A Cosmic Duck
Recently a friend shared with me that she was feeling the pain of being criticized by someone. The criticism was not coming from a place of caring or helpfulness. It had the energy of “If I cut you down I’ll look taller.” Well, cutting the heads off of others never really makes anyone taller. Quite the opposite in fact, for it has the tendency of distancing the offender from others because no one wants to be around someone who is always spreading negativity.
And unless a person like that gets help these types of habits can make their life pretty miserable, and in extreme cases can lead to major emotional problems. But that’s not my topic for today. My topic is how we can deal more effectively with a situation like this when someone rains negativity on our parade.
And here, entering stage right is the answer. “Quack! Quack!” “Please help me welcome The Cosmic Duck!” Let’s wait a minute for the applause to die down and then we’ll continue.
Now what’s so very special about a cosmic duck is that even though they are, like all the rest of us, in the emotional waters of all the ups and downs of the human experience, they don’t get wet! Other people’s negativity doesn’t wipe them out.
When we study ducks in nature we find that they have a thin protective coating of oil on all of their feathers so that even though they spend much of their lives in and on the water their feathers do not absorb the moisture; hence, they stay healthy and dry. And so in nature we find the perfect example we need to model for us our psychological cure.
So in order for us to become fully-fledged Cosmic Ducks we first need to understand what’s going on with people who are negatively attacking others. And here’s what’s going on. They are in pain.
People don’t attack others because their hearts are full of love and contentment, do they?! Of course not. But just like in the animal world, when they’re hurting some people lash out at whomever happens to be nearby. Or in some instances they lash out at others who seem to have what they think they deserve but don’t have; things like successful relationships or careers, or financial success, or special recognition in a family or group. This all looks pretty familiar, doesn’t it?
So bringing this back to my friend who was being inappropriately criticized I explained to her that by understanding what was going on in the emotional life of the attacking person this would then give my friend the personal power to choose what her response would be. And when we feel and know that we are “at choice” this is one of life’s most empowering moments. Because we realize that we have the power to choose the response or action that best serves us.
And with a growing maturity we eventually come to understand that our own peace and happiness are the most valuable treasures we have. And to let someone get your goat means that you have allowed him or her to steal your peace and happiness. It’s never worth it.
Now by this I do not mean that we should not set appropriate boundaries or stand up for what we know is right. But when you realize when people are lashing out at you it is because they are in some form of pain. Knowing this puts you in a position of power because you can respond in ways that can make things better, instead of worse.
And when you can respond in a wisdom-guided way that is not polluted with anger, it is a beautiful thing to behold. For when you can stand in the knowledge and power of your own self worth speaking from wisdom and truth the only thing that will burn is the conscience of the person attacking you.
So learn to live in the contentment of your own clear conscience and refuse to throw yourself on the fires of other people’s ignorance. When with practice you learn to do this. Not only will people stop attacking you, but they will want to know how they, too, can claim the treasures of peace and happiness that comes from learning how to be a Cosmic Duck!
I’m John Johnston Thanks for joining me, here, On the Cosmic Porch!