COPING WITH SLANDERS & TOXIC GOSSIPS

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THE TIPPING POINT OF VICIOUS GOSSIPS & SLANDER CAN TRIGGER OFF SOMEBODY’S DEPRESSION OR SUICIDE

 
 

ONE CAN NEVER KNOW THE ULTIMATE END-POINT OF THE REPERCUSSIONS OF ONE'S GOSSIPS.

`The most important things in life are the thoughts you choose to think,’

Marcus Aurelius.

A person suffering from deep shame often also suffers from depression. The two seem to go together. Deep shame, being a master negative emotion, is capable of bringing down the whole mental structure. This negative emotion is insidious and works like termites eating their way stealthily and rapidly whatever is positive in our minds. Once afflicted with deep shame, we tend to believe that we have suffered a massive catastrophe. Then we begin to believe that this catastrophe has engulfed our lives and has become an integral part of our lives. Then depression sets in like a bear hug and shuts down the light at the end of the tunnel. As the Chinese proverb goes, the birds can fly over our heads but we must not allow them to build their nests on our heads.

In the words of J. Oswald Sanders, `The mind of man is the battleground on which every moral and spiritual battle is fought.’

`Trusting life comes from making some meaning of who we are, what we are all about. When we confront shame, we become aware of emptiness, a spiritual hunger. Our attempts to fill this hunger with controlling, compulsive behaviors only lead to pain and remorse.’

Merle A. Fossum & Marilyn J. Mason – `Facing Shame: Families in Recovery’

Food for Thought

Gossips and slanders often act as triggers for depression for the victims. It is so easy and fun to gossip about somebody’s mistakes and blunders in life but what one may not know how bad it is to be placed in that kind of position of victimhood. 

Have you ever read the recent bestseller, `The Tipping Point’ ?  Or have you ever heard of a tiny butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forests in Brazil may cause a typhoon in the Philippines several years later ?

Sometimes, the first stone that is cast at someone’s reputation may triggers off his/her depression that may possibly lead to his/her suicide?  The stone that you cast may not be the first stone but nonetheless, it has to capacity to add to the necessary critical mass that forms the tipping point for the victim’s desperate crucial decision to resort to commit suicide. Ponder on  the tragic chain of terrible consequences from the gossips that may have been started by you or participated by you…It is pretty scary, isn’t it?  

Submitted by Philosaiki

 


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THERE IS VIRTUALLY LITTLE DEFENCE AGAINST THE TERMITE-LIKE ATTACKS OF SLANDERS AND GOSSIPS

 

SLANDERS AND GOSSIPS ACT LIKE MATCHES THAT START UNCONTROLLABLE BUSH FIRES THAT BURN INDISCRIMINATELY

Slanders & Gossips Act like Termites

`You yourself are your own obstacle. Rise above yourself.’ Hafiz

When one spreads a vicious gossip or slander against another person, it is almost always done in utmost secrecy so as not to invite a libel lawsuit. It is like lynching a person in a kangaroo court because the mob will always want to believe the gossips thrown at him or her in secret. Gossips act like termites in attacking buildings. The termites feed voraciously at the wooden components of a building silently and insidiously. You can sense it but you cannot see it or hear it. You only know where the termites have done their jobs when you knock on the surface and the response is a hollow sound. It is the same in human relationships. When a person or friend who has been infected by the vicious virus of gossip or slander, the relationship becomes corrupted and meaningless devoid of sincerity and authenticity. The tragedy of the social consequences of vicious gossips is that the innocent ones appear as guilty as the convicted ones. No proof is needed and no explanation is necessary. It is so simple and easy to convict a person based on hearsay, or flawed individual testimonies based on their personal agendas of revenge. Look at the burning of witches during the Middle Ages or the killings of millions in the 20th century in Europe, Russia and Asia. Why is it that man never learns from history?

Thoughts To Ponder

Now what can the sufferer do to cope with such a helpless situation? Remember that our thoughts- whether positive or negative, are powerful things. Whatever you focus on will grow and expand. A mind is like a computer system. When somebody emails to you a negative message embedded with a malicious virus, you have the option to accept it or to reject it. A gossip whether real or imaginary, has the capacity of a virus to disable and distort your thinking process. Once the email is accepted and opened, the virus will enter our mind and stay dormant until the ripe time appears for it to do its destructive work. The virus may appear harmless because it does its work quietly and insidiously when you are unaware of its presence. So it is important to be aware of its danger as soon as it appears in your mind. It is easy to reject the negative thought or gossip as a dangerous virus. Awareness is essential to recognize the harmful viruses that appear in your mind everyday. It is easy to fight the viruses at the door than to fight them inside the house. Just shut the door and reject the evil thoughts at the door-step.

`Actively plant positive seeds in the garden of your mind and weed out any negatives as soon as they appear. As soon as you are aware of a negative entering your mind, nip it in the bud.’ Lynda Field, `Ways To Heal Yourself’

Submitted by Philosaiki


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STAY FAR AWAY FROM GOSSIP WHICH ROBS OTHERS OF THEIR HONOUR

`IF SOMETHING UNCHARITABLE IS SAID IN YOUR PRESENCE, EITHER SPEAK IN FAVOUR OF THE ABSENT OR WITHDRAW, OR IF POSSIBLE, STOP THE CONVERSATION.' (John Vianney, "The Wisdom of The Saints")

One high school teenager confided in another his love for a certain attractive girl. The first boy asked the second boy to keep it confidential. By the end of the week, the rumour spread around like wild fire. The teenager concerned was greatly mortified as the others ridiculed him and teased the girl he liked. This may appear to be a trivial incident to others but to the victim concerned, it seemed to be a catastrophe. In shame, the teenage victim ran home and in the subsequent weeks, he avoided the girl that he admired. Through a thoughtless and cruel act, one person was able to shame another and  nipped a budding relationship.

Gossip is one of the most sinful and selfish acts that human beings can engage in. The tragedy is that only the victims can feel the severe pain of the darts of gossips. The gossippers are merely spectators enjoying the fun at the expense of the victims. Gossip robs the victims of their honour and places them in positions of mockery and public ridicule and contempt. Gossip can never build up but only destroys. It casts doubts and puts others down.

Thoughts To Ponder

When a friend speaks to me in confidence, let me be trustworthy and devoted. Seal my lips from ever saying anything which brings another person shame or grief. May the words of my mouth be a blessing. Amen.

(Adapted from `Wisdom From The Proverbs’)

Submitted by Philosaiki


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TAKE EACH DAY ONE STEP AT A TIME

OUR DEFEAT OR VICTORY BEGINS WITH WHAT WE THINK, AND IF WE GUARD OUR THOUGHTS, WE SHALL NOT HAVE MUCH TROUBLE ANYWHERE ELSE ALONG THE LINE. (Vance Havner)

Take Each Day One Step At A Time

Remember… there is a deeper strength and an amazing abundance of peace available to you.

Draw from this well; call on your faith to uphold you.

You will make it through this time and find joy in life again.

Life continues around us, even when our troubles seem to stop time.

There is good in life every day.

Take a few minutes to distract yourself from your concerns-  long enough to draw strength from a tree or to find pleasure in a bird’s song.

Return a smile; realize that life is a series of levels, cycles of ups and downs-               some easy, some challenging.

Through it all, we learn; we grow strong in faith; we mature in understanding.

The difficult times are often the best teachers, and there is good to be found in all situations.

Reach for the good.

Be strong, and don’t give up.

                           –Pamela Owens Renfro

Food For Thought

There are certain times in your life when the going is really tough.

During such times, it is important to take one step at a time.

Don’t worry about tomorrow or next week.

Have the courage to live one hour at a time.

And God will supply the strength and the courage to endure this day.

As the saying goes, `It is darkest just before dawn’.

By the time you live through this day, the cloud may lift by tomorrow.

Submitted by Philosaiki


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LIFE IS A BIG PARADOX- THE VICTIMISERS MAY END UP LOSING A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THEIR HUMANITY.

LONELINESS BECOMES `OUR FRIEND' WHEN IT FORCES US TO ENJOY THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD AS MUCH AS WE WOULD THE FRIENDSHIP OF OTHERS. (Bill Gothard) "YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR TIME IS COMING. LIKE BIRDS SUDDENLY CAUGHT IN A TRAP, LIKE FISH CAUGHT IN A NET, WE ARE TRAPPED AT SOME EVIL MOMENT WHEN WE LEAST EXPECT IT." (Unknown)

George Mangakis, who was tortured and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment by the military junta in Greece, ended up feeling pity for his torturer, not himself. Ponder deeply on the following words written from his heart:

`I have experienced the fate of a victim. I have seen the torturer’s face at close quarters. It was in a worse condition than my own bleeding, livid face. The torturer’s face was distorted by a kind of twitching that had nothing human about it…

In this situation, I turned out to be the lucky one. I was humiliated. (I was victimised.) I did not humiliate others. I was simply bearing a profoundly unhappy hamanity in my aching entrails.  Whereas the men who humiliate you must first humiliate the notion of humanity within themselves. Never mind if they strut around in their uniforms, swollen with the knowledge that they can control the suffering, sleeplessness, hunger and despair of their fellow human beings, intoxicated by the power in their hands. This intoxication is nothing other than the degradation of humanity. The ultimate degradation. They have had to pay very dearly for my torments.

I wasn’t the one in the worst position. I was simply a man who moaned because he was in great pain. I prefer that. At this moment I am deprived of the joy of seeing children going to school or playing in the parks. Whereas they have to look their own children in the face?’

(Adapted from `Where is God When It Hurts’ by Philip Yancey)

Food For Thought

In this dark and wounded society, writing this blog has given me the pleasures of the woodpecker, of hollowing out a hole in a tree where I can build my nest and say, “This is my niche. This is the meaning of my life. This is where I live now. This is where I belong.” 

The niche may be small and dark, but at last I will finally know what I am doing. After living six decades of floundering in my woundedness and disorientation, I finally become awakened and I am dealing with my wounds as they are. This is very painful. But at last, I come to the realization that `the elixir of life is hidden in the toxins.’ And may you also discover your elixir of life in your toxins of woundedness so that you will regain your inner peace.

Submitted by Philosaiki

 


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YOUR PERCEPTIONS CREATE YOUR OWN REALITIES

WITH CHANGING PERCEPTIONS, ONE CAN ALWAYS TRANSFORM THE CRUCIFIX OF SUFFERING INTO A CROSS OF SALVATION AND REDEMPTION FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION INTO A BETTER PERSON.

 

The Healing Role of Perception

`What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.’           Shakespeare, Hamlet

 Therapy is a process of changing awareness and behaviour. The creative process is also about change- transformation of one form into another. Thus creativity and psychotherapy are inter-connected and interlinked on a fundamental level. Both processes involve transformation, metamorphosis and change. Just like the caterpillar transforms itself into a butterfly. In the process of transformation and metamorphosis, the caterpillar has to experience lots of pain and suffering before it can change itself into a butterfly. Nobody in the world can shorten this process of suffering for the caterpillar.

Perception is the cornerstone of creativity. Very often perception is the master-key that opens the door to creative therapy. Why? Because perception enables our mind to look at things or problems from many different perspectives. When our perception towards a problem/person changes, the perspective changes and the solution also changes. When our perception changes, our attitudes also change. When our perception/attitude becomes negative, we can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It is total darkness. In such a negative situation, we feel hopeless and despair. Hence, we fall into the pit of depression.

Thoughts To Ponder

There is no way around the fact that life brings pain. It is part and parcel of the human experience. The question is `What do we do with that pain?’ Your response is paramount in dealing with your adversity and shame. Your perception needs to be positive and appropriate to the situation. You need a balanced perception to cope with your adverse circumstances. A perception that is too rosy is unconvincing to yourself and one that is too gloomy will pin you in the gutter. You need a balanced perception to face your problems in a realistic manner and initiate solutions that are meaningful and appropriate.

Happy people usually respond to their painful situations in the same way as recasting. By recasting, they move through toxic events that  are otherwise debilitating, with an elegance and an authentic touch that will turn the negative elements into positive ones.

Submitted by Philosaiki


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HOW TO PERCEIVE PRAYERS IN THE MIDST OF YOUR BROKENNESS.

EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE IN LIFE- TO ALLY WITH THE FORCES OF DARKNESS OR TO REFLECT THE BEACON OF LOVE, TRUTH & HOPE.

How do you pray when your world is falling apart?

Do you stop praying and conclude that God has ignored and forgotten you?

Many people have given up on God because they prayed for something and it did not happen. Unfortunately, these people see things as they want to see them and their prayers revolve around their ego needs. They are in a denial mode and refuse to see their problems as they are. They simply don’ t want to see the harsh reality as it is!

In his book, Too Busy Not To Pray, Bill Hybels explains why some prayers are unanswered.

If the request is wrong, God says, `No.’

If the timing is wrong, God says, `Slow.’

If you are wrong, God says, `Grow.’

But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says, `Go!’

How interesting! God really answers our prayers in different forms that are too complex for our human understanding. We may discern God’s answers if we are humble enough and honest enough to see things from God’s perspectives.  This author continues to assert that God really answer our prayers in four ways:

1- Some answers are direct. We ask and immediately receive what we ask for.

2- Some answers are delayed.  Here is a matter of timing and God answers us on His timetable, not ours.

3- Some answers are disguised. Sometimes God answers our prayers in a different way which is far better than our expectation.

4- Some answers are simply denied. God knows far better in his infinite wisdom that it is in our best interest when He says `No’ to our prayers.

In life, we often ask for answers that feed on our ego or our negative emotions like making curses on our enemies or taking revenge to pacify our surging resentments. Anything that pushes you away from God’s love, truth and mercy will eventually harm your spiritual well-being and inner peace. In making such prayers with negative intentions, you are really choosing to ally with the forces of darkness in this broken world.   (Adapted from `Today Can Be The Best Day Of Your Life’ by Harold J. Sala)

 

Submitted by Philosaiki