only when they are invited
and room is made for them.”
You must recognize and acknowledge that anger and hatred, expressed as attempts at manipulation and control, require absolutely nothing of you. I mean they must be totally ignored. They must be recognized for what they are—bad behavior by another demanding “good” behavior from you, but demanding it from a position which lacks integrity, substance, and justification for a legitimate response.
Bullying calls for only one response: Turning your back and walking away, and then staying out of the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter if the bully is “a little old lady,” or a peer, or a cranky four-year-old child. You dishonor the behavior.
Bullying never happens at an “appropriate” time, or a convenient one. The point is that the one engaged in bullying does not deserve the response which is being demanded. No respect is due, no kindhearted forgiving help is appropriate until the bullying stops.
The bully always finds some ploy of righteousness, which is always deceptive, to guilt another into the behavior being demanded. The deceit can look like a little old lady who uses her elderly status as justification for overlooking bad behavior and allowing it to continue. Or, the deceit can look like a fellow with bravado and boldness expressed unapologetically, appearing to be superior, and on that basis demanding obedience to unreasonable and disrespectful demands. It will always take on forms that suggest an innocence which others should recognize and thereby hold the bully innocent of any need to change, thereby dutifully acquiescing into agreement with the bully’s point of view.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known the bully or how personable the relationship has been, the extended focused expression of anger and hate which he or she refuses to abandon requires you to disengage from the relationship and bring the bullying to an end. This is called an interrupted relationship. In other words, once a relationship is established, it is forever, and interrupting it does not cause it to no longer exist. But it does mean that the two-way open-door nature of the relationship has been nullified with certainty.
I am going on at some length here in a repetitive manner because you must come to understand what the word “no” means. It is not a sweet word. It is an adamant word. It does not give the benefit of the doubt. It means what it says. It’s meaning is not soft and cuddly. It is firm and absolute. It is not emotional. It is strength.
You recognize the ridiculousness of trying to raise a child without using the word “no.” Likewise, it is ridiculous for you to do everything you can to avoid the directness of the word “no” and always find some other way to “diplomatically” give new direction to the situation—or, even worse, bite your tongue, say nothing at all, and walk around with no self-respect.
So, you’re a spiritual person, one whose spirituality is rather public, one who has stood behind my words and given voice to them, one who knows he should, in every situation, ask, “What is the truth here,” and then give voice to it. How on earth can that “square” with saying no to a little old lady who isn’t so sweet and interrupt the relationship with a demand for a change of behavior before reopening the two-way nature of a real relationship? “That isn’t loving, kind, considerate, gentle, nurturing or wonderful,” your ego says.
It also isn’t strong!
I will tell you something: Without strength there cannot be loving, there cannot be kind, there cannot be considerate, there cannot be gentle, nurturing or wonderful. Let’s put it another way: Love, kindness, consideration, gentleness and wonder, without principle, lack integrity, become meaningless, and inevitably shift into deceitful tools of usury, perversion, and the most salacious forms of abuse. To let yourself, or anyone in your presence, be abused without objection, and to do it so as to appear not to be unloving or unspiritual, is an insane misunderstanding of what it means to “love one another.” And, it is immoral and evil.
You know, if there were anything to be afraid of, it would be two things: That you wouldn’t say “no” when it needed to be said, and worse, that you wouldn’t recognize when it needed to be said. But these don’t bother you. What bothers you is the idea of “not caring.” What escapes your attention is that it means more to you to fulfill a concept of what it means to “be caring” than it does to “meet the need.”
You must understand that being a caring, loving person may not offend the egos of others, but it also doesn’t promote growth, learning, redemption and healing by uncovering the blocks to them and clearly, succinctly correcting them. You must come to see the correlation between the power of the word “no” in the uncovering of the divine “yes” which is hidden by a call for correction that has not been answered clearly, directly, unapologetically. Then you must use the word “no” clearly, directly, and unapologetically . . . and it’s this last word you will have to work on most.
I will be simple, blunt and clear with you. You know that when you are driving and another vehicle rapidly gains on you from behind, showing signs of impatient and erratic behavior, you have to be careful not to be coerced into violating the speed limit or behaving erratically yourself. You recognize it is not safe to drive on the basis of another driver’s motives or actions.
You are not to be the ball in a pinball machine whose path is determined by whatever it comes in contact with—bounced helplessly back-and-forth from here to there and yonder until gravity brings you to the end of a path undetermined by you. The fact of the matter is that you are always determining your direction. You are always determining your actions. And you are doing it either consciously or unconsciously, proactively or reactively, with purpose or without purpose—all of which mean “with Guidance or independently.”
If you intend to be a do-gooder by sharing the principles of A Course in Miracles or sharing what is revealed by the Holy Spirit without embodying what you share, if you engage in the two-step and listen for the Voice for Truth and share what you hear without standing by it unapologetically because it is nothing more than your right mind expressed, you are hiding, and no miracle can occur! No “sudden shift of perception” can take place. If you have managed to be invisible—a nonparticipant in the penetration of Truth into the “human experience,” which is the function of the holy instant—you cannot be transformed, because what you have not given, you cannot have or keep.
The Holy Spirit is not a place to hide—a cloak of invisibility in which you disappear as you defer to It’s revealing of the Truth and share It. If “the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind,” then to defer to It means to let yourself into the fuller integrity of your Being and share/extend It without apology. This does not mean behaving in a bold, brash, powerful way. Rather, it means to “be in the world” in the unselfconscious way that is characteristic of behavior which arises out of saying “thy will be done,” and being led. In this joined state, this “partnership” which is unity, one is truly proactive, or Holy-Spirit-motivated, and one is far from invisible. But—and this is the important point—visibility or invisibility becomes irrelevant in the experience of the movement of Truth one finds himself being the expression of, and this unselfconsciousness is humility. In this state, one is also incapable of participating in or turning a blind eye to the abuse of bullying.
Let’s be very clear here: To be an agent for change, to be a “teacher of God,” to employ the holy instant, does not amount to being a catalyst. It is something much more profound than that! A catalyst is never a participant in the change it promotes. It remains hidden in the process and is not present in what is changed. You do not have the luxury of the imagined safety that such noninvolvement would provide. “Oh, the Holy Spirit said that.” “The Holy Spirit says this.” “It is a holy thing to want to be a messenger, and thank God I can’t be held responsible for the message.” That is hiding. It is also the absence of Love. And Brotherhood has nothing to do with it! That is why it is never miraculous. A catalyst cannot look into its brothers eyes and remember God. It promotes change without involving itself and is not present in the end result.
If you perceive yourself to have the function of a catalyst, you are actually engaged in an act of isolation while appearing to be in an act of involvement. And the illusion of separation from God persists while the illusion of involvement suggests that something holy is happening which is actually promoting Atonement when it is not!
I will tell you something: You cannot control another, but you can disallow another from controlling you. And if you do not, if you shrink into the background and justify your silence—your lack of integrity—by telling yourself it’s a profound act of forgiveness, you will find yourself profoundly abused. It is foolish to believe that something holy can happen when you are involved in an unholy alliance. It is not only foolish, but immoral to allow yourself to be the recipient of constant expressions of hate, anger, bruises, black eyes without objection—without saying NO. There is no spiritual moral justification or principle for enduring committed assault on one’s integrity, and never has been.
You must dare to be sober and intelligent. Get out of the bully’s territory, without apology or remorse. Do not berate yourself for not being able to heal the situation. Understand this: He or she who is in need of correction must play his or her part in the miracle, else there will be no miracle, no matter how committed you are to engaging in the holy instant. That one must arrive at a point where he or she interrupts the obsession to hurt and wants to find a better way to be. As with everyone, until there is a desire to reach beyond one’s current way of perceiving things, until one is willing to abandon the arrogance of self-will and reach for help, there will be no miracle. “Oh, but if I will just have enough faith in him, if I will just hang in here a little longer without making him or her mad, if I will just be kind and thoughtful and give plenty of praise, God will step in and he or she will be healed.”
I am sorry, but that is not true. For example: The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right mind. It is held in trust—in other words, it is ever present—while you dally with being an ego. It has infinite patience. It Knows It is the wholeness of You. It Knows that you will come back into your right mind because you have never really been the limited perception that you believe yourself to be. That could be called faith undying. And yet It—which is your very own Integrity—cannot force you to embrace yourself in your Entirety. Even now, with all you have learned from me and from the Course, you still reserve the right to be an independent thinker. If you allow yourself to get upset or fearful, even angry at times, you cannot hear me or the Holy Spirit, even though we are here and we are addressing you. You must accept the fact that you have absolute control and there is nothing we can do about it . . . and so does your bully!
We are simply taking a closer look at the need to mature your spiritual perspective beyond the power of positive thinking, or “clear, correct thinking,” as though that gives dominion over everything. You have to give up the idea that the principles of Love and your willingness to turn things over to the Holy Spirit for the benefit of your brother or sister will give you control over the process of correction and that therefore a lack of healing reflects a shortcoming on your part—an inability to be loving enough, of not giving enough benefit of the doubt, of not being forgiving enough in spite of what you’re having to suffer. And when you engage in the two-step, be open enough, as you are being, to hear guidance tell you to walk quietly out of the range of the one who will not stop abusing, and do it unapologetically, without self recrimination. You must take a good look at what I have just said, because it goes against your concept. Love cannot heal everything through an act of omnipotence! And you are your best proof of that fact. This should not be discouraging or depressing. It is the truth. And the truth, understood, is healing.
Miracles occur only when they are invited and room is made for them.
Step out of the way of those who are unwilling to invite and make room for their miracle, and turn your attention to those who are. Starting with yourself! That is where the Movement is