Questioning “The High Road”

Love your enemies
Love people from a distance
Forgive your enemies
Why are we often asking each other to be false?

We have this notion that being nice to people we don’t like is the high road or a sign of maturity. If you genuinely feel this way toward your enemies and you’re not deceiving yourself, that’s one thing. But I am afraid a lot of us feel peer pressure by this form of cultural conditioning and act on it to keep the peace. We can see people so often sweet-talking those they are angry at or hurt by. This is classic in the families we might have grown up in. We might have been taught to be nice to our abusers. So many of us might have been programmed to be nice to perpetrators since we were children. Maybe the perpetrators were our own family. Our natural healthy inborn responses to being traumatized as children might have been gaslighted, belittled, shut down or punished. We learned to be nice and to love abusive people unconditionally or you’d be weak or cast out otherwise. Abuse isolates us enough as it is, so what kind of child would risk being ostracized and shamed even more? So, we give in. And play nice. Somewhere along the line, this “be nice to your enemies” mentality was installed into our personalities. So, if we wonder why so many have weak boundaries and codependent relationship patterns, this might explain some of that? As children, we learned to be self-conscious. We have carried that mind-conditioning into adulthood and want to look good in front of others to prevent the very shame-provoking scolding we got as children — as adults. I get learning to be fake is a central aspect of our social programming and survival mechanisms and that there is a lot of pain behind the masks we wear. I suggest maybe it’s not such a good idea, however, to be continuing to pressure our peers into this level of madness.

The real “high road” or the real “maturity” is about not caring about our reputation anymore, not caring about what the crowd thinks of us. We were afraid to lose our parent’s love and now as grown-ups, we are afraid to lose our circle of friends. But authenticity is an important risk to take as those who are left among us after we have been honest, ARE THE REAL TRIBE we belong to. If you have to be insincere to keep your tribe around you, that’s not a tribe…. it’s more codependency. A true sign of maturity is in being REAL, being right where you are and honoring what you are feeling right now even if it is pure hatred toward those who have wronged you. That is how to truly love yourself and others is by giving yourself your authenticity and allowing others to have theirs. The practice of trying to stop people from their reactions to abuse is ACTUAL abuse and anything but mature. It’s the lowest road that keeps us all disempowered and enslaved. We can blame our violators, but look at the damage we do to ourselves.

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