Always at the ready to spread the word about stopping Gender Violence, I said what my passion is and then told some stories from the U.S., India and Trinidad.
He began asking lots of questions and then told me a story of a family member who has been abused for 10 years and her 8 year old daughter who has also been suffering under this oppressive regime.
I gave him my card to give to the family member and then said that it is SHE who must want to be guided out of that situation and into a healthier one.
Then, for some unknown reason, I began to talk about men who MUST have things their own way. I told some more true stories, then said:
“And then they come home to find one towel out of place and start screaming at their wives and children.”
He got very silent. Then he said, “Ma’am you could be talking about me.”
“Really?” I replied, “Tell me what you mean.”
I already knew what he meant, but I needed him to speak out loud the bad behavior that he has been exhibiting.
As he spoke it came pouring out of him, almost as though he had just been waiting for someone to confess to.
We went back and forth for a while and then he said this:
“You know ma’am, she is not even my culture. She is better than women in my culture. She learned how to cook all my special food and we have twin 2 year olds and a 2 month old. She is so busy and tired and I don’t know why I shout.”
“I have too much stress and I have a short fuse.”
A short fuse! Such a simple phrase, a phrase that people use to give themselves permission to behave very badly.
I used to have a short fuse. I used to be THAT person who yelled and shouted at a moments notice.
I remember how scared my kids would be when ” the short fuse monster” would come out.
I understand about short fuses.
There is a cure!
Short fuses can grow into VERY long, even ULTRA long fuses.
You MUST be SICK of the way you are acting.
No one can get you to grow your fuse, only you can do this for yourself.
Again, glad you asked.
You must ask for forgiveness from the people over whom you explode. You must be sincere.
You must be able to hear them tell you how much you have hurt them, AND you are NOT allowed to scream at them for their feelings, or blame them for any of your shortcomings.
You MUST then forgive your own self. Forgive the parts of you that are NOT in keeping with the elegant individual you wish to be.
You must continue these two things everyday for the rest of your life: apologize to others and forgive yourself AND you must NOT give yourself permission to scream at another human being.
This is what I told that wonderful young man. “When you feel like screaming say I feel like screaming at you. I do not know why I want to scream. I will go for a walk around the block and I will come back.”
This really can work, but you must elicit the help of the other person in trying this simple behavior change technique.
Go ahead, grow a longer fuse. Do it for your own mental, emotional and physical health and do it for the loved ones in your life.
It is an exercise worth doing.
It is worth the life energy you will invest.
Grow a longer fuse, because a short fuse is a lousy excuse to be a nasty human being.
Love and light,
If you should see a sign above a beautiful doorway in a lovely building that reads Department of Emotions, you may be curious.
You may enter cautiously, with glee or maybe with anxiety. Let’s assume that you do enter and begin to look around.
Within this department, you may find floor upon floor of beautiful offices with open doors and nicely dressed people working away.
These employees have the job of dispensing emotions to the whole world. They actually love their jobs.
The way they do it is that they get telegraphic requests and they dispatch emotions at the speed of light.
You want Joy? Done.
Gratitude? Yes, lots being dispensed these days.
You look around some more and realize that some employees are sitting still, making no movement with no work to do.
You look at their titles and there seems to be a theme….Bliss, Ecstasy, Passion and you wonder why.
Then you wander some more and see some employees over-burdened, just dragging and stressed and you glance at their titles.
You see another theme…
You ask them why they are so exhausted and they don’t even have time to look up or answer you.
One of the other employees, the one called Ecstasy, tells you that some emotions are overused and the guys dispensing them cannot catch a break. No time for rest or sleep. No one seems to be taking breaks from fits of anger, rants full if rage or blinding hatred.
Then you begin to realize that you too have overused some emotions and woefully underused others.
You cannot remember the last time you telegraphed for Bliss or Passion and forget about Ecstasy.
I know that this blog is way out there. I hope that it gives you pause to consider which emotions you over use and which others you ignore.
I encourage you to use less anger and rage and use more of joy, bliss and passion.
Find something to be passionate about…a hobby or a cause.
Find Joy in the everyday stuff, even little things like the gift of sight or the ability to still climb stairs.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who said we can behave as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is a miracle.
Let’s live the miracles that are all around us.
Love and light,
In the early 1980s, I worked at a large insurance company in NYC. I got a position there as a management trainee. I was so happy. Here was the dream coming true.
I had immigrated to NY in 1974.
I had finished college while holding down 3 part-time jobs.
I had succeeded in getting a scholarship for graduate school and NOW I was ready to take the world by storm.
During the training process, I was sent to many different departments and I eagerly ate up all that I was learning.
THEN….. I was sent to HER department!
Her initials were MF! Yes, no kidding…MF.
Her style of clothing was sharp and tailored and she was always straightening her hair with her fingers, never a single strand was out of place.
At first, I really admired her. She was just three years older than me and she was already in middle management, marching her way to upper management. I wanted to be just like her.
She quickly zeroed in on me and she gave me all the attention I ever wanted…more than I ever wanted.
She took great pride in screaming at me when and wherever she damned well pleased.
She was a terror. Her face would get all red and inflamed and she would take great big gulps of breath and just let her vitriol pour all over people.
I began to have major issues with my health and was always sick. I went to every doctor I could find and nothing was wrong with me.
Little did I know that it was the unbearable stress of that office environment that was making me ill.
I never associated her incessant screaming and mistreatment of her employees with abuse.
I grew up in an environment where people screamed at each other ALL the time.
In my home and neighborhood, the adults were mean. They screamed at children whenever they felt like it.
Children were not to be cherished or taught. They were to be yelled at, made to feel like crap and then beaten for not behaving like little adults.
I was primed for the screaming lunatic that I worked for.
She could not have asked for a better victim.
The sad thing was this…
I did not know that I was a victim.
I thought that I was the perfect feminist;
A force to be reckoned with.
I was NONE of the above.
I was a young woman trying to recover from childhood abuse and not knowing that it WAS a big deal that I had been abused.
I did not realize that the treatment I had received as a child SET me up to be the perfect victim for the rest of my life.
I did not realize that I expected to be treated badly. I accepted that I was less worthy than others and so was not at all surprised when I was yelled at for not measuring up.
Here is what I wished I could have done to MF!
I wished I could have said, “You screaming at me?”
I wished I could have channeled a future child of mine who liked to say, “Why don’t you try being an adult for a change.”
I wished I could have respected myself enough to walk away from the Screamer and realize that her problems belonged to HER.
Here is my advice to all of you with screamers in your life….
Envision the famous painting the SCREAM when you find yourself face to face with a SCREAMER, it may provide the distance you need to remove yourself from their toxic energies.
And ALWAYS remember that you DESERVE to be respected BUT you must respect yourself first.
Love and light,
It was usually lobbed at me from a very angry parent, (read rageful) and it was usually because someone hit me and I hit them back.
I never understood why I should not defend myself.
Recently I visited my childhood home and as someone was telling a story about a child making a mistake, the saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right” popped into my head.
The storyteller was relaying that a teenager had taken a dish into their kitchen and showed that the dish was still dirty.
A family member of the teenager then said, “Get the HELL out of the kitchen and put the damn cup down!”
The teller of the story was chuckling, gleefully, because the teenager had been “put in their place.”
In a flash, I was filled with anger and disgust and said, “Was it really necessary to curse and embarrass the teenager?”
The story teller was not at all pleased with the way their story landed on my psyche.
The storyteller did not see that yelling at children and publicly embarrassing them was not the way to teach.
It constantly amazes me that “mature” people still think screaming at children is the way to their hearts and minds.
Children need love, care, feeding and watering.
Parents, if you are still screaming, embarrassing and denigrating your children, please take as long as you need to look at your destructive behaviors.
You are destroying the next generation.
Please sign up for some parenting classes and I do not mean any of the “spare the rod, spoil the child” kind of classes.
I mean the class that shows you, the parent, that children are gifts from a divine source and that they are given to us to cherish and protect.
Love and light,