"The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: "How will this effect me?" or "How does my self-image demand that I react to this?" or "How can I get back in control of this situation?" This leads to an implosion, a self preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and the emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live "undefended" can we immediately stand with and for the other, and for the moment. It takes alot of practice." Richard Rohr
In an email exchange with a friend this morning this quote from Richard Rohr came to mind. Well, I really never get away from the thought anymore. Since reading it the first time, in what was a very vulnerable season for me, it just seeped in through the crack that had been formed due to my former control mode undergoing the exposure that happens when Father's loving light breaks through. My whole life...especially my religiously shaped life had all been lived out of the False Self and never had I ever had any healthy interacting with others before that moment. It all had been framed by domination or submission. And I have played both roles...we all have/are until we are freed to something else.
When observing the relating I see others engaged in today, unless someone has been set free, and is learning to live undefended, it all falls under this unhealthy paradigm of domination and submission. Pecking order as some like to call it. Some people do it rather well...taking their places in such an order and they seem to be relating okay in such a set up and many, more than likely most, not so much. People either submit or they engage in conflict in order to gain the up position in the game.
And then you have people that have seen that paradigm for what it is and refuse to play on those terms anymore. It's not an easy transition to make though. On our own it's actually impossible. But for those that make it, a whole new world/a whole new way of being comes into focus. In reality it's these people who have for the first time began to live. And the other world, at least those that like domination, just don't know how to deal with such people. So often they just kill them.
"Ain’t it crazy
What’s revealed when you’re not looking all that close
Ain’t it crazy
How we put to death the ones we need the most
I know I’m not a martyr
I’ve never died for anyone but me
The last frontier is only
The stranger in the mirror that I see
But when I least expect it
Here and there I see my savior’s face
He’s still my favorite loser
Falling for the entire human race" from Jesus in New Orleans by OTR