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from The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello . . .
Imagine you are in a situation or with a person that you find unpleasant and that you would ordinarily avoid.
Now try this:
Observe how your brain instinctively becomes active, insisting that you avoid this person or situation or try to change them or it.
If you stay on there and refuse to change the situation, observe how the brain insists that you experience irritation or anxiety or guilt or some other negative emotion.
Now keep looking at this unpleasant situation or person until you realize that it isn’t they that are causing the negative emotions.
He or she is just going their way, being themselves, doing their thing whether right or wrong, good or bad.
It is your brain that, thanks to its programming, insists on your reacting with negative emotions.
You will see this better if you realize that someone with a different programming when faced with this same situation or person or event would react quite calmly, even happily.
Don’t stop till you have grasped this truth: The only reason why you too are not reacting calmly and happily is your computer that is stubbornly insisting that reality be reshaped to conform to its programming.
Observe all of this from the outside so to speak and see the marvelous change that comes about in you. Once you have understood this truth and thereby stopped your brain from generating negative emotions you may take any action you deem fit.
You may avoid the situation or the person; or you may try to change them; or you may insist on your rights or the rights of others being respected; you may even resort to the use of force.
But only after you have got rid of your emotional upsets, for then your action will spring from peace and love, not from the neurotic desire to appease your brain or to conform to its programming or to get rid of the negative emotions it generates.
Then you will understand how profound the wisdom of Christ words:
“If a man wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. If a man in authority makes you go one mile, go with him two.”