People tell me repeatedly that the reason for their mean, aggressive, or otherwise hurtful behavior is because someone treated them badly first. If a behavior is inappropriate, how does the fact that someone did it first suddenly make it acceptable? Simply, it does not.
If we think that one hurt deserves another, we are suffering from a primitive knee-jerk mentality that we should have outgrown by the age of four years old. Sadly much of the human species still functions on the basis of “an eye for an eye”, which, as suggested by many, only creates more blindness.
Those who engage in this type of polarity are blind to the fact that rather than solving a problem they make it worse. They are blind to their own part in creating “war” in their relationships, family, workplace or community. Further, they are blind to the fact that by responding in this way they are stunting their own growth.
Forward progress in the human species depends on each individual taking personal responsibility for his or her own actions and behaviors, regardless of what others do. It is not enough to simply stop our negative behaviors, but this is a good start. What is required is that we form an intention to behave in a more evolved, conscious, productive way, and to state that intention. We state that we will no longer participate in a negative process, but will work together to find solutions.
Stating the intention may bring disbelief, sarcasm or ridicule, but we must stay the course. As part of our intention, our focus must shift to problem resolution, as opposed to problem aggravation. There needs to be as much focus on how we need to do things differently, as on what we want the other to change.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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