Terry Real, author of New Tools for Marriage, says, “Non-violent living is contempt free. Contempt that is projected outward is grandiosity. Contempt that is projected inward is shame.” That is a huge statement in a world filled with a huge amount of contempt!
We are all suffering from contemptuousness and it is creating separation in our personal relationships and in our world. We are angry with our parents, often decades after perceived and or real injures have occurred. We don’t stop to realize that, as adults, at some point along the way we became accountable for our own reality and quality of life and they probably did the best they could with what they had. We like being the victims to our parents. It gives us a false sense of power and control. It also gives us an excuse for not taking control of our own lives, or being lovingly involved in theirs.
We are remain angry and contemptuous with past lovers and mates for eons for the wrongs they inflicted upon us, never owning that we chose them, stayed with them and even enabled them along the way. We almost never own our part in the demise of relationships, it’s easier to name the villain and stay the victim.
We are contemptuous, with people who are different, other countries, other religions, other beliefs and those who express differences of opinion. And of course we express contempt for our elderly and our children. We are so contemptuous of our children that millions are abused, trafficked, sold or abandoned every year. We are so contemptuous of our elderly many die alone in institutions where no one cares. We have become an angry society whose relationships and values are literally falling apart.
We also have contempt for ourselves. That is why we opt for the energy of death so often, through addiction, unattended to emotional pain and activities that kill our spirits. We stay in abusive relationships, we choose addicted or abusive friends and we eat nuclear waste. And let us not forget the contempt we have for the planet whose inhabitants we are slowly killing.
We get a false sense of being powerful when we have someone to despise and blame and name as evil. True power, however, always comes from our willingness to accept that as a spiritual being, we alone created everything in our life in service to our own soul. We created the things that break our heart open and we created the things that fill them with joy. Doom and gloom? Not at all.
You can’t fix something until you are willing to look at it and own it. It is time to commit to living in a contempt free way both in our personal relationships and in the world. Let’s give up the grandiosity and opt to let go of resentments that foster greater hostility. Think about what could happen if we decided to ask for what we need with an authentic, non-blaming voice that had no need to punish. You know, from the heart. If we could just step back and see the bigger picture. What do we really want? Is it not to be genuinely connected with someone who loves us? Is it not to be in a peaceful world where difference can flourish?
We have to learn to cherish each other again. We have to learn to cherish our lives. Awareness, personal responsibility, courage and gentleness need to be the weapons of our heart – the weapons of today’s warriors. We can stop when we have the tendency to distance each other though contempt. When painful feelings arise they are always about us, not the other person. Taking the time to face and explore those feelings becomes the stepping-stones to your own emotional development and empowerment. It’s all in that precious moment when the desire to distance arises. It’s in that precious face across from you when you suddenly feel a need to blame. And it’s in your own precious heart where the truth and love always await you. Everything in our life is an opportunity for us to step into our own enlightened and loving power…that place where contempt is no longer possible and only love exists.
© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013
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