i believe Dr. Timothy McNeil when he teaches that pain has a way of awakening us to deeper truths about our family, our world, and ourselves if we can learn to stay with our pain. For me, it has been my inability to process the toxic emotions of hate, rage, disgust, and shame. The emotions have driven me to the point of death. In that though i am no different that the rest humanity has been for millennia. It is these emotions, which have driven us to, sacrifice people, animals, and in the origination of the term scapegoat, symbolically spit on goats and run them over cliffs.
i spent decades absorbing others pain as it projecting onto and into me as rage, hate, disgust, and humiliation. The verbal club was used; and then the physical. i was a victim of verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. While the words i heard were “I love you,” the actions, tone and volume were communicating these three words, “I hate you!”
Yes, we all get frustrated, upset and react; it’s part of our collective human dysfunction. Dr. McNeil has helped me to realize we project the emotions of hate, rage, disgust and humiliation onto other people, other nations, other races, and conveniently deny our own shadows. This grow first into verbal violence and then physical violence. The toxicity is contagious and may poison the minds of individuals, groups, tribes, clans, or nations.
No one is exempt from the collective human dysfunction. We are all infected with the same disease. We will either transmit our pain or it will transform us. Authentic faith in whatever shape, expression, culture, and form, leads to transformation by forcing us to face our shadows and to deal with our pain. i we choose whether or not to participate in the collective madness, the human collective and individual dysfunction. i am called to a higher consciousness not to resort to the Darwinian default of verbal then physical clubbing.
Dr. McNeil has issued a Father’s Day challenge to all Dads to pledge to be peacemakers! i am not a dad, but i can accept this challenge, to work toward eliminating violence one hearth, one hope, and one heart at a time. The only way i can do this is to face my own pain, to deal with it and learn how to express the feelings buried deep inside, and then learn how to process the emotions of hate, rage, pain and shame/humiliation in healthy ways. i will make myself accountable to others. As i have been taught, hate is not the opposite of love, for true love has no opposite, and creates no opposition.
i will make my voice a voice without violence!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.