Self Destruct

Why do I have a tendency to self destruct? Am I my own worst enemy? Why am I so self destructive? What is wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?

It’s not just President Trump who has the power to destroy the world with the push of a button, we all have this power to destroy worlds within our own universe and bring the end of the world as we know it.

Sometimes, we burn bridges, pour gas on people whom we feel have wronged us, light the match and walk away. Occasionally we hit the self-destruct button or just nuke the whole shebang.

Why you would do such a thing is beyond me, and years of therapeutic process may (or may not) help to uncover the roots of one’s self destructive behavior.

Am I immune from having a tendency to self destruct? No, I don’t think anyone is immune from some form of self sabotage.

Regrettably, I’ve dropped a few bombs myself. I think we all do it when we’ve felt hurt, betrayed or disrespected. When your feelings are hurt, striking out in self defense seems like the best option at the time, so you hit the button… and in that moment, you feel better about yourself.

You feel better than feeling hurt when you’ve struck back. You might even feel really good… for a while.

You might even feel like your life will be so much better without this-or-that in your life at all, so you rationalize total decimation is not only warranted but acceptable or preferable. You are happy you pushed the button.

In the case of physical abuse, certainly methods of isolating yourself from others in a way that prevents further abuse are worth contemplating.

Do you have to destroy everything?

This is an important question to ask yourself before you push the button. When you’re considering lighting a match, pulling the trigger, pushing the button or dropping a bomb, asking yourself,

What are the far reaching effects of this destruction?

May be worth the momentary pause or distraction before you launch your attack (or counter attack), even if for consideration for the briefest of moments.

Oftentimes, the actions that we take – especially those actions conducted in the heat of the moment – do not serve us well in the long-run. At some time following the taking of such an action, we begin to realize this, start to feel bad (remorse), possibly even guilt, sorrow or depression.

We find ourselves struggling with our decision to lash out, often in ways that are irreparable as the damage was done, ever so effectively. What felt like self-defense at the time often leads to self destruction.

Is there a better way?

Yes. Self preservation is important. It is likely that you are the only person who is going to truly protect you or seek to defend who you are or what you believe. When it comes down to it, you’re all you’ve got.

So for god’s sake don’t do more harm than good.

Wisdom based on history and viewed through the eyes of love would dictate that in most (if not all) cases war is not the best option. Seeking inoffensive ways to protect one’s self are far more prudent and effective over time.

It’s hard to find balance between revenge and tolerance when our feelings are hurt or our ego is running amok.

Nonetheless, it is in these moments that we must find ways to retreat, find a place of solace or sanctuary, allowing us the repose necessary to ask the questions, “Is this destruction necessary?” and “What are the far-reaching implications?”

From a peaceful perspective and/or contemplative state, you may be willing to consider other options as you ask, “Is this truly in my best interest?”

Will this action lead to regret or self-destruction, or am I achieving my highest and best?

Is this my highest and best?

This is the life-affirming bottom line. If you are on a path to achieve your highest and best, is the action you are about to take helping you to stay on the high road, or have you somehow become derailed and are headed down a path leading to self destruct?

If there is any way possible, take the time to pause, re-evaluate and get back on track before you say or do something that you can’t take back.

Revenge vs. Tolerance

Revenge vs. Tolerance begs the question, “What is your reaction when you are faced with a concept, situation, organization or person that you vehemently disagree with?”

You could have a strict and concise, completely opposite point of view, or feel as though you have been slighted, attacked or betrayed by an imposition or affirmative action.

What you do about it say a great deal about the kind of person you are.

revenge-vs-tolerance-ego-and-love

Certainly there are many actions and reactions you can take, and like most things in life, the options vary among a spectrum of possibilities. At one end of the spectrum is Ego-fueled Revenge, on the other Love-inspired Tolerance.

Revenge

Revenge is the defense mechanism of the ego. The ego responds negatively to any idea in contrast to its own individual position. The wider the chasm between what the ego holds dearly and the opposing force or idea, the more violently the ego demands restitution.

While on the surface, the idea of revenge might seem just, “an eye for an eye.”

You offended, hurt me or my feelings, now you must pay dearly.
No one disrespects me, like that.

And there’s a romantic appeal to exercising justice in this manner, and it may be a lifelong compulsion overshadowing all aspects of your life until the need for revenge is satisfied, not unlike Inigo Montoya’s, “You killed my father. Prepare to die.” © 1973 William Goldman “The Princess Bride.”

You see the idea reflected every day in the media headlines in newspapers, on television, the Internet, radio broadcasts and is often reflected in casual conversation among friends, in cafeterias and around the water cooler at work.

The problem with the ego, is that it is not just. There is no other more selfish or disrespectful perspective from which to launch any action. Unfortunately, Albert Einstein accurately depicted the result of any action with his, “with every action there’s an equal opposite reaction.”

For the spiritually-inclined, this confirms the idea that there is a Karmic debt which accumulates with every action we take (which may also include our thoughts).

Where justice represents an equal eye-for-an-eye point of view, ego’s revenge exaggerates the difference to include psychological damages far beyond just the facts, causing any reaction to also be exaggerated. Instead of being an equal response (which might seem reasonable or just) the over-enthusiastic response swings an energy-charged pendulum.

Once the pendulum has swung full force, there is an initial sense of relief that justice has been served… only, as we all know, the pendulum will return to the one who launched it to exert its Karmic energy. Not good for the person who launched the counter-attack, or those within arm’s reach of the initiator of the revenge.

Tolerance

Tolerance, on the other hand, is inspired by love and promotes peace. Love does not seek revenge and is not destructive. Love honors justice but does so selflessly with compassion and respect. Love does not demand compliance, nor does it encourage victimization on either side.

The perspective of someone who may be the recipient of an injustice who is motivated by love rather than ego will respond with a different frame of mind.

The tolerant individual is more likely to imagine what it might be like in the offender’s shoes, wondering, “What may have contributed to this?”

Often, when looking at the entire picture, from the perspective of the other person, organization or thought, you can see how the combination of logic, emotion and circumstance has led to this thought or action that opposes your own sense of truth.

Tolerance is not the condoning of an opposing view, only allowing someone else to have (and hold tight) to such a view.

A tolerant response would be not to defend your position (pushing the pendulum) but to pursue a separate course of action to promote your point of view not directed to the opposition.

This is the enlightened response of tolerance.

Taking the action to promote your position is far more effective than defending your position from an argumentative point of view.

Revenge vs. Tolerance

So, what it comes down to, is answering the question, “What will you do about it?”

Would you rather push the pendulum in defense or make a stand, promoting your position in love and allowing support to be attracted to you?