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Finding Grace

by Roy Masters

(Transcribed from program 96461)

Roy: Now we have Melva in Gary, Indiana. Hello.

Melva: Hi. How are you? It's good to be talking to you. My question is like the previous caller's. It seems that we all have the same problem, you know.

Roy: Yes, we all do. That is what I was trying to say to her.

Melva: I'm a housewife of four, and my husband goes out almost every night if he possibly can to drink and smoke marijuana.

Roy: Are you a nagging wife?

Melva: No, sir!

Roy: Or are you an appeaser? Which one are you?

Melva: I really don't know the difference. I've been reading your books and listening to your tapes, and I'm really trying to understand the difference between submission to this man and a feeling of peace within myself.

Roy: You'll never know the difference. It will be blurred, and the actions you take that are based on what you suppose to be the difference will always be wrong. And you won't draw a sane breath as long as you live unless you become very quiet and find the grace not to be irritated by his actions--his little mannerisms, his demands, his sloppiness, his rudeness, his lack of consideration. That reaction of irritation is the first thing that must be overcome.

Let me give you an illustration. You know that people can be very persuasive and bully-like in their arguing. They can confuse you to the point that you can no longer tell what is right and what is wrong. You stand up and they confuse you. Right?

Melva: It has happened in the past.

Roy: Well, the best way to deal with a situation like that is to learn how not to be upset no matter how strong their argument is. Sometimes a strong argument can overcome you even though it is not a good one. If you can just learn to honor the first rule, which is to hand onto your cool, to be patient, and to stand back, totally lacking in anger and judgment, the truth will be there for you. You will know which of you is right, and once you determine the answer, you will suffer no harm if you give in because you will be benefited by it if the other person is right. But, if you see clearly, in the absence of emotion, that the other person is not right, you will be able to take your stand and be strong and nothing will be able to prevail against you. Either way, you can't go wrong.

But if you get upset, you get confused, and if you manage by your forcefulness and wrong energy to convince them of your distorted view, truth is not served, and you both lose. Even if you happen to be right, but you are angry along with being right and you try to overpower people, you may be right in principle, but you will be wrong in practice. For instance, if I were to be arguing with you now, I'd want you to be free to accept my ideas. I would not want you to feel pressured to accept them.

There is a right way of standing up for what is right that leaves the way open for others to be won over. You don't want to win them over with force. If you do, you rob them of the very good that you are trying to show them. This is a very delicate issue. Let me read you a little letter. May I?

Melva: Sure.

Roy: Listen to this. It sounds like your problem: "Dear Roy, for years my problem was with my husband--I could not cope with his drinking. Most of the time he was fine, but that one thing always triggered a violent reaction from me. I would run off to the shelters and get TROs (whatever that is) and nothing worked. But one day I read one of your articles, and Bingo! I stopped trying to control him."

There's the message right there. You may not realize that you are trying to control him, but when you are angry, you do. You try to control him, either by being too strong or by being submissive. Being submissive is an attempt to placate his anger and win him over, you see.

"I began to face every bit of the guilt I had. It was amazing. Now I am the person I always wanted to be. In the process, though, I began to get a little self-righteous and I distanced myself from my husband a bit too much. He learned a good lesson though, and now there is a perfect balance in our relationship. My oldest daughter is showing signs of recovery too. She sees that I have changed, and now that I have less guilt I am firmer with the children.

"As for my husband, he still has a beer now and then--something about being a man that I don't know. But thank you, Roy, for helping me to solve a problem that I had for a long time. I have four beautiful children I love with all my heart. I always remember to correct them firmly in the way you say that children should be corrected."

Do your see the point? She stopped trying to control him.

Melva: I've stopped doing it too. In fact, I ignore him a lot because of this. It's like night and day.

Roy: Well, you don't want to ignore him.

Melva: But we have nothing to talk about. He thinks his life is street life or something. Then he wants to come home to our nice home and enjoy all of that, but when he comes home at two or three in the morning, I'm supposed to be like.

Roy: Waiting for him.

Melva: Yeah!

Roy: Breathlessly.

Melva: Yeah!

Roy: You still don't know what to do, do you?

Melva: It's like I just let go, and I don't want to argue about it because I don't want to be a nag.

Roy: The problem is that you become a nag and get upset and have a good fight, or you give in and placate him and try to be the very best wife you can be, but you only make him worse either way.

Melva: Yes. Damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Roy: I understand that. How long have you been listening to me?

Melva: About four years. I don't get you on the radio, but my sister introduced me to your work and I've read a lot of your books. I've read "Parallel Universe."

Roy: Have you started meditating yet?

Melva: Yes, I have. And it's so easy for me to get into meditation.

Roy: How long have you been doing that?

Melva: For about six months now.

Roy: Have you seen any difference?

Melva: Yes, I'm much calmer and when he tries to hurt me by saying things to me sometimes, people think I'm crazy. They say, "You let him get away with that stuff?"

Roy: Hold it. You might have to let him get away with it, but since you're on the track, let me give you a little parting shot. You know what right and wrong is. Remember our talk about arguments a little while ago? There's an issue here. If you are not upset by anything he does or says, or fails to do--if you are not resentful toward him, you will see very clearly what you must do. And when it's clear what you must do or not do, do it. It's as simple as that.

For instance, if he comes home and he wants sex and you can talk to him without guilt--if you're absolutely clear, not resentful, or under any obligation to go along with him to keep peace, you will be very firm about saying "no." Not angry, just firm, and let him get upset all he wants. And if he tries to upset you again, you don't react. The answer is still no.

Melva: He knows not to use me. He respects me with Jesus Christ. He actually respects that.

Roy: It's beginning to work now. The result is that your husband

Melva: He doesn't believe in God.

Roy: The point is, he will. He can't help it, because he will see God in you. You may not realize it, but that's what happens when you have that light in you and you are not being intimidated. A strength that is greater than both of you holds you up as a mirror in which your husband can see himself and back away.

This is what will happen. Of course, there is one chance in two or three that your husband will never change and will find a woman who is like you were when you married him.

Melva: Yes. That's what he really wants.

Roy: I know that, but you're not the same person and neither should you be. He'll go off and ruin his life with that woman and she will ruin her life with him. Fine! You will have lost a man you never had. You cannot control these things. Neither must you try.

Or--if you hold your ground, you'll win him over, because he will see that beauty in you, and if there is any good in him, it will awaken him to his folly and bring him to repentance.

God bless you.


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