Years ago the angels made this point in a reading in a very humorous way. They said quite simply, “If someone is in quicksand, isn’t it far more effective to wait on firm ground for when they are ready for a hand out, rather than jumping in with them and letting them stand on your head, while you both sink?” I had to laugh. When I was a kid, my little friend convinced me to put on my brand new Christmas boots, and go play in the mud in an area behind our house where new homes were being constructed. So there we were on Christmas day – two little teenage girls in our brand new boots – walking behind our development, when my friend began to sink in the mud. It had rained for a week and part of the area that had been dug up for the new construction had indeed turned to quicksand. She started to panic, because the more she struggled, the more she sank. Soon she was knee deep in wet Virginia clay that kept sucking her in deeper.
Using my teenage logic (Consequences? What consequences?) I promptly jumped in to try to push her out. I began to sink too. Luckily the hole wasn’t that deep, only about two and a half feet,nonetheless, the more we tried to push each other out the deeper we sank. Finally we did the teenage unthinkable thing, and slid out of our boots, until we could climb up and out of the mud pit, ruining all our clothes along the way. The boots were finally retrieved and we were so muddy we couldn’t even knock on the door when we went home. Our muddy socks squeaked in our muddy boots, as we stood near my back window and screamed until we were noticed! My dad took pity on us, let us in the garage and brought us blankets to change under. The clothing, boots, and blankets met the hose before the washing machine. Needless to say, I learned firsthand that hopping into quicksand doesn’t do a bit of good.
So what the angels are saying is that the sad don’t help the sad. The angry don’t help the angry. The prejudiced don’t help the prejudiced. We can only stop the vibration of hate if we refuse to get sucked into it. Last week when I had to face some very hateful souls, I knew how easy it would be to get and stay enraged. Instead I did what I always do. I let myself be human first and had a very private hissy. Then, when that was out of the way I prayed. I sat with God. “Let me see these people through your eyes. Let me have compassion.” I meant it, but it wasn’t easy. From there I was able to pray for them. Whenever someone is trying to anger me through their own angry or hateful vibration, I think of that scene in Star Wars when Darth Vader is trying to convert Luke to the dark side, “Use your anger,” he tells Luke. “It’ll make you more powerful.” Luke refuses, opting to risk death rather than joining the dark side. I agree. I’d rather die than be mired in hatred, which is truly a death of the truth within one’s self.
So when someone upsets you, let yourself be human. Work your own upset through in private. Vent, journal and shred (my favorite technique), punch pillows, exercise, or do what you must to work the energy through. If something saddens you, cry. I cry into towels when I am sad. Forget the Kleenex. They’re too small. I bawl like a baby. But I let these emotions pass through me. I don’t feed them, and welcome them to stay. I pray like crazy sometimes in my more human moments. “God help me see with your eyes. Help me feel compassion. Help me walk a higher path. Help me live in the truth of your love.” These are good prayers, and they are always answered if you are sincere.
I see people who have been abused, who work very hard not to let the ones who were mired in pain and hurt them, ruin their lives. They work to live in the truth of God’s love for them, rather than living in the lies of the perpetrator’s pain. It isn’t easy, but I have seen people rise above the most unthinkable conditions in their lives to move into joy. It takes work, dedication, and a willingness to say, “I am made of more than this.” It can be done.
So this week, when something or someone invites you to keep them company in their misery, instead do your best to let yourself have your human emotions, but then keep them company, if you chose, in the light of your love. It feels much better, and does a whole lot more good. And that after all leads to a much happier and more purposeful existence.