Being timid, allowing people to walk all over you, is not what Jesus wants you to do. He wants you to be flexible. He wants you to be non-reactive, gentle and non-resentful, but not because you stifle your feelings. He wants you to feel them all, acknowledge their presence and let them flow through you. You can be assertive and strong when necessary and you can go with the flow of your life by being meek. The Buddhists refer to this as being like water. Water can be extremely powerful and at the same time it is never anything but flexible. It flows around everything in its path even as it rages with enough force to move houses. It is strong enough to uproot trees but so flexible you can’t hold it with your hands. It is as gentle and as powerful as Jesus.
How do we be like water? The trick is to acknowledge facts without adding judgment to them. Water, when faced with an obstacle, flows around it and over it. When necessary, it moves the object along in its current, but it does not judge one object from another. It will flow into and around a house or it will move the house in the same way it will flow around or move a tree. It will sweep up people, animals and rocks just the same. It does not do this in anger or judgment as it has no emotion. As humans, we must learn to feel our emotions, acknowledging and accepting them without judgment or reaction. Do not narrate a story in your mind. Simply feel. When you can simply feel, answers come, ideas come and loving action becomes possible. Water never waivers in its flexibility no matter how powerfully it is flowing. We can bend our position just enough to see the other person’s point of view and to give them some of what they want while standing firm on what is truly important to us. We can avoid getting emotional by focusing on the facts at hand and by not being too attached to the outcome. That is true power and true flexibility. Have you ever witnessed two people arguing when one is very emotional and the other one is calm, cool and collected? Think about which one is more powerful in that situation.
As for resentment, that is simply hanging onto a complaint that will never change. What good does it do? It is rigid and it gains nothing for anyone. It hurts you and no one else. When we take a close look at what we argue about and resent, it is most often trivial things that do not matter in the scheme of our lives. In reality, there is very little that truly matters. When you are reactive and inflexible you are stuck in an illusion that your mind created. Here is a clear example…
Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say I was completely over my perceived loss. Our personalities have a way of casting the same old shadows over our God space and eventually some of the negative feelings showed up again. To this day, I can still feel a twinge. They are less intense, thankfully. I can honestly tell you that anytime I start to feel that ‘loss’ again, all I have to do is think of the phone call and it snaps me right back to reality. There were so many lessons for me to learn in those events, one of which is listening to your gut – your intuition. I will leave that for another day.