I had a small ‘AHA’ moment the other night that led to more contemplation to where I feel compelled to blog about this. As this idea is a large umbrella that covers other ideas, I may be all over the road on this drive. . .
Let me approach my thought this way. Sometimes, I’ve had a small piece of metal that needed to be flattened, before I could nail it down flush to whatever project I was working on. Well, my thought was to grab a hammer, and give it a quick hit, and presto, problem solved. But no, no, not so much. Because this metal, for some reason is springy, and refuses to merely be pounded down into a flat position, but it curls back up refusing to cooperate and lay flat. This makes me angry, so I hit it harder, with more strokes. Nothing. No instant gratification of compliant, flat, smooth metal. So of course at this point, I feel that adding some highly charged insulting verbal encouragement will cause this piece of metal to feel guilty about its obvious choice to rebel against me while hammering it harder. And again my result is the same. The metal retains its ‘memory’ and refuses to go flat! And now I am really angry!
I realized that I had been raised this way, that people either believed my way or I would hammer out their ‘flaws’ until they gave up and surrendered to me. It was my way or the highway, because after all, I KNEW that I had the TRUTH!
Unfortunately, and surprisingly to me, many people didn’t respond by meekly changing their multidimensional thinking to my single dimension views! What’s up with that? I have THE TRUTH, and they refuse to accept it! I’m doing them a huge favor by shining the correcting light of TRUTH on them! They should submit to this, and get right with God!
But I noticed that folks online especially would point out quite a few facts that seemed to contradict the ‘factual truth’ I had been taught. And they pointed these things out in a fairly sarcastic, insulting way to me. Many times I begin to feel quite ignorant and small.
But I did start to research on my own, and amidst feelings of great sadness, perhaps grief, and anger, I started to realize that the ‘truths’ I had been taught were in fact religious theories strung together by ignorant assumptions or outdated ideas. I realized that there was a great reservoir of knowledge that I had not been taught about.
And so, I’m trying to learn to put my hammer down and stop approaching people in my life by bullying them into ‘agreeing’ with me.
Sadly, I’ve noticed this trait doesn’t just stop at religion, but has infected my brain so that I have instant judgement of people, and expect them to comply with what I want them to look and sound like to conform to my comfort levels. Who cares about their comfort?
And by extension, I tend to approach problems in life this way. I want an instant fix with one huge hammer swing. I don’t want to actually analyze something, that’s hard. I want to force every situation, every company, every person to submit and comply with what I want for my convenience! If I can’t fix a personal problem instantly by using sarcastic, angry bullying either online, on the phone, or in person, then I become highly frustrated because I didn’t get instant gratification.
And that is not love at all. That is utter childish, self-centered, immaturity. It doesn’t matter if the behavior is ‘spiritualized’ by a pastor or church leader. Angry yelling, name calling, (which I’ve experienced at the hands of a church pastor and school administrator) is not agape love, nor any type of love at all. It is at its core, an attempt to control and dominate another human being.
Religious bullying disrespects and devalues human beings. There is nothing good in this. Another aspect of this is called ‘spiritual abuse’ which I will write about in another blog post.
Verbal bullying strikes me as the opposite of being nurtured, having your emotional needs met in a wise, loving way. Without wise parenting, one is left to try to fill their emotional starvation by other means. This can lead to maladaptive behaviors all stemming from trying to fill a great, hungry hole that needs love, acceptance, and approval to be filled. Some people get a false sense of power and control if they can abuse others verbally, especially using the Bible as their hammer. ‘Nouthetic counseling‘ lends itself very easily to this form of mental, verbal, and emotional abuse.
I cannot impose my will on other people by verbally bullying them into submission, nor should I. Everyone has a right to think and choose for themselves. (Unless you were raised in a strict fundamentalist house growing up 🙂 )
I have the right to think, choose, and act according to what I think is right for myself.
That is called individual soul liberty.
Follow your heart. Be free!