Roy Masters – From How To Survive Your Parents
Most women do not realize the harm they do to their children by resisting a man’s good-natured correction—that is, if they are lucky enough to be married to a halfway decent man. And men rarely realize the harm they do by failing to give correction—not having any real love to give.
The essence of true love is not billing and cooing and being nice and friendly; it is correction. Correction is the love we all need but is also what many of us fear. Great wisdom and superb strength are needed to correct errant behavior. The basic principle to realize is that love is a facet of understanding which reveals itself in justice and in strength.
First, love is patient. Without patience, everything you say or do will be wrong.
Second, the effect of your love is not your responsibility. You may see the need to point out errors or faults to another, but you are not responsible for whether or not they accept your correction. It is relieving to know that you personally are never responsible for change in another. Your pride must never be involved. The determination of your individual responsibility depends upon the relationship you have, whether it is with your wife, husband, child, friend, stranger or employer.
Third, love may be silent. Bear in mind that silent corrections are just as potent as verbal ones. The right kind of silence at the right time, the right kind of look with perfect timing has powerful, meaningful impact. (By correction, I mean standing as a patient, long-suffering example of what another should be and see in himself.) To understand why you must be patient (non-responsive), you need to know the true nature of man.
"Good is a FORCE, Evil is a FORCE"
People were not created to take shape from emotional pressure. The Divine Will and Purpose, expressing itself through the pressure of conscience, must be the order of life. It is only natural to try to rebel against outrageous authority. Since most children cannot rebel successfully, they end up conforming to pressure and expressing the will behind the pressure. Then they become addicted to pressure and unable to function from within. While some children appear to behave like angels in the presence of authority, they revert back to worse mischief "when the cat’s away." Outwardly, they are models of good behavior but inwardly they are like what their Bible-thumping, over-strict parents are inside—straining at the leash.
Pressure develops two extreme evils, only one of which I have discussed. The other extreme is a totally rebellious creature, nothing like his phony, pushy parents on the outside. Instead, he is outwardly like what they are inside—in every respect.
Only ambitious, sick, demented, guilt-ridden parents will push their offspring to learn, to be religious, to succeed in anything. The confounded parent, himself the product of false education and pressure, has little tolerance for childish innocence and selfhood.
Unfortunately, once you have become infected through parental pressure, religious pressure, school pressure, etc., you take on the vile, impatient spirit behind the pressure. The usual defense against the rape of the mind is resentment. Through resentment, children try to block the intent of the "mind bender", but the spirit in the parent knows the child’s resentment will work in its favor. All the child can block, if anything, is the religion or the learning—not the invasion of the spirit.
Some children stop learning in an attempt to preserve their own identity, to be themselves. Those who go on to become bright achievers have exactly the same identity problem but are unable to keep out the knowledge. They become mere carbon copies. The inferiority and guilt of not being himself drives this type of child to compensate; he egotistically justifies his servitude through the possession of knowledge he is too weak to reject.
So, while one child may be cast in the parental mold, the other appears to be the opposite, the outcast, the "black sheep" of the family. The black sheep may be a drunk or a drug addict. He is sick or very, very emotionally ill. Whatever is wrong, the outcast obviously needs treatment. Everyone looks down on him, or they are sorry for him and try to "help".
There is nothing worse than being "helped" by the very sort who destroyed you in the first place. Resenting that "help" is another futile attempt to reject it, but, as you know, that only lets the destruction in. This "help" is an evil concern for its own transplanted kind; it is also a way of finishing off and sowing confusion in any soul who will not surrender. That one is spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally murdered.
Do you see why I have related all of this? You most likely identify with one side of the problem or the other. If so, we are communicating. Now I want to reveal how delicate your approach must be with your children. Your wife, sir, was no doubt a victim of this sort of tortured past and "it" in her is having "its" way through you and your children. You must be careful of your emotional reaction. Remember how resentment works for "it" and against you.
"It" is what you must deal with in yourself before you can cope with "it" outside you, and inside others. "It" in you cannot constructively cope with "it" in others. Perhaps you already see that. Remember, one "it" always plays the tyrant and another "it" plays the slave who, through resentment, grows up from the relationship with the tyrant. The slave is hoping, of course, to evolve in his own right and become a tyrant; that is the reason for his submission. "It" patterns itself after the parent and this fact manifests itself with children. (It is important to point out here that "it" is a big coward and that you only need to have faith in what you know is right and "it" will run scared.)
You must learn to look at "it" in yourself calmly, without resenting what you see. That is how "it" will begin to die; and that, too, is how the real you will be born and begin to flower. Remember, any kind of resentment strengthens the "it" nature, especially resentment against it in yourself. "It" in you thrives and grows from your resentment against the parent (or mate) in yourself, even as "it" did when "it" lived in your parent. "It" inside you teases you to resent "it", so that "it" can continue to feed on your energies and drive you into a psychotic state, or to live "its" life through you.
After you have looked at "it" in you, you must look quietly at "it" in your rebellious wife to make sure you don’t resent her, to make sure her "it" doesn’t grow up in you as a slave to her. Remember, as a rebel, "it" thrives on emotional reaction, impatience and any form of tease or intimidation. That rebellious spirit in your wife might cause her to see in you—even promote in you—the father or mother she enjoyed hating in her childhood. Even true innocence can threaten that willful, wifely "it" into becoming very excited and agitated, trying to make you think you are doing something wrong even when you are right. The motive is to weaken you and make you doubt yourself, to make you violent so as to have "its" way. "It" needs you to play the weak (or violent) role of the hated parent; otherwise, "it" cannot survive. Like "it" in her mother, "it" in your wife may use sex to reduce your male authority and so produce that weak or violent father she enjoyed hating.
You see, "it" thrives on cruel pressure and also enjoys feeding "its" contempt on your resentment-born weakness. This is why you must be strong and patient, and with long-suffering, bear the tribulations "it" will inflict upon you. Be strengthened by the knowledge that "it" is only pulling your beloved’s strings. Your beloved is not evil—"it" is. The evil "it" wants you to be impatient, weak, resentful, even violent—then "it" is justified and renewed in you. Always remember that your real wife or child needs the strength that emanates through patience; their real will has been smothered. They cannot tell you what their real needs are, but I can.
They want you to STOP "it" in them, but with patience and love—with a FORCE—a NON-VIOLENT FORCE.
Good is a FORCE. Evil is a FORCE, but evil fears the force of good; therefore, "it" inside you will trick you into doubting the use of force.
Evil can force you to reject the education, the religion, even the very Truth which can save you. "It" does this by impatiently forcing everything down your throat, for "your own good." But Good never pushes anything down anyone’s throat.
I know how tempting it is to bust some mocking person in the mouth, to knock the hell out of them and teach them a lesson. I know that when you are tempted to resent, "it" has tricked you into reinforcing "its" errant behavior. You might easily beat someone into the ground for not seeing something your way, but what good does this do? As a bully-parent, you develop a weak, frightened child—or one who grows up out-bullying you.
Perhaps you are afraid of being strong because you fear what you might do. Then again, perhaps you don’t want to be hated by your child (the way you hated your parents) and that makes you too soft with him or her. That is the very weakness which feeds contempt and conceit in your child—or anyone.
Although what you try to accomplish may be right in the letter, the spirit of it becomes ineffective because it is weak and tainted by impatience and resentment. You are guilty now for being too weak or too strong. Perhaps this is why you associate this guilt feeling with the good you were trying to impose, and that makes you think you are wrong about the principle. That could compel you to back off. You try to keep the peace to avoid violence; you suppress your resentment. You are soft, silent when you should speak up and act. In selfishness, your pride is more concerned with its own ease and peace, with staying calm (not guilty) rather than with doing right—which you can’t anyway.
So we have the force of Hell and the consent of Hell.
Hell’s silence is the kind of silence that stands mute, feeding and supporting the beast in your charges. It is the kind of permissive silence on which Hell’s own nature in your child feeds. In your violent silence, you indulge in judging everything that is going wrong with your family. In this kind of silence, one is so busy creating or permitting wrong that one never sees one’s own wrong. Silence is often cowardice calculated to feed the judgment value of another’s wickedness. So for a while there is no violence, only an eerie peace, while you appease another in the process of developing his "monster".
Both good and evil have their own silence and their own force, you see.
When we are wrong and when, in our pride, we have lost the power to change things for the good, the only good we know is the kind that promotes and then compares itself with the bad in others. We have cultivated those very evils because of love’s original failing. We are in agreement when we stand in silent consent and, again, when we enjoy our judgment.
I said you are afraid of being forceful because you don’t want to make trouble, or perhaps you don’t want to be like the parent you hated. The guilt formed by fear and violence in you makes you need love. This need for "love" is really something gone wrong in you, seeking support by being weak. In your wrong (seeking approval) you support the wrong of another for approval. That really is a selfish love, a devilish concern for another (devil). And every spoiled brat loves/hates that in you—and promptly grows meaner. You will give in to demands until you have a nervous breakdown, fueled by resentment.
The violence in you (from your parents) may seek "peace", but frankly, it can’t stand true peace very long because it needs intrigue more. You can only find that restless peace as an appeaser (one who never speaks up or opposes evil). For that kind of peace, you must give more and more of your self, more and more ground, until sooner or later you find yourself chained to the very hate and violence you fear—and strangely need.
Your children, from whom you need love, and your wife, whom you selfishly appease, become the enemies whom you must one day fight if you are to survive. To survive, you must become more violent than they are. Dreading that violence and fearing that you will become like them forces you to grub in the dirt, to shrink into a shell, to experience this seething "quiet" until the dam bursts, turning all that pent-up violence outward onto them, or inward, onto yourself. Is it not remarkable that after thousands of years of studying human nature, no one (but One) has pointed out the need for patience in dealing with others? The emotions of pride (resentment in particular) cause all our problems.
Every person who needs correction is sinking in the struggle with this love-hate thing, rebelling and conforming to impatient authorities.
Some people are very easy to correct; which is to say, they respond very quickly to admonishment, but the change is superficial. Here you may find yourself obliged to go on patiently correcting them until you lose your patience. You see, as long as the spirit of the person is wrong, there will be this eagerness to please the wrong nature in you. Any change of behavior is calculated, a conditioned failure which the victim quickly converts to an asset by gaining approval for it. He agrees with you to escape the Spirit of Truth. He literally trains a spirit of violence and hypocrisy in you to serve his "thing."
There is no meaningful change here. You are always secretly resented for being a dictator, and a dictator is what people need to serve (love), or defy (hate). So you can find yourself being placed in the position of a hated authority figure. You find yourself becoming irritated for the growing responsibility to correct everyone. Watch out for this sort of thing and, through well-timed conversation, point out the game being played.
The rebel spouse or child must be handled differently. While the conformist submits, placing you in the hated-but-needed pressure/ authority role and secretly enjoying hating you, the rebel openly enjoys making you push him. He will act just the opposite from your wishes to tempt you to push. His entire rebellion act is fueled by reacting (resentment) against your will. This kind of "it" evolves from contest, while the conformist’s "it" evolves from submission. Now, if you are not willful, they both lose the steam they need to grow; they begin to lose the sustaining force for their pride. Their pride of conforming or their pride of rebelling comes from your pride of dominating.
As I have said before, man was created to respond to his own enlightened reason. If you can dissolve your pride and let that happen, you help your child discover the response to his own logic rather than to your will; then all the problems between you vanish. Your willful, prideful, pushy, ambitious, selfish authority is the basis for his weakness and/or rebellion. When that ceases in you, it also ceases in your children. Soon all is well.
Suppose, for instance, I told you not to smoke. Would I not be applying pressure, getting a reaction which tears you further away from being able to respond to yourself? Surely that very reaction is what is causing conflict and tension which, in turn, needs to be soothed by something—smoke, drink, food, drugs—the very thing I’m telling you to give up. continued…
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