This insight from The Course in Miracles rocks my world. Opens me up. It pierces the soul with a truth undeniable. Like Christian scripture says that Word always does.
What does this mean for me?
One thing it surely means is that sometimes I misperceive and misname an event as an attack, when it is simply an assertion. A grasp. A flail. A moan. A misplaced bitterness. A longing for voice and power.
A call for love.
That is, a call for a sense of place and regard and connection.
Of course, there are also times of explicit attack: judgments, name-calling, discrimination, or accusations born of rigid expectations.
A call for love?
Looking at another (or myself!) with this in mind, breaks open the compassion in me. Like champaign bubbling forth. I can’t help it. The ego/carnal mind resists it. Resents it. Wants to argue and qualify and condition it.
“Be careful – ”
“Wait a minute –”
A teacher in junior high walked into the psychology classroom and wrote in big chalky letters: ALL BEHAVIOR HAS A REASON. That has long been a sort of compassion compass for me. It really got inside me. It’s related to this CIM quote. Could it really be about miracles?
I think so. As I walk the forgiveness journey, and teach and coach about it, I have become convinced. Not done, but surely convinced. Miracles happen when I bathe “attacks” in this mantra.
Accepting that “every attack is a call for love” does not equate to being a doormat. Or failing to draw the boundaries I need to draw to be safe — emotionally, spiritually, physically — or focused on the right laboratory of learning. Sometimes we need to excuse ourselves from the classroom at hand and go find another. But I can do so with an increasingly Divine knowing of another’s – or my own — deep need and suffering beneath the aggressive word or deed. When I choose to see the suffering, the fear and anger and their perversions, I see as God sees. Whatever the choice for health is, I can do so enabled with this Divine knowing. Or, not. And if I do not act in this knowing I may be technically safe or relieved, but still suffer a lot.
In Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, Richard Rohr writes about the spiritual journey in terms of learning to draw boundaries without anger. To live in an increasing understanding of what lies beneath ego’s (what I think Paul might name “carnal”) attacks frees me a bit from the bonds of retaliation. And it is freeing me, like a refiner’s fire, from the self-righteousness of my own attacks and defenses. With Divine knowing about my suffering and needs, I can open to the Healer’s embrace awaiting us all.
Another name for this journey is “forgive for Life.” Many of my clients and students are walking this courageous journey, and it is an honor to walk with them. I support them as they cultivate the Divine compassion needed to honor their pain and at the same time to accept the suffering and lack which have caused them or others to do harm. When we truly surrender in vulnerability to the truth that everything is a call for love, then we can truly act wisely and decisively for the healing which beckons us.
Every attack is a call for love.
What might this mean for you?