If you put your head in a lion’s mouth, will it bite you? That depends on whether the lion is tame or not, has already eaten and isn’t hungry, or is a circus lion trained to let people do that. Even with a trained lion, I’m sure that the person who sticks their head in its mouth must have a moment of fear. This isn’t a silly question because we do this all of the time, when we get involved with our karmic partners, set ourselves up for our shared lessons and then challenge them to not bite off our heads.
Usually we get away with our heads still attached but may suffer from other traumas, including the disappointment we feel when someone repeats past behavior, even though we give them every opportunity not to. Think of how many ways we let others know that we love and value them and mean them no harm, and they respond by biting off our heads. Who is wrong here, us for trusting someone in ways they cannot be trusted, or them for not acknowledging our efforts and responding accordingly?
I will make what may be an unpopular comment here — when we don’t honor others’ truth we are being disrespectful and manipulative, no matter what that truth is or how honorable, helpful, or well intended our motives are. When we don’t believe that someone chooses to be cruel, deceptive, and dishonest, and we try to change their behavior, we are not honoring who they are. We don’t try to make nice people mean, so why do we try to make mean people nice? Both of them are speaking and acting through their truth and we need to respect that truth.
I’m not condoning the behavior of people who are cruel, deceptive, and dishonest, just saying that dealing with them in any way other than one that knows we’re putting our head in the mouth of a lion who is known to bite is setting ourselves up for a big disappointment and potentially a considerable amount of pain. What are our options:
- Avoid the lion — it isn’t necessary to get involved with people you know will hurt you and you probably aren’t going to make them change, no matter how honorable your intentions are. You may even annoy them enough to create a situation that results in more pain for you. If you have already been bitten once, it’s best to avoid the lion.
- Wait until the lion invites you to stick your head in its mouth — When we try to change people before they acknowledge that they are considering or want to change, we are dishonoring them, no matter how kind and well meaning our efforts are. Unless someone truly wants to change, any effort to change them will be met with understandable resistance and rejection. If and when they are ready, they will find you and that’s when they see you doing something they want to do, or having something they want to learn how to create in their life.
- See the Divine, Deal with the Human: This is one of my favorite messages, which you can read here. While we can acknowledge the divine in everyone (and it is there), we have to connect to them through how they are choosing to express their divinity. No matter how much we think some people could be, act, or do things differently, and no matter how much divine energy they possess, it is the way they are expressing this energy through their human side that is the true barometer of their being. When we acknowledge that to decide whether it’s safe to approach and connect with them, much less put our heads in their mouth, we are honoring their humanity, and accepting how they are choosing to use their energy. We honor others by seeing them as they choose to be, not how we want them to be or think they are capable of becoming.
It isn’t our job to change or to heal others. It is our job to change ourselves and to become a source of inspiration and healed, whole living for others to choose for themselves. People will be more inspired by sources of joy, love, abundance, and success than by being told what they are capable of if they tried harder, or if they changed in some way. None of us knows what someone’s Source Contract is for a lifetime, so we cannot judge what they are doing or being because what we think is the least spiritual behavior we have ever seen may be their greatest leap in understanding and transformation.
One of our greatest lessons is non-judgment and compassionate acceptance, which requires us to refrain from judging others and to decide whether we will connect with someone, based on our energy, than to decide that they are doing something wrong because their behavior doesn’t meet our expectations of what we think their behavior could be.
Avoiding the lion is always an option and if that isn’t possible, make sure that it doesn’t have a reputation for biting before you stick your head in its mouth.
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