Anchored in Love

If you’ve ever been the target of bullying, religious persecution or maltreatment of any type, you’ve likely had to make an important decision: sink to the level of the aggressor or rise above the attack.

When faced with such an emotionally charged decision, the most common reactions are to 1) lash out in an attempt to avenge the indignity or 2) wallow in victimization. While striking back is not commonly recognized as sinking to the level of your aggressor, it is easy to see how both of these reactive approaches lead quickly to a compromise of your integrity and dignity. If you are compelled to think or act in a way that is beneath you out of reaction to an affront, you have sold yourself short. You are better than that but you have to prove it in the heat of the moment.

Rising above the attack is not a matter of ignoring it or turning a blind eye, instead, it is a matter of bringing love to focus in relation to those who seek to offend you or do you harm. Realizing that true love is never blind and wisdom is primarily a matter of the heart, you come to terms with the fact that you cannot choose the wise approach if your heart is troubled as a result of having taken offense to something offensive. (Take note that this one point trips up more earnestly good people than just about any other. It is the crucible of whether or not you have truly overcome the judgment of which it was written: “Judge not that ye be not judged”).

That said, the righteous course of action may involve a powerful defense or a swift and decisive offense. Love is a purifying force; that which is consistent with its nature is not consumed by it while that which is opposed to it is ultimately consumed in its presence. Love, as a good upbringing will show, can come clothed as a hug or a swift kick in the rear.

The novitiate must resist the temptation to perfect his pattern of action and seek instead to concentrate his attention on the pattern of underlying orientation. Being clear about what is motivating you in the heat of the moment is more important than worrying about how you will respond. When you are correct with your motivation, the best course of action will make itself known.

If your heart is truly anchored in love, it cannot be unmoored by hate. Choose ye well!

15 thoughts on “Anchored in Love

  1. Katherine

    It’s always best to refrain from making snap judgements or decisions in the heat of the moment, especially if our heart is filled with indigation, defense of injustice, worry or anger. As you mentioned, this leads to indignity and a compromise of integrity. Each decision we make to take the high road creates an unwavering strength within that allows us to handle every situation with grace, power and creativity.

  2. Carmen

    Thank you so very much for your continuous words of wisdom! It is so easy for us to lose our way, and roam away from the path of rightness. You remind us again and again where we want to be, and where we wish to go. But not only do you give us this gift, but you are always pointing ahead to a place that we yet can not see, and remind us of the great legacy of Faith, that we can change ourselves.

  3. Ricardo B.

    To do the right thing at that right time keeps you clean and clear for the road ahead, whereas the wrong thing, the unwise thing, can take a lifetime to shake off and you see this happen all the time. It really does come down to a matter of the heart and how large of love it can hold. I’ve seen that if you can still yourself in the sense that you relax your agitations, what you find there is love and the genuine desires that come from that still point – the desire to help, forgive and bless. How those spirits then get carried through in action is then quite situational, but comes quite automatically, infused with your personality, and at that point you almost don’t have to think about it. If I am interpreting you clearly, I feel that’s what you mean when you wrote about focusing on the underlying orientation and not so being concerned about practicing the carry through. Get the foundation right, and the bulk of the process is done for you.

  4. Vincent

    The acute and chronic impressions of injustice are at the root of so much human motivation. “It ain’t right” is the plaintive cry that underlies so much frustration, resentment, anger, futility and vengefulness. Well, on the one hand one could argue that there is little justice in the world as it is. Love is rewarded with betrayal. Speaking the truth often earns a person severe punishment. Vibrancy of expression can produce envious backlashes.

    On the other hand, love is love – ultimately the greatest force in the universe! Truth cannot be bent or altered in any way. Life comprises all that is of value and beauty. Staying true to these fundamental patterns of reality, we cannot react in ways that deny or betray that reality, and in the long run reality always remains as the unreal recedes into its inherent nothingness!

  5. Coco

    I’ve realized in my own life that when I was scrupulous about my motivation it prevented me from acting in a manner I would have soon regretted. Being anchored in love can look as though you are ignoring an aggressor, when in fact you know that there is always a reckoning, but I may not be the one the offender must answer to. Bullying particularly is a cowards weapon. It is a methodical attack designed to do just what you are discussing. The strategy is to wear their victim down until they become as alienated from love as they are. When this occurs their hearts are available to evil and they can join the bully as a minion for hell. Misery does love company. The main objective of evil is to convince the righteous of sin.

  6. Chuck Reddick

    What you have shared with us today Gregg is profound and so right on. One of the Fundamentals of Success that we in the sales organization speak about often is “Becoming More Valuable”. There are two basic components to that fundamental: 1)your thinking and 2)your influences. Being criticized by or being attacked and/or gossiped about by others is unfortunately a part of our world, whether we like it or not. That seems to be especially true in the age of the internet where others can hide their true identify.

    One of the keys to becoming more valuable is how we are influenced by this pettiness. If we sink to the same level as those with hatred, disdain and anger than we actually are no better than they are, and certainly not becoming more valuable.

    On the other hand, when we rise above it with genuine love in our hearts, to me we are meeting with a wonderful opportunity to be of more value to others, which obviously gives us freedom from the negative thoughts and expressions of others.

    Don’t get me wrong. None of us likes to be the subject of attacks etc. but the key is how we deal with it when it happens. It makes perfect sense to allow love to come to the surface as one is contemplating how to handle this type of tough situation. When we do there could be no more powerful influence.

  7. Lady Leo

    Inspiring post. Your book “The Courage to Face Ingratitude ” is an excellent discourse on this subject. Everyone will face this to varying degrees in their lives and the Internet has certainly enlarged the school playground. Understanding the dynamics of handeling it correctly is a practical life skill.

  8. Joy

    Such a crucial and critical consideration Gregg, taking offense to injustice is considered such a natural response. It is so easy to get caught in that trap, but history should prove to us that it does not work. A 180 degree shift is definitely what you are calling for, something totally different. Thank you for your tone of absoluteness!!

  9. Zach

    I have found that in most cases (usually where time-sensitive safety is not involved) it is actually better to put off a decision until you can let your heart become untroubled. Sometimes this can take some time, but it will eventually become the default. Also, as you do this it will begin to change you, making a response of love not something forced but rather something eased into. It is in scenarios like this where you really see wisdom’s virtuosity shine.

    You have outlined some solutions to problems that can be very frustrating to those that are new to this idea. Remember not to judge the idea of “lack of judgement”, either. Just because something is commonly thought of as a certain way by the majority of people does not necessarily make it thus.

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