This is not singularly aimed – rather – it's aimed at all of us. I found this quote to be particularly apt as we go full swing into a Priest year which has Compassion as it's positive pole.  

"The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should say a definite 'no.' Compassion doesn't imply only trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to say, 'enough.' Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart, we let people walk all over us. It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries."

~ Pema Chodron, The Places that Scare You

TLE has had, IMO, a tough go of it over the last few weeks with raised conflict – in cases where I would rather have seen raised glasses. Although I don’t always know what the best way through a conflict is – I do know that it’s important that everyone gets to “raise” their voices – if they feel unheard, unseen or misunderstood. Whether we like it or not, this is what a passionate or compassionate community looks like …it can be messy at times.

Over the years I have had to learn to find my own voice and it hasn’t always been easy. Anger kept me quiet for years. I was terrified that if I spoke my mind it would overwhelm me and everybody around me. I came from a home where there was a lot of physical and verbal fighting and with it a lot of anger attached – both spoken and unspoken. When I was growing up no one, including the adults, had completed their 3rd IMs in their positive poles. I didn’t know what this was at the time – it was just experienced as a “hot mess”.

I know I left home just to find peace and quiet. But the “mess” or chaos followed me. I couldn’t get away from controlling bosses, negligent boyfriends and friends that couldn’t “see me”. After years of “running away” from “the mess” I stopped long enough to deal with how I had internalized the chaos of my early environment. I knew first hand that I had no control over the chaos that was around me but I did learn that I could heal the chaos that was inside me. So I did.

It was long in coming but one of the first things I did was to own my anger. This was my first step to true “ownership” of my self. I had to learn not only how to say to someone “get off my foot” – if they were standing on it – I had to learn that I deserved to feel those feelings as much as I deserved to speak them.  If I didn’t want someone “abusing” me – it was up to me to speak up – no one was going to do it for me.

Owning my anger – instead of projecting it onto others – was one of the single most liberating things I have ever done for myself. Some recent channeling I had with Michael really brought this home to me – just how significant this was for me and confirmation for what I had “secretly” known all along. I guess there are no secrets for any of us as long we have access to Akashic records in some form or another.

This is just an excerpt – the complete Q&A can be found under my personal blog on Dream ~ Growth Potential Potential via “Shadow” Fragments.

[MEntity]: For some fragments, a loving, accepting, and nurturing environment is far more suspicious (to the Personality) and gives nothing of obvious substance against which to measure the growth of the self.

[Maureen]: That sounds so fucked up  but I get it.

[Maureen]: We often need something to push against  in order to grow.

[MEntity]: However, when enlisting these fragments to naturally challenge the Personality in the life, it gives potential for that pivotal moment when the Personality launches into a complete ownership of a trait that has been elusive for several lifetimes.

[Maureen]: What has been that elusive trait for me?

[MEntity]: This trait for you may be Anger.

[MEntity]: And all that the term entails.

[Maureen]: That makes sense. They did help with that – in this lifetime. I mean that in a good way.

[MEntity]: They may have helped provoke it, but you did the work in owning it.

[Maureen]: This is very clear to me. I remember my huge shift – when I finally owned it and applied it. It was liberating.

[MEntity]: Anger is one of your least-favorite signals, yet most pervasive and insidious elements of your "shadow." It has haunted many of your Personalities.

[MEntity]: We say this as a matter of spectrum. Anger can be quiet, even as it trembles under the skin.

[Maureen]: Does Anger have negative/positive poles? I sensed it as a form of Liberation/Freedom.

[MEntity]: Yes, Anger could be said to have BOUNDARIES as the Positive Pole and DEFENSE as a Negative Pole. Because Anger represents a spectrum, it can be broken down by those terms, as well.

[MEntity]: The liberation/freedom you sense would come from the dissipation of Anger, or the processing of the helplessness that is underneath that anger.

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Tags: 3rd IM, Boundaries, Buddhist, Compassion, No, TLE, anger, conflict, passion, peace, More…quiet

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Comment by Janno on January 19, 2014 at 5:58pm

Great post, Maureen! Your words are a healing and validating for me. I had a similar childhood- it wasn't safe to express anger. I know now I was taking responsibility for healing all of them- as they are all younger souls. Creating these boundaries as I am exiting my 3rd IM is precisely where I am at right now. Thank you for sharing.

Comment by Moonfeather on January 4, 2014 at 12:19am

Thanks for posting this Maureen. Lots for me to think about as I am often a doormat. I have loads of repressed anger inside which I do not want to look at. It does show up as defense more often than boundaries.

Comment by Maureen on December 30, 2013 at 7:11pm

Also, I’m not overly fond of calling anyone an “asshole”.  I would rather say (if I have to say something) that they are “acting like an asshole”. That distinction sits better with me as I can still see someone’s innocence that way, through their actions.  I would like to think for the most part that anyone on TLE, who flings or throws offensive or defensive language about, is just letting off steam and, if they did think about it after the fact, they would likely make that distinction as well, as even the flingers and throwers are innocent.

Comment by Maureen on December 30, 2013 at 3:58pm

@Mike –

Thanks for the explanation of how you have learned to view compassion. I can see how, if you are in a triage situation, day in and day out, that it would colour your view of the world and would inform you of what the world needs “from you” – in the form of compassion.

Interestingly, cops end up getting the opposite view of “the world” because they have to deal with crime and perpetrators of crime, day in and day out. Cops are known for having a very dim, jaded view of humanity because of the work that they have to do. In that way we are all affected by and infected with our own world view – and our world view directly informs us on – how to treat others, how to treat ourselves, and how we allow others, or give others permission, to treat us.

As an aside, when I read about your work in the Emergency Room it reminded me of a session I had posted on The Magic of Healing. Michael mentioned that very “idea” to me when they were speaking to me about being a “true” healer. The last comment they made was: It must be understand by you and by your recipient, if you choose to encourage understanding, that you are a facilitator, a healer, and not an emergency repair center.

Questions for thought that popped into my head – Is my world view still serving us? Is my world view still serving me? Who am “I” anyway? Am I the world I see around me? Do I give myself the same measure of compassion that I give to others? Do I serve myself as well as I serve others? Do I get what I need – from the world and from myself? What is true compassion? Is compassion about “putting others first”? Is compassion about “the truth”, if so – who’s truth and what is “the truth”? Do I live by my own rules – do I give myself the same compassion I give others?

Here are my thoughts on the Zsolt event…

Have you considered that Zsolt may have had something to learn in all of this about himself and about others? I doubt very much that this was the first time nor will it be the last time that he will step over boundaries – that have been clearly laid out by others.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and one of the more insidious types is the person who takes up your personal space in a way that is difficult to “get away” from. It’s the cocktail party nightmare! The bore (Bully or Persecutor) who’s had “too much time on his hands” (because in real life people have tired of his ideas) gets to corner some other guest (Victim) who then has to listen to his theories or ideas – whether they want to or not. The host of the party, or some other Good Samaritan who steps in, may act as Rescuer by steering the person – either “out the door” or towards a space in the room where there is another person who may be interested in their “theories or ideas”.

What I have described is the classic Karpman Triangle and you got caught in it Mike – by trying to rescue someone who in actuality was/is the “true” bully.

You mistook what was a genuine “rescue” attempt to be a form of “bullying” itself. This is a common misconception and the true bully knows this tactic really well – inside out. They are the first to scream – “But I am the insulted party. I am the true victim here because no one will listen to me!” This is how bullies proliferate so well – amongst us. If we speak up about them – we run the risk of looking like a bully ourselves.

Zsolt was standing on many feet. Many people told him to get off and he cried out –

“No – YOU HAVE TO LET ME STAND ON YOUR FOOT – because if you don’t you will look like “the bad guy” – and I will point YOU out as being the uncompassionate one. Frankly I don’t care how you feel or what you want – I WANT TO STAND ON YOUR FOOT – SO I WILL – EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. If you choose to take your foot away – or tell me to get off – I will emotionally blackmail you by telling everyone how uncompassionate YOU are and I will look like the faulted party.”

I could see from the beginning that Zsolt had no intention of listening to anyone. He was in free-wheeling oration intent on pushing his theories. He seemed to have very little interest with the Michael Teachings which made me wonder why he was interested in TLE at all —other than we must have appeared to be a “captive” site where he could “freely” foist his ideas upon a “compliant” audience.  

Mike, I would ask myself, if I was you, “why it is so important for you that you “have to” defend Zsolt? What is it in you, which you see in Zsolt, that you think needs defending or rescue? What is it you’re identifying with and why?”

Comment by Claire C on December 30, 2013 at 11:40am

Martha, I'm sorry that your year is ending with so many losses.  :-(  Take the time to grieve and be well.  Let's all look forward to healing in 2014.

Comment by TROY on December 30, 2013 at 10:56am

I think what Mike is talking about in his ideal of Compassion is very different from what everyone else is talking about as a living practice. We seem to be talking about Apples vs Oranges.

First of all, to bring Compassion to someone who is wounded and lashing out, insulting, kicking, screaming, like an animal's whose leg is stuck in a trap is a very different context from showing Compassion to someone who is making conscious, rational, and unprovoked and intentional choices. In itself, those are wildly different contexts that can't be compared.

But furthermore, we can't compare the responsibilities of paid professionals who are willingly in a position to endure assault and insult from those who are are clearly in need of help [in an Emergency Room] as more of an example of Compassion than the efforts made by people in the regular dynamics of life who come across those who not only show no signs of needing help, but are making rational, intentional choices and actions that aren't from a clear context of suffering. Those same people lashing out and being endured in the Emergency Room would most likely NOT be endured, or even given the time of day, by those same professionals exemplifying such Compassion in the Emergency Room. Those very people have families to consider, and responsibilities to consider, their own lives to consider, and would most likely not put themselves in the path of danger outside of a controlled environment with a professional network of support. Sure, some of them might, but probably not, especially not without all of the tools and support that they would normally have available to them in the controlled environment of the Emergency Room.

And so in our regular dynamic of life outside of a professional and controlled environment, things become a lot more complicated and intimate. Someone may very well show up at TLE and be suffering, in pain, thrashing about, and in great need of Compassion, but this is not an Emergency Room full of paid professionals. This is an online community of people who are working hard to take responsibility for their own choices, their own lives, their own feelings, their own responses, fears, reactions, defenses, so when someone shows up who is completely unwilling to do the same, in the context of TLE and The Michael Teachings, it makes perfect sense that the ideal of Compassion offered here is to help someone become aware of his projections, presumptions, prejudices, fears, and to encourage that person to take responsibility for those things.

This isn't an Emergency Room with quick fixes and tangible tools to address tangible wounds. In an Emergency Room, anyone can address those wounds for someone else and make a huge difference for that person right there, on the spot. In life, and at TLE, we don't have the luxury of drugs, restraints, professionals, controlled environment, and surgical knives here. We only have our words and our life experiences. There is no way to standardize the uses of those words and life experiences across the board for a community, and certainly there is no professional training involved here - just life.

The only thing our words and this teachings have in common with professionals who have at their disposal the drugs, restraints, controlled environment, and surgical knives necessary for enduring a thrashing and wounded patient is that all of these can only go so far in helping someone before that person is on their own again if he isn't willing to participate.

A paid professional who is specifically in a position for helping those who are wounded would be irresponsible in drawing a line with where his services begin and end relative to his capacity for Compassion. It is very different for a member of an online community to draw the line, or for us to draw a line in our personal lives. 

Apples vs Oranges...

Comment by Nadine on December 30, 2013 at 10:29am

Martha, I am sorry to hear that you had such a terrible week, I wish you well and I hope you manage to get a little bit of rest!

As to the "Zsolt crisis" (had to laugh when I read that): I guess you know the expression "Don't feed the trolls!"? You don't have to put up with that bullshit, you can always turn away. Why argue? I am not saying that he was trolling, he certainly wasn't, but. you know, the good thing on the internet is: you don't have to engage with people that are clearly not open to any sincere exchange with you. As soon as you can see you are entering a battlefield for no reason, you can retrieve. I welcome any open and sincere exchange about different opinions, but when you see that Chief Features are running that high, you can't get through to that other person and you are just wasting energy. It might sometimes have the fun part of "trolling" back, but it's still a waste of energy...I made the experience that most people start to think about their own behaviour when they start losing their audience. They will then either leave the group or adjust their behaviour to gain back their audience and interaction. Much more relaxing for anyone involved.

Comment by Martha on December 30, 2013 at 10:02am

I think my issue (yes, *my* issue) with what Mike said is that there doesn't seem to be any room to stand up for yourself in the face of, well, an asshole. Do you just keep on keeping the peace and being positive while someone runs over your boundaries while behaving badly? Yes, in a medical situation no one should be turned away, but that is hardly the same thing as putting up with whatever kind of BS someone is doing.  Yes, I understand the innocence in others. Yes, I have compassion.  That doesn't mean I'm going to smile and take it while someone is throwing shit at me, publicly and privately. That does not make me the better person. A smiling doormat still gets stepped on.  If the shit thrower were doing it while wounded, and I was working in an ER, that would be completely different.  

Mike, where do you draw the line? If some jerk was mean to your kid in public, would you thank him and get him a coffee?  There has to be a line, somewhere, where you (the public you, not Mike) have healthy boundaries.  Obviously that won't be the same line for everyone. I'm not saying Mike's current boundaries are not healthy.  I'm just saying, for crying out loud, it's not better to always put up with people when they are behaving badly and/or insensitively.  Even if it's clear the person may not consciously realize how they are coming across. Actually, especially then. How else are you going to learn when your behavior is upsetting or pushing away other people?  

I've had a really bad week, with my cat dying, my friend dying on Christmas Eve, and now my kid's kindergarten teacher and her son were killed in a horrific drunk driving accident.  My tolerance for BS is extremely low right now.  I think one of the MOST difficult things to work on when trying to evolve personally, is the ability to perceive, set, and maintain healthy boundaries.  Doing it online via text, as we've discussed, is problematic. I don't think the answer is to coddle and put up with the extreme amount of crap we had to deal with in the Z experience.  That does not mean we don't feel compassion for the guy.  

Comment by ViP on December 29, 2013 at 11:18pm

Oh, and to add to this (quoting my own post below), this is why we need to know what our own boundaries are, and how to compassionately let it be known to others what they are too, when needed. Thus the usefulness of what Maureen wrote, to me.

It takes effort to be conscious and catch oneself being triggered and reacting to insults to ourselves and what we hold dear, but it is the only way to avoid shit happening, or at least, to deal with it in a way that hurts yourself the least. 

Comment by ViP on December 29, 2013 at 11:02pm

I have to say that, throughout that episode, I did not see anyone deliberately set any 'traps' for Z that appeared to be intended to trigger him. I did see two things: (1) someone who did not know how to take a hint, and (2) some amount of defensiveness from the community here as a result. Though to be fair as to the defensiveness, I now wonder whether any new person will turn out to be similar any time there is a chip on the shoulder shown when their beliefs are questioned. It's already happened since then.

There's no doubt for me that work needed to be done on both sides, but I do not remember seeing any of it that looked deliberate: (1) neither any deliberate, conscious effort on his part to trigger people (other than the comment about gay people - it would be unfortunate for someone to be naive to the point of not realizing how offensive that could be, though I cannot discount the possibility); (2) nor any deliberate attempt to bait him into melting down.

In the end, what do I think he could have done differently? I think he could have posted his mind maps, systematic thinking approach and other thoughts as illustrations of what works for him, and simply left it to anyone interested to follow up with him if so desired, without having implied that what people were already doing was inadequate, across the board. I've been meaning to do a diagram of a hierarchical representation of MT teaching areas as an experiment for myself and post it (I thought of this just before he joined), but after the debacle that followed, I've hesitated due to the possibility of diagrams of any sort becoming associated with what happened before.

In regard to ourselves setting red lines - I do not think these lines are set consciously or deliberately, in general, but rather as defensive, reactive, self-protective countermeasures to previous offenses and insults to the self (whether real or imagined.) In that regard, they are probably like the Chief Features, if not falling within that very same category. It takes effort to be conscious and catch oneself being triggered and reacting to insults to ourselves and what we hold dear, but it is the only way to avoid shit happening, or at least, to deal with it in a way that hurts yourself the least. That is really what I was alluding to in this post. I don't mean to minimize Mike's concerns, as there were really some trigger-happy responses that happened, but in the end, Z needed to listen and there was likely little further interest in hand holding him through communicating with the rest of people here. There were questions raised about the effectiveness of written electronic communication vs in-person communication, and I do think different parts of the brain must be activated when doing either. However, I think consideration for others' opinions will show through either way, if it is there at all.







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