An real life example of how the ego projects its own issues onto others.
"Get over it."
There was great wisdom in those words…..if only he had consciously directed them at himself.
The boy messed up – again. His love for computers and one particular game put him in a space where he made the choice to linger on the website after he had been told to get off. The father came in to the room and saw the computer was still on. He became upset. Why? Any number of reasons. Maybe it was a control issue, maybe he felt disrespected, maybe his own memories of not being able to do what he wanted, when he wanted, as a child resurfaced. The specifics, in this moment, don’t matter. What matters is that the trigger resulted in him yelling at the boy, this child that the father loves dearly, yet seems hard-pressed to recognize the older the boy gets.
In one moment, the father’s ability to remain objective and calm flew out the window like birds freed from a cage. He verbally lashed out at the boy and then left him in his room, crying.
When he came back to the room, the mother was saying good night to their son. The boy was still in tears. Father asked why this was still going on and mother simply responded that the boy was sad that he got yelled at. Father went on to tell the boy that he needed to get over it. Mother kissed the boy, said good night and left the room. From her room, she heard the father tell the boy that it’s time for him to grow up. He’s not a baby anymore. He needs to learn to get over it.
Wow. Such profound words….get over it. The father, himself, couldn’t get over it, which is exactly why he came back to the room, looking for a reason to begin another round of berating the child. And, of course, he found just what he was seeking. So simple. So clear. And almost impossible to recognize when the heart has been compressed by polarized energies built around beliefs of right and wrong.
It was as if he was speaking directly to himself. The boy didn’t even need to be in the room. Yet, he was. The father verbally threw up on that boy and now the boy has learned something. He’s learned that when he feels triggered by this same type of energy, the “best” thing to do is to act like dad did, because it worked. Dad was the winner. He was always the winner when he yelled at the boy. Of course, this isn’t a teaching that the boy can recognize as being something he wants. Certainly not. This man’s son hates feeling the way he does when his father yells at him and he wouldn’t consciously want to treat another like that. However, deep inside, there is an understanding that dad’s method works and he always comes out on top. Therefore, all the more reason to do it yourself when you feel backed into a corner, right?
A lesson was learned by both that night. Another one of countless ways on how to perpetuate our perceived state of separation. Mind is a great teacher that way. It learns its lessons from experience and then works hard to practice them over and over, thus spreading the proverbial gospel to all who come in contact with it. However, the heart remains the greatest of teachers, because it has nothing to learn at all. It can only be what it is – love. In a moment of clarity lead by the heart, this man may see that, in that moment, he was only truly upset because the son’s actions brought up his own fears. Fears that have sat like a thousand pound weight over his heart for a lifetime, and more. The fear of allowing that pain in is enough to make a father betray his own love for a precious child and then convince himself afterward that he did the right thing. But the heart, once free of this weight, can see with clear vision. It can see that we are the ones, ourselves, who need to get over it. Get over the stories altogether. And when the stories disappear, so do we – melting into the collective river of love that WE ARE.
And with this seeing comes the opportunity for true healing and forgiveness: The possibility for honest communication between a father and his son, which leads to lasting healing. And, greater yet, the illumination which comes when we see that all our thoughts, words and actions toward others which were based in anything other than true love, were really only directed toward ourselves. When this is seen and embraced, then comes the ultimate healing of self-forgiveness.
Satsang with Shusara, Thursdays at 6pm PT