind the shield of the victim.

In most cases, reviewing the base causes initiating the fear of loss and defense of self is based on something that isn’t even real. Some emotionally charged belief in something that cannot be seen, verified or vilified, because it is a feeling. A feeling that created a trigger marking the emergent defense measures being launched, because anything else would mean certain death to what you believe to be true.

Yet, we know that what we believe to be truth changes as we mature or gain access to new information. This has never been more apparent than in these current days of rapidly advancing technology when we actually have been able to witness – with our own eyes – the impossible being an ordinary aspect of everyday life.

Regardless, we see everything in the world all around us as a potential threat as we continue to be keyed-up and on high alert to any prospective assault. And the higher law rewards us by honoring our seeking by giving us the gift of bestowing upon us that which we seek. Universal laws do not change, so this is true: Seek and you will find. (This law sometimes confounds scientific research.)

If you look for demons, you will surely find them. When you discover them, you can initiate the holy war you rage to protect your self, yet again.

If you’re open, and honest, you might find yourself looking inside and asking if all this pain and war is necessary. Why? Because something inside you is yearning for an alternate emotional state, one of peace, serenity, joy and happiness.

When you are in a constant state of combat, there is little space available for experiencing the good things in life with any degree of gratitude or enjoyment. When you are in a high security mindset scanning for potential threats, you find it difficult to find the space for gratitude and allowing yourself to live a better life.
This is true: You are waging a war, when no war exists, that vanishes when you stop fighting it.

It’s your choice. You can choose to love, instead of fight.

It’s not easy, because you’ve spent your whole life being the warrior.

Your love life, your life filled with love and enjoying and cherishing all the good things this life has to offer, is tapping you on the shoulder, even now.

Isn’t now the time to consider putting down your weapons, turning your back on the war, surrounding your self with love and gratitude?

How to Not Take It Personally

When you see that person who is calm, in a state of zen, and nothing seems to bother them, you think, “What the hell is wrong with that person?”

What you might find, is that they have mastered the idea that nothing is personal. They don’t seem to get uptight (much) and stuff just seems to roll off their back, as they don’t get overanxious or take things personally. They embrace the idea that things are as they are and that’s okay.

You, too, could begin living a life free from the angst of others, because, after all, people will disagree with you, even scheme to trip you up, or try to make you look as if you’re overreacting in front of peers or coworkers, just to prove they can.

Rather than react, you could opt to stop taking things personally and take away their superpower in an instant.

First of all, make a list of the things that piss you off (you know the people that piss you off have this list, shouldn’t you?). Next, review the list. What do yo find? Look for the key components that bother you (this can be an exciting journey in self-discovery, as you find the things that irk you the most often are related to key life moments in your past – or early childhood – torturing you in the present).

Try to look at the issue from other perspectives and think about how a particular thing or topic that carries with it a powerful negative charge and ask, “Does it really matter?” In the scope of the life and times of the human race, many a mountain has been made of molehills, just to cause division between peoples, when in reality, very little is truly meaningful. And when you think of it, nothing has meaning, except for the meaning that you give it.

 

Take a look at celebrities, politicians and other public figures that take massive stands, expecting others to conform to their point of view. How is that working for them?

I discovered long ago, you are more likely to get someone to see from your perspective if you love and accept them just they way they are without expectation, rather than entering into a heated debate or brow-beating them.

If community or global issues get you riled up, realize whatever it is, is not happening to your, personally. Position yourself as a supporter instead of a protester. Protesters (those who expend a great deal of energy in opposition to something) actually add more energy to the thing they are standing against, strengthening the very thing they don’t want. On the other hand, supporters put their energies toward what they do want (the solution) thereby increasing its effectiveness.

Remember that life is what it is. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round, and start making room in your psyches to allow others to be as they are. Take the position of the observer rather than the enforcer. It’s not your job to control others, so try to find opportunities to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

As you are growing into a more tolerant lifestyle, embracing who you are without having to have anyone conform to your personal standards, you may begin to see others doing the same thing. Finding opportunities to spend time in their proximity will make your allowance grow even more.

Does that mean life will be rosy? No, not really. You can wear all the rose-colored glasses you want, and still, people you trusted will fall short of the mark, those you love will hurt your feelings, and you will do likewise (either intentionally, or not). This is a fact of life. Do your best to realize that it is what it is, any tr not to judge others (or yourself) too harshly when it becomes apparent.

How can you disarm those who would like to attack you, or put you down?

Easy, don’t give them any ammunition. When you practice tolerance, there is no opposition. When you can wrap your head around that everything and everyone is perfectly fine just the way they are and no one is right or wrong, allowing for differing opinions, what is there to fight against? Nothing.

And what about your idea of truth? Do you find yourself being defensive, fighting for what you believe? Well, just sit back and think about it… Where did you get this idea of truth? Did someone plant the idea, or did it originate from within your own mind, with your own reasoning and rationale? Then review all the things you strongly believed in… Has your belief changed over time? In most cases, truth and what we believe does change over time, as new information becomes available. It’s inevitable. Things change. So cut yourself some slack and admit to yourself, “This is what I believe to be true at this moment in time.” Based on the information at hand. Who knows what you might believe tomorrow.

Have good intentions and hold yourself to the standard of the Hippocratic Oath, “to do no harm.”

Stop adding energy to the bad things that are brought to your attention. If you see something bad in the media, switch it off, change the channel, refuse to engage in it. Just the welling up of negative emotion within you makes those things that you dislike more powerful. Avoid all negativity.

When people are acting poorly, it is not up to you to try to change them, punish them, or make them feel bad. Do not talk about them behind their back or try to ridicule them for their actions, confront them or offer them advice.

If you find yourself in close proximity and a confrontation is unavoidable, try to speak your peace with lighthearted humor, remembering that it’s not about you. When someone is in opposition of you and you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, keep in mind that this person is acting out because of their own inner demons. It has nothing to do with you. In fact, it can be somewhat of a blessing that you were chosen to participate, because the more tolerant, new you, is less likely to fight and more likely to understand and have empathy for the person who is acting out. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

If you don’t like haters, don’t be one. How hard is that? Only share positive support and do not put others down, not for anything. After all, aren’t we all just doing the best we can with what we have?

If yo have an opinion or want to share some factual data, please do so, but share your information humbly, without the expectation that anyone should believe you or conform to your thought patterns. Think of it more like planting seeds. Share your information and allow it to take root and grow on its own, or not.

Practice the Golden Rule (Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Matthew 7:12) by treating others as you would like to be treated.

Congratulations, you are on your way to the tolerant new you, who doesn’t take things personally, because it’s not. Everything and everyone just is as it is, and that’s okay.