Just Think About It . . . Before You Say It!

domestic violence awareness

Happy Friday, All!

Can you count the miracles that you’ve experienced this week? Or, are you the kind of person that thinks that you deserve everything? So, in my small effort to show some humility and gratitude, I want to say … Thank God It’s Friday!! I notice how people are sometimes, trying to be a “tough guy” or trying to insult or humiliate someone who hasn’t done anything to THAT person to deserve such treatment. Some of us just live “too high” on ourselves that we “don’t see nobody else”! We don’t see their feelings, we don’t care how we may have made them feel …. In fact, sometimes, it seems that people just want to hurt others!! As my Dad used to tell me: “Talk is cheap!” He also used to tell me: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all!” Hang your hat on those two anecdotes, if you will.

Some organizations celebrate October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month while others celebrate the wearing of the color “purple” as demonstrating an awareness for domestic violence awareness. I have even seen a few “images” suggesting that November is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!! Either way, it should be something that we are aware of EVERY day. The NFL has a new commercial being aired now regarding “domestic violence” and how they have chosen NOT to sweep it under the rug and to talk about it, challenge it, seek solutions to it … after all, stop it, as it affects the human family. Many of us may have come to the “doorstep” of domestic violence and been able to turn around and leave that door unopened. It is a challenge in most relationships, especially when one loses ones temper and begins to say all sorts of hurtful things. This is actually where the violence begins . . . in ones own thoughts!!! One 12-step program I know of categorizes any thoughts that are negative as “stinking thinking”!! How appropriate!! If we admit that our thoughts about someone … anyone … are not positive, then we can start to challenge our own issues, rather than theirs!!! How revolutionary …. NOT!!

Yes, even I have been at the “doorstep” of this monster … and actually knocked, if you will!!! When I saw who I had become, I was disappointed in my INability to turn around and leave that monster behind. Emotions kick in, the desire to be right kicked in … and of course, the worst thing kicked in … the desire to “hurt” someone else’s feelings, humiliate them even!! What does that say about me?? Does that mean that I am lacking something inside if I find pleasure in hurting someone else with words?! Is my self-esteem sufficient enough to allow me to walk away and not feed the “angry wolf”?!? When looking at situations like these, I consider my own “karma” and personal wellness. Can I actually let what someone says “make” me REact in a certain way … in a way unbecoming of who I know I really am?!? This is a choice we all face … choose wisely. What I have noticed is that if I de-escalate the thoughts that develop when I am in a conflict of words, I have more control over my OWN behavior. After all, that’s why our society has a “sanction of rewards and punishments” to harness our expressions of our thoughts!! Why not think peaceful thoughts?! Why do I have to be “right” and make someone else look “wrong”?! Will that make me feel better?! Isn’t there something else I can do to feel better?! YES!!! Of COURSE there are things that we can do to feel better!! Again, choose wisely. Meditate, pray … think peaceful thoughts … breathe deeply … and move on!

“If it doesn’t serve you in a positive way, let it go!” I remember how often one of my most passionate yogis, Maria Faura (RIP), used to tell us this during our asanas in class. This is another reason I enjoy practicing yoga … the inner peace and calm it brings … the ability to see things clearly … NOT selfishly … when experiencing this inner peace. Find yours … you’ll be proud of yourself!

Namaste,

John I. Cook

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