Those who use nastiness, force, or attack to control your behavior must never be allowed to succeed in doing so
Have you noticed that society has become thoroughly nasty and violent? Probably since you were too young to remember, your behavior has been controlled by those who use attack against you. Of course you have tried your best to avoid being scolded, punished, or criticized. The sense of shame that comes along with it is a terrible feeling, isn’t it?
Most people will do anything to avoid nastiness, punishment, and attack—and this avoidance is exactly how we are controlled. The thought system of attack is used everywhere and all the time. Parents harshly criticize and punish, friends tease and mock, neighbors give dirty looks, and spouses and lovers play the never-ending and very ugly game of who is right and who is guilty. Then we turn on the TV and are threatened by the news. The government threatens violent punishments to implement arbitrary and ridiculous laws that we never agreed to. Even the very presence of the police and military represent a violent threat in an unjust, violent society.
Now, the new normal is a demand that we submit utterly and completely to insane, draconian rules—to cover our faces, to shut up about it or have our free speech taken away or worse. Attack is now far more common than decency or kindness. It has overtaken our lives and has imprisoned us.
The good news is that attack is a prison with no walls, constructed entirely of our own fears and perceptions. The reality of attack requires your judgment that it is real, that it is indeed to be feared, and that you are a guilty, wrong, disease-carrying sinner. The good news is that you, not the attackers, have the power to decide the reality of what you are.
You can decide to withdraw all attention from attack. Wherever it is used against you, you can ignore it and follow your heart. The peaceful, loving, and innocent are not the wrong doers. You are not a problem; rather, those who use attack are ill, they inflict great harm, and they need correction. They are miserable, live in a hell of their own creation, and attempt to trap you in it. But it is not your hell. You are free. You are life. You are truth. The hell of attack does not need to touch or control you.
The story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the story of overcoming persecution. This is exactly what I am speaking of here. You might enjoy meditating on it this Easter. We can undo the shackles of nastiness, violence, and punishment only when we stop letting it control us. Be you. Do what you know is right. Speak the truth. Do not ever let the attacks against you stop you. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.