14 February 2020
Invincible Vulnerability ~ Challenge and Response
Greetings Dear Reader,
I own a World War I era Underwood Portable typewriter. It was my Great Grandfather’s who served as an Army journalist in the war. It was the machine on which I crafted my first stories as a boy.
It still works but lower case “r” is a little bent and produces a character that sits a bit above the other letters on the page. The right shift key is a bit loose. The “2” key is the only real problem, however. If you wish to type a “2” or an “@”, you must use the force required to move a continent. It requires skill and determination to push that button. Still, if one applies enough force, one can push that key and produce a lovely “2”.
After an argument, a friend once confessed to me that she had been “pushing my buttons” on purpose. She said that she knew that I was right but making me angry diverted me from the topic. The difficulty with this is not her actions.
We cannot move through the world without circumstances and people pushing our emotional and social buttons. Those who know us best understand what sets us off. They can use that knowledge to manipulate situations or avoid topics. The world is going to challenge us by trying to push our buttons.
Learning to be lovingly unoffendable means that our buttons become difficult if not impossible to push. We will be challenged but we choose the response. We must recognize when someone is pushing the topics or issues that anger or hurt us. It is our choice to respond. Further, it is our obligation to respond with love and grace.
Wrapped in a cloak of love we can withstand the attempts to push us into actions that are unloving. There may be no intent to anger our hurt us. Either way, we own the buttons and can harden them against unwanted activation. Like that old Underwood, I can become hard to button-pushing whilst remaining vulnerable to things that are loving and kind.
A friend asked me about this yesterday. I explained that things that hurt still hurt. The things that make me angry still anger me. The new filter is in my response. I am not going to allow the responses to be controlled by who or what is pushing the button. I am going to filter the response through love and determine if the answer under that button is loving or not. If it is not, then my rejoinder must be love, Dear Reeder. That response will always produce a character that is above the line. That is a good place to land on the page that is our lives.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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