By Susie Ekberg
Q: I thought we were supposed to turn the other cheek, but lately it doesn’t seem like anyone’s turning any cheeks. Is everyone angry, or am I imagining things?
A: “Turn the other cheek” comes from Jesus trying to teach tolerance to the masses, so they wouldn’t resort to violence to solve problems.
Be tolerant and not violent, as often as possible. But there are times when something a little more than “No, that’s not kind” just doesn’t cut it.
Call it tough love. “Love is patient. Love is kind,” from First Corinthians. Yes yes yes. In a perfect world, love is gentle and supportive of everyone’s rights to express and be who they want to be. Love doesn’t demand anything from anyone, and it’s a soft, fluffy perfect world.
But it’s not a soft, fluffy world. It would be nice. But life IS tough. I have no need for that nonsensical New Age mumbo jumbo that says, “Just think about soft puppies and everything will be just fine.”
For the most part, people are kind. They want to be helpful and respectful.
But the energies are intense, and have been through the whole summer. A lot of energy is up around straight communication, and revealing what was hidden so it can be healed once and for all. Everything is magnified right now, so we can see what we need to deal with.
You can’t run away anymore, and it’s making a lot of people pretty crabby. Testy. Angry. Pissed off. Have you noticed this lately? Have you felt more fatigued, more overwhelmed, more short-tempered? Have you noticed your jaw tensing more, your teeth aching, your shoulders sore?
These are all the results of the current situation we find ourselves in. You can say it’s the economy, or politics, or natural disasters, or Mercury going retrograde. I don’t care what anyone labels anything, because labels can’t help us through these “angry” times.
A lot of people are angry now. It’s not your imagination. What are you going to do about it?
Knock off your over-achieving tendencies, if that’s your MO. Having too many things on your to-do list makes everything worse.
Don’t take responsibility for so many things.
Take some time every day to just be. Breathe, sit, move.
Do things differently than you did them yesterday. If you ran around all day yesterday, take today off. If you took it easy today, work a little bit tomorrow.
It helps not to be in any kind of a rut, because everything’s being shaken up. You may as well stay fluid; move with the flow instead of resisting it. You’ll just get tired.
If you don’t believe me, try fighting everything and see how you come out. Everything, 1; you, 0.
Something’s going on in the way you live that’s causing anger. People are not naturally angry. They create angry lives.
Write to me if you take issue with that previous sentence. Tell me that things are so horrible that of course people get angry. They have a right to get angry, and you don’t understand. Yes yes yes. And I will be able to feel your anger.
If you tend to get angry, decide beforehand not to get angry. When that familiar burning feeling starts to rise, take a deep breath, and go do something different this time.
Smile. Walk away. Wave. I do that to angry drivers that honk at me – I pretend they are my best friends honking to get my attention because they want to say hi. Let it go.
We are only responsible for ourselves. We cannot help or ‘do’ anything for anyone else to make their lives better if they don’t actively do that for themselves. We can only inspire, support, and encourage others.
But you have yourself to focus on, to pay attention to, to work on. You can work to make yourself happy, and in so doing you will spread that happiness to others.
But first you have to get happy, if you aren’t already. You are an inherently happy person, but you let too many people take advantage of your good, nurturing nature, and then you get crabby and feel resentful. Understandable.
Now you know you have options. You feel freed up to concentrate more on what you need, and what makes you happy.
You won’t need to do things for others because you feel guilty or think you should. You won’t overdo it because you feel responsible for others.
You will be happier. You will be able to turn the other cheek, tolerant of others because everybody is doing the best they can.
Your actions will affect others and one person at a time, we will walk slowly toward that soft, fluffy puppy world where everybody is kind and happy. But the going is slow and it’s achieved one baby step at a time.
In the midst of this seeming chaos, good will conquer all, and love is the most powerful force in the Universe.
It’s just that some days it’s easier to see that than other days.
- Members only features
- Members can email articles, add articles as favorites, add tags to articles and more. Register now to unlock additional features.