However, I must add that I have made some radical changes to my ‘teaching strategy’ over the years, and this change in my approach has brought me much inner peace and harmony with others. I have learned that we can ‘teach others’ with much less fuss and drama.
In my early adulthood I used to take a firm stand on just about everything and everyone who I felt were out of line. I am someone who often feels compelled to stand up for others, as well as for myself and my beliefs. I also have this annoying habit of constantly wanting to side with the ‘underdog’ in any given situation.
state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way
of seeing oneself and others ~ David R. Hawkins
I was bullied and ridiculed for most of my childhood and teenage years. South Africa under apartheid was not the most friendly place for anyone who dared to be different in any way. Bigotry, prejudice and intolerance was to be found around every corner and in all walks of life. If you were discovered to be out of the ordinary, or if you did not conform to the norm, you were not very welcome in the politically controlled and socially engineered world which I grew up in.
Thankfully all of this changed when I was coming of age. By the time they released Nelson Mandela from prison, I had also been personally liberated by means of a tertiary education and the inner strength that comes from surviving several traumatic life events, as well as a growing personal acceptance of my psychic legacy. I was now a young adult and along the way I had also discovered that I am more than able to take a stand and defend myself, and others, whenever I felt it necessary.
perceive, and we ourselves are much more than we
usually perceive. When you know that, part of you can
stand outside the drama of your life ~ Ram Dass
Fortunately, we never stop learning and over the years I have come to realize that this ‘fight for your right’ approach offers very little spiritual fulfillment or lasting inner peace. I have in time discovered that it is mostly the weak who react in anger or frustration. It is the weak who constantly seeks justice or revenge. It is the weak who feels compelled to be tough and defiant.
Standing your ground is trivial and has very little to do with your inner strength. The truly enlightened and wise find their power in unconditional love. Who is right and who is wrong is spiritually insignificant. Truly powerful people seldom have any need for excessive self-defense or forcing their views upon others. It simply does not matter. Do you want to be right… or do you want to make a difference in the world?
and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon
things being in a certain way, good or bad ~ Eckhart Tolle
You were born with the basic spiritual right to feel good and be happy. In fact, you have inherited a divine right to feel really great about yourself and your life. It is vital that we feel this way, because it empowers us to love others unconditionally. Once you feel happy and centered in your own being, it is so much easier to be kind and tolerant towards others.
Claiming your place in the sun and staying true to yourself does not have to involve any form of violent conviction, dogged persistence, foolish bravery or brute force. There is nothing that you have to prove to anyone. There is nobody that must be resisted or refuted or convinced by you at all cost. Not everything needs to be changed by you; everyone and everybody does not require your supervision or control. Your opinion is not always required. When you are in alignment with your higher self and your true life purpose, others can behave as they wish; you won’t even notice.
of life is the right way, when there is not one right way of life.
There is just life…and you all get to choose the way. No one
can threaten your way of life ~ Abraham-Hicks
With this approach it becomes so much easier to ‘teach others’. You no longer have to deal with all the stress, drama and negative, destructive emotions. There is no longer any desire to be constantly affirmed or acknowledged by others. Gone are the regrets and the grudges. Conflict and arguments all but disappear from your life. It really does take two to tango and nobody enjoys dancing solo, especially if there is no music to dance to.
The results are amazing. When you respond to the mean, petty moments of others from within your ‘zone’, you will find that the guilty parties tend to apologize more often and more readily. When you’re true to yourself and aligned with the rest of the Universe, people actually become willing to listen and calmly consider your point of view. Even the really tough and deluded folks become a non-issue, because they will eventually give up and move on.
wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself
is true power. If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich ~ Tao Te Ching
Chopra explains that “acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: ‘Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances and events as they occur.’ This means you will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be”.
Responsibility means “not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. This allows you the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it to a better situation or thing.”
Finally, he describes the most important component of getting into the ‘zone’, namely becoming defenseless. He defines this process as “relinquishing the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view. If you relinquish this need you will in that relinquishment gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted”.
no one to be different so that you can feel good. You
would free yourself of all of that cumbersome impossibility
of needing to control the world, or control your mate,
or control your child. You are the only one who
creates your reality – Abraham-Hicks
Does this mean that we should always remain silent when we are made victims, or look the other way when we see atrocities committed? Not at all. Nelson Mandela did not remain silent. Neither did Mahatma Ghandi. But they also came to the realization during the course of their lives that using force to convince others was not the best way to change the world. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, said Ghandi. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”, said Mandela.
It is not about remaining silent or avoiding reality. It is about remaining faithful to your feelings, beliefs and values, without having to force it upon others. Your life and the rest of the world can be changed without violence or drama or force. We don’t have to shout our personal slogans from rooftops. Mandela and Ghandi are two excellent examples of how to achieve personal peace, spiritual wisdom and harmony with others… and yet, they both managed to completely change the history of the world!
the way of truth and love has always won. There have
been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem
invincible, but in the end, they always fall –
think of it, always ~ Mahatma Gandhi
But it gets easier with practice and one does become stronger. And while I learn to let go more and more each day, I find comfort in the words of Jack Kornfield who once said that “a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring them to the transformative power of our heart”.
© 2011 Anthon St Maarten
Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net