I just wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this first week of posts in the IF Project. Thank you. Day 6 will post Monday. There will be a second post today, long overdue, regarding Jiu-jitsu. Thanks again for reading and have a great Friday!

~Tom

 

“Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…”

It’s a natural response.

Get pushed, push back.

Building off of yesterday’s post, since the prose seems to naturally do that anyways, it was tempting to begin to hate the gossipers. But it would be a waste; futile.

Hating requires attention and mental space in order to hate that thing. It requires mental, emotional and physical energy to hate. So, if you are going to hate something, you should have a reason, and make the reason better than “Well, they lied about me, so I hate them” or “They aren’t on my political team, so I hate them” or “They don’t think exactly like me, so I hate them.”

There are good reasons to hate people in the world.

There are things worth hating.

Child pornographers. Sex Traffickers. People who, without remorse, pour evil acts out on the innocent.

Maybe the “millstone treatment” that Jesus recommends is the proper response for those evil people?

Drowning freaks me out. I can see how this punishment could be justifiable for the truly guilty. I imagine the speed that a thousand-plus-pound millstone cinched tightly about the neck, would generate, plunging the evildoer headlong into the depths of the sea. I imagine the natural and utterly futile struggle trying to loosen the fetters. I imagine the continually increasing darkness and the cold temperatures of the deep. Not to mention the pressure…

Shudder.

Anyways. Obviously, I hate those kinds of people. I put a lot of energy, so to speak in that mental exercise, yes?

But people who gossip and lie about you? Yes, the gossip and lies could be damaging to me, but really there is a better way.

Indifference.

To quite literally train yourself to give absolutely, unequivocally zero fucks about the person or persons involved. This frees you of the mental, emotional and physical energy is takes for you to actually hate them. It frees you of any ties you have to them. You just don’t care, zero opinion, zero fucks. All the way.

I say train, because opposition almost always fires that deeply wired “fight, flight or freeze” response in our brains. From verbal disagreements to an irate customer to someone actually trying to fight you, the synapses fired are the same or similar and the physiological responses are the same. So you train yourself to respond properly. Not everything deserves the same response, attention and energy.  It’s not easy but as I taste that control over my responses more and more, it is worth it.

How to train it?

Do hard shit. Physically challenging activities help put things into perspective.

Step back, look at the big picture. It might matter “now”, but will it in a month, twelve, twenty-four?

Practice self-awareness. Recognize your reactions; consciously choose to address them.

And yet, after keeping your head, trusting and making allowance for doubt, not getting tired by waiting, being lied about and being hated:

Try not to look too good while doing all that…