Once in a while we receive a shock. Someone we’re close to makes a statement that reveals the person hasn’t understood us at all.
And in fact, the person hasn’t. Plus, we probably haven’t understood that individual, either—a long-time friend, a spouse, a sibling.
We’ve been seen as less than what we consider ourselves to be, and we feel hurt, devastated even. We’re also angry.
But wait. This could be kind of a good thing. Or at least according to some Sufi sects, who call this type of struggle “the way of bame.” http://realitysandwich.com/101841/sufism_and_way_blame/
We don’t ask to be seen in a negative light, and yet it happens. Some people, the Sufis say, attract this type of reaction more than others. Maybe (this is me thinking here) we catalyze others to react against something positive in us. Or not. We really can’t know why this happens. And yet we’re left to deal with the feelings aroused in us.
The emotional results are egotism, pure and simple. Our pride is hurt. We’re better than others have judged us to be. Perhaps. But what difference does that make? We can never be seen by other humans exactly as we are—and why is that important, anyway? What’s significant remains what is really within us, our real intentions. What’s vital remains our development into better human beings and worshippers of that which created us.
So instead of adopting a hurt and defensive posture, maybe what we need to do is look into how we ourselves see the other, or others. Don’t we judge them and sometimes rather harshly, too? Would they want to be seen in as unkind a light as we throw on them? Perhaps that aspect of what’s going on needs to be examined first, before we spring to our own defense.
For those of us who aren’t drunks, drug addicts, or outright scoundrels, this is what’s meant by the term “reformation of character.” Such patterns are small and delicate, hard to grasp or detect in ourselves. But these are the traits we need to track down, take hold of, and transform. Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Maybe he meant exactly this sort of thing, nothing grand.
Many of us come from hypercritical backgrounds. We were judged strictly as children and have taken on the role of judges ourselves.
Criticism will fall on us, whether wrongly or rightly. Whether from lower forces trying to tear us down or from higher sources seeking to perfect us.
We react, going straight into survival mode, because one or two of those we care about has “rejected” us. Without that person, we’re cast out into the wilderness, alone.
But are we?
In a world of billions of other human beings, even if this person were to set us adrift, wouldn’t someone else possibly happen along and befriend us? Is love so limited? And, is the person really dumping us, after all, or just trying to find a means of expression of that individual’s inner problem needing resolution.
Without the friendship or caring of a single other member of our own species, don’t we still have the care and love of our Creator?
Being criticized, viewed in a way we don’t see ourselves, isn’t death. Nor is praise life.
We have to know ourselves and stand on our own without attaching too much importance to what others have to say of us. These others can’t be more central to our knowledge of our self than we ourselves are.
And, in fact, our attention is due elsewhere, not on how we look to others, but on what is truly worthy of praise as well as what we have to accomplish in life.
We need to be as salmon swimming against the tide, to discover a transformed approach to the problems of existence.
But to stop a moment with a word about anger (more to come at a later date)—anger may be fully the right reaction at the right time—or it might not be. But we don’t always have to tamp our anger down, though we do need to control any actions harmful to others or even to property.
And if the above solves nothing for you, maybe having correct punctuation will: My ebook, Punctuation, is only $2 and can be downloaded in several formats. You don’t need an e-reader, either. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120620