Roy Masters - From How To Survive Your Parents
continued...Now I see you becoming a drunk, an addict, a fatso, and that upsets me. My upset upsets you. I scream, holler, rant and rave (for your own "good", of course), but that only makes you rebel against your own best interest. You want so badly to be your own person that you smoke when I tell you not to. While you are smoking, you may think it is dumb, but you do it anyway, trying to be "free" by being the opposite of what my will wants. While I can get "high" nagging you not to smoke or drink, you can get high smoking and drinking (or doing whatever is forbidden). And, believe it or not, nagging is the way any nagger keeps himself/herself from drinking, smoking, being a cannibal or whatever. He regiments himself by promoting in someone else the very weakness from which he is escaping.
Your kids can no more help rebelling than you can stop yourself from pressuring them or trying to "save" them. But don’t be surprised if you end up doing those dumb things yourself. The logic is that when you become upset at failing to help them (and how they enjoy defeating your will!), the tension in you creates a need for the same pleasures you tried to protect them from. Since you can’t lick ‘em, you join ‘em. You see, you feel guilty for trying and failing. In the struggle, you become as sick as they are. You become as rotten as they are to avoid criticism, to gain acceptance from the "bums" you’ve created.
Now you are overeating, drinking, smoking, to ease the pain of guilt and conflict; you are like what you started out loving and ended up hating. The pride in you has projected what you are, and evolved the pride and the problem in others. For a while, looking at that distracts you from seeing your own indwelling evil. Hating them, being sorry for them, trying to help them, all are part of the same sickness. This sickness has to do with having been corrupted when you were young. The spirit of good and love that might have lived within you, was set aside by the prideful spirit of impatience, which is still projecting and taking a number of different forms in you and your family.
This ambitious spirit living in you breeds guilt, a sense of inferiority and failure which drives you to remedy the problem by the way you live through your offspring. When the familiar conforming and rebelling occurs, that spirit feels a sense of elation, of growth, of achievement in the struggle. On one hand, you can swell up with pride when your child shows you in a good light; on the other hand, when his rebellion threatens and challenges, you can try harder to "improve" him by destroying his individuality.
You may want the best for your children, but it is always accomplished in an ungodly way. The kind of character that develops out of constant pressure is not one which serves God, but serves the spirit behind corruption. This is why the successful man or woman is never happy with success: because of what he/she becomes in the process of succeeding. Once can even fear success for this reason.
The rebel exists to provide every conformist with a sense of worth. Comparing himself to those low-life rebels, a conformist might become a judge, a social worker, policeman, doctor, lawyer, preacher, whatever "helps" (or punishes) the rebels which these kinds have created. The hypocrite perpetuates all the evils of his mentors, driving mankind to crime, sickness, insanity on one hand—curing, reforming and punishing him on the other. Find, therefore, the spirit of patience: the non-violent force. No need to fear using force here because you know that without the back-up of force you are impotent. It has been employment of the wrong kind of force (impatience) which reinforced the problem in others, the guilt and fear of force in yourself. Your wife and children really need that strength, that strong stand, that contrast, to awaken them to the error of their ways. Sometimes they have to be stopped because the suggestions of friends in them are so powerful that nothing short of physical intervention will do.
"Correction based on resentment blocks positive change."
They need you to stop them.
They will hate you if you let them go, if you are too soft and weak. If you need their love, if you are fearful of hurting them by binding them or afraid of your own violence, then you are impotent. A strong "no" with courage of conviction, backed up if need be with non-angry, non-violent force is often the answer. And as children grow older, they will see the truth whenever they resent your loving authority; they will quickly become ashamed and tell you they are sorry. Do not make the fatal error of reasoning with them endlessly. It will take reasonable force to overturn the unreasoning force within them.
Correction based on resentment blocks positive change. Resentment tempts them to hate and reject and evolve that pride they see in you. It justifies and fuels the compulsion to do wrong or to be a hypocritical, people-pleasing destroyer of the next generation.
In order to correct your wife and children, it is absolutely necessary to separate them from the hypnotic, supportive influence of their friends. If you do not have the love, the force to tear them away from that world, you will fail to save them from themselves and you too will suffer from this failing.
Each time a woman loves a man in the special way that supports his ego, that man’s soul will find itself at war with God—in other words, in conflict with himself. His ego may like the feeling of support so much that he will serve the female manipulator more and more, becoming less and less able to be responsive to what is right and wise. Try to tell this to a man who is in love and he will resent you and cling to the supportive female love. This is also true of children with their friends, music and other vices.
A person reacts to correction by a friend or father exactly the way he responds to his own conscience. The Bible tells us that the love (support) of the world is enmity with God. So everything which pleases—supporting the ego life and causing us to cling to and pursue it, to do its will for the sake of that support—makes us resent those who disturb us from our sleep in pleasure.
By now you should be able to see more clearly what your own problem is and the forces that you face in your children. The undue love and admiration of strangers has more power than ordinary parental love or goodness. The support from their "friends" casts a spell which must be broken at its source by an opposing force. Therefore, you must determine, without malice or anger, to separate your children from their (wrong) friends and keep constant vigilance so that things do not become too cozy again.
Be careful that your own vices and needs for phony ego-supporting friends do not justify your children’s needs to have their own. Here again, your own failing will tempt them to have their own brand of sin. You must have no vices. You cannot admonish anyone against anything with drink or cigarette in hand. The absence of virtue is SIN and those who sleep in sin cannot awaken others from the false security of sin.
On the other hand, once you are sincerely committed, then you have power and wisdom. The love and authority which do not tempt are then fully able to redeem. With solemn and unyielding conviction, separate your wife and child from the sustaining hypnosis of friends. If you fail here, you will fail all the way down the line. They are not strong enough to do this for themselves. They owe allegiance to others by virtue of an ego need which they don’t understand and which they think is good. They are fascinated by the affection of the world that is corrupting and addicting them to pleasures and they like it so much that they cannot tear themselves away even though they (may) know it is killing them. Secretly, deep down inside, they want you to say "NO!" Because of the commotion and fight they put up, you may not believe that is so, but wait a little while and see what happens in time.
You must say "no" then, without anger or resentment, with non-violent force. A woman knows that touch, a child knows that feeling; even the newborn can experience it and feel secure.
You don’t have to go to school to be mature, to recognize the difference between the touch of violence and the touch of love. Grab someone with violence and you immediately reinforce the evil within them, while you yourself are in danger of being injected by their evil and their violence. But grab hold of someone because you care enough to be physical with them, and you introduce something new: the salvation of love. Your love-force gets inside and goes to war with the bad spirit; soon the battle is won and they feel better, even grateful.
But when you "correct" your children with resentment, then resentment only reinforces what is wrong in the child. The wrong—your wrong—gets in, but correction stays out. The same kind of thing often occurs with students. They may be eager to learn at first, but an impatient teacher can easily ruin all of that. The student reacts defensively to the hostility of the teacher, which keeps knowledge out and lets errant behavior in.
The "authority" in most cases is responsible for making kids worse while apparently trying to make them better. If power and authority were your secret motive, you would never be out of work, simply because you would be creating problems to solve by means of the very process of "solving" them.
So it is very important to be patient when attempting to correct other people. You must be forceful enough to drive the point home, but without resentment. The force I speak of is love, a deep, abiding caring, backed by the absolute certainty of the good you are doing and the knowledge of what is right. Remember, you can’t be like that when you are upset and angry too! Meditate on this fact before you go to war with the error in others.
You must be absolutely willing to go as far as you must go, never backing down once you start. If your children are smoking dope and listening to too much hard rock, then for their sakes you must put your foot down and separate them from these hypnotic influences. You must be strong and sure. You must be ready to take a lot of complaints and cursing. You must be ready to lose their love and friendship—to be alone, if that’s what it takes. Your children are not strong enough to separate themselves from their habits and friends. You must do that for them. That is what love is all about. They literally cannot free themselves from the spell of the world. They really want you to say, "No, you cannot go out with so-and-so", and "No, you can’t have your record player until you learn to be more responsible, not caught up with these things."
The rule in my house is that if my kids can’t influence their friends for the good, they can’t have friends—because what kind of friends would they then be? They must lead others toward the good life and never follow the bad. What child could really argue with that?
Let the Truth, firmly spoken, do its work. You must not put effort or energy behind it. You will know that you are doing it right when you don’t have frustration and don’t feel guilty afterward.
I am not saying that your correction will "take" immediately; it may not ever. You will never be free in yourself until you give your child or spouse the kind of opportunity they need. When you stand for what is right, you give others an opportunity to change which they never had before in their lives. If they reject that, it’s their problem, not yours.
Let us say you are making them worse through some secret hostility. That hostility, because it is there inside you, will make you feel guilt. That guilt and your failure to correct them may threaten your ego and make you try harder. Perhaps their rebellion will feed the hostility in you and make you try even harder to correct them, always with an adverse effect on you and a reverse effect on your victim. You are locked in a prison together.
When you stand as a loving correction, a different energy is engaged. Love gets through the old defenses. It has the effect of awakening your child to see that you are right in what you say and in what you are. It speaks love instead of hate, so he can accept that correction of love.
The problem in this world lies with wrong authority. People are hurt by all kinds of wrong authorities. However, it is good for them to recognize and respond to a good authority because it reverses the effect of responding to the bad one.
I remember people giving me good advice which I never took in my early years. Looking back, I realize that if those people who gave those words of advice had spoken with love, it would have jolted me to realize what I needed to realize then. I would not have made so many errors.
Fathers, especially, are often too weak with the Truth they speak. The reason for this is that they lack love. They are more interested in preserving comfortable relationships; they selfishly want to getlove. So they may speak Truth; they may admonish and give good advice, but they are ineffective because they want to be popular. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. No one can blame them. After all, they did tell you, didn’t they? They tried to stop you, didn’t they?
Sick people may not mind your speaking the Truth, as long as you are not effective, as long as the Truth is weak and their ego is stronger. They will "love" you for your weak speeches because your attempts to help them actually strengthen the error inside them.
Be like a general who, before he goes to war, takes an accounting of all the weapons he has. If he is not more powerful than his enemy and cannot win, he will lose everything to the enemy.
True confidence in what you know is best for your child is your arsenal of strength. Realize what a hornet’s nest you are getting into before you start—or your life won’t be worth a plugged nickel.
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