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Less than an hour later, one of his posts hit my wall. It contained what can only be described as a poisonous diatribe...a vicious, supercilious, holier-than-thou attack on someone who had interacted with this man on some earlier thread on his Facebook wall. I am not going to disclose the Facebook page or names of anyone involved. The personal attack this person perpetrated was long, involved, ugly and full of a confusing, garbled message that after reading, left me wondering what had riled him up so badly. He took pains to post what had been a fairly innocuous conversation and proceeded to ridicule, lambast and accuse this other person of outright heinous behavior. What I saw from my end was a woman who had written a thoughtful, fair minded and relatively mild comment that didn't agree 100% with this man's perspective.
In response to his attack and his blatant act of putting her on Facebook blast to his readers, she took the High Road and apologized in a sincere manner. She addressed his points, stood her ground in a polite manner, but also took pains to express that if any insult was given, that wasn't her intention. His reaction was to write what I would describe as an Epic reply....we're talking paragraph after paragraph (more than 15 paragraphs, in fact - I stopped counting and reading at 15) of ranting, snide remarks and insulting, ugly comments about this woman's intelligence. It was simply disturbing. I went so far as to write a short comment in the thread that I found nothing incendiary about the statement that caused the whole ruckus, but then I bowed out.
What is my point? Well, if I can say anything about this whole mess, it is that I often wonder why so many people insist on living someone else's life for them. That is exactly what this guy was doing. By attempting to bludgeon someone else into bowing down to you just to keep the peace, by reacting in outrage and an attacking manner to force that other person to adopt your opinion, all you are doing is trying to step right into that person's life and take over. News Flash to those of us who behave in that manner....YOU DO NOT BELONG THERE!! Step back into your own body, your own life and your own arena.
My Grandmother Reagan was quite fond of telling all of us grandkids (there are 27 of us) when we were small and falling victim to the need to exhibit anywhere near that type of behavior, "Stay on your own back porch and tend your own backyard. That will keep you PLENTY busy!" Sage words, my friends.
What joy could it possibly bring another human being to behave in such a churlish, vindictive, antagonistic and public manner towards someone they've never met face to face??? It is beyond my ability to comprehend, but it was quite clear in that thread that this guy was LOVING what he was doing. Thankfully, one of my friends had recently posted on his wall the way to UnLike a page on Facebook, and I wasted no time zipping over to his wall to find that thread, copy the directions and delete that man's Fan Page from my wall. I do not ever want that level of toxic energy around me.
There was a bright side to the whole drama. I sent a private message to the lady that was the victim of this scenario, offering my own opinion and support. She wrote back and we struck up what appears to be the beginning of a very nice friendship. File this under the category of one of my older, archived posts, "It's 'Funny' How". Sometimes wonderful things result from the strangest, most unlikely, occasionally unpleasant circumstances. Happily, this was such a moment, and I look forward to getting to know this new friend better in the coming days.
Am I saying that we should never offer our own opinions about anything? That we should stand meekly and mutely by as a friend, or even a complete stranger walks directly into the path of an oncoming bus (literally or figuratively)? Absolutely not. I am not saying either of those things. There's a handy word to apply here and it is 'prudence'. If you read Healing Morning blog often, then you already know I'm a fan of the dictionary, so here's what Webster has to tell us about prudence:
1. The ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudence)
I think we all can agree that there is no way on Earth that someone can exercise prudence when they're occupied with the egotistical tantrum this man was throwing out on his Facebook wall. I cannot speak for him or what wound him up to such an irrational level. Clearly, there were emotional triggers that were tripped for him and he just dove right into the thick of it, wallowing around, pulling it close like a favorite teddy bear, enjoying the whole drama of it all. To my way of thinking, this did nothing to serve him well. It shined a very harsh light on him and actually made him look and sound petty, vengeful and childish. My newfound friend, however, stepped firmly into loving, forgiving and conciliatory energy, forgave, apologized and then walked away.
It is human nature to want to slap back at someone when they attack us. This situation went beyond anything as simple as an attack and slipped over the edge into character assassination. Nothing good can result from that type of dark, ugly energy. I predict that this person [perpetrating the attack] more than likely lives in a constant state of turmoil, has endless disappointments and often wonders why nothing ever goes his way. If he could step outside of himself for a wee span of time and watch his behavior from this whole episode, he might truly be appalled at the negative energy he was spewing. He might, just maybe, recognize that he is creating his own reality...and a grandly negative one at that.
I don't know his history or what has made him such an unhappy person inside that he has to resort to publicly tearing another person down to derive some sense of self. It is saddening to me, to be honest, that this man walks such a negative path. Granted, this was a small, isolated window into his world, so perhaps I am painting him with an unfair and broad brush. I have found, however, that that type of aggressive, angry energy blasted in such a public manner tends to indicate ingrained, habitual behavior. I can only wish peace towards him and remove myself, which I have done.
It generally comes from a vast sense of dissatisfaction that someone is motivated to thrust themselves so forcefully into another person's life in this way. If you're happy with yourself, content with your beliefs and perspective, you will have little to no need to force anyone to believe, think or feel as you do. That's because you're tending your own yard, staying on your own back porch and living your own life. It sounds so simple, right? For some of us, it is. For many of us, it comes easy. For many, it is hard fought and hard won, this realization that living your own life is the quickest and surest way to happiness. It is when we stray from our own path and start meddling with others, telling them how to live, that we come to grief and cause some truly unnecessary, hurtful situations.
I know the road I choose to take. Yes, I stepped briefly into this whole scenario in an effort to soothe troubled waters. I'm a peacekeeper by nature, but not to such a degree that I will charge militantly into someone else's space and forcefully inflict my opinions. When it was clear that nothing could mitigate the situation at hand, I, too, walked away. But I wasn't alone....I had a new friend walking with me. So, again, it really is 'funny how' Life throws us these unexpected moments of startling beauty in the midst of a tangled mess!
Accountability is another good word to partner up with practising restraint, respect and prudence. I agree with my beloved Granny Reagan that staying in my own backyard and living my own life keeps me plenty busy on any given day. I find that I resonate and enjoy spending time with other wonderful people who embrace this concept, because in general, they are happy Souls. Certainly, we all have bad days where we slip up, but I find that I can detect that bright light shining from within that other person when they are tending their backyard, keeping their porch clean and neat and authentically living their own lives.
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Your Light is a beacon and you make a difference in this world when you step forward in Conscious Thought, Conscious Love and the decision to Live YOUR Life.Namaste.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.