Join the Conscious Revolution!
I love reading the Sunday funnies. One of my favorites is For Better or Worse by Lynn Johnston. In a recent comic, the young child, Mike, was having a bad day. Trying to construct a building out of Lego-type pieces, gravity was working against him as the entire structure collapsed. In a fit of frustration, he kicked the remaining pieces while simultaneously letting out a few choice juvenile words accompanied by a blood-curdling “Aagh!!!” Mom promptly grabbed him by the arm and directed him to go to bed. As she turned to leave, he whispered a tearful request, “Mom, aren’t you going to kiss me goodnight?” “Mike”, she replied, “when you act like that, I just don’t feel like kissing you at all!” He hung his head in shame as he murmured, “But Mom, that’s when I need it the most.”
Mike is just a kid and apparently hadn’t learned how to manage his feelings appropriately. Like most children when upset, rather than verbally express how he felt, he lashed out physically in defeat. A loving parent would take the time to explain to their child the proper way to deal with life’s challenges in a less aggressive and destructive way. Patience, repetition, understanding and gentle guidance would ensure the child learns the necessary lessons while feeling loved and valued at the same time. Typical behavior expected of a child, most adults are sympathetic to their plight and patient as they learn and grow.
But at some unspecified age, adults become non tolerant of such outrageous behavior. There is an unspoken expectation that adults should know how to behave properly when upset. Witnessing an adult throwing a hissy fit typically does not evoke compassion in those observing the shocking behavior. Even less obvious behaviors leave the average individual feeling annoyed, upset, angry and repulsed. Like Mike’s mom, they respond by pulling away rather than moving towards. “Get over it!” and “Deal with it!” only add to the other’s distress as they experience feelings of abandonment, rejection and insignificance.
I will be facing my “Mike” in a few short days. I would be grateful if their bad behavior was limited to kicking over a few wooden blocks but sadly theirs takes hissy fits to a whole new level. I understand this individual is deeply unhappy and may feel hopeless in their current situation as well. Does that condone their bad behavior? Not at all. But when people are hurting, they need understanding; when they are frightened, reassurance; lonely – companionship. The way to neutralize a negative (feeling or behavior) is with the opposite: a positive. At the times they most push us away, we need to move even closer.
I am by nature and choice a compassionate and patient person. But in all honesty, it will take every ounce of my strength and empathy to give this person the love and understanding they so crave, and so rightfully deserve. To walk away in their time of pain only escalates their suffering. I wouldn’t abandon someone who was injured and bleeding. I would address their wound the best I could. Neither can I abandon my injured “Mike”. It’s now he needs my love and support the most. Keep me in your prayers.