How Would You Want To Be Remembered
I have been waiting to write about the Ray Rice video. I didn’t want to allow my previous experience to cloud what I needed to say about this situation. Often we can carry our own baggage into other people’s situations and that is unfair. I took the time to give both of them the benefit of the doubt, and decided to focus on what should really matter. So today, I feel confident and comfortable with my thoughts and ideas.
There are dynamics that none of us may understand about Ray Rice and his, now-wife. We don’t know how loving they are now. We do not know if the violence has subsided or if it has escalated. We can only hope that it is something they have addressed and have worked to get past. It is none of my business and I sincerely wish the two of them well.
I think, as parents, we give our children the wrong ideas about violence. We will solidly teach our sons not to hit girls. Some will even tell their sons that they should not hit girls…no matter what! And our daughters will sit by idly and listen. While we may think that we are teaching our sons to be better men…what are we teaching our daughters? Often the biggest lessons we give our children….are those that go unspoken. If we teach our sons that it is not acceptable to hit girls…but teach them that we expect them to defend themselves against other boys…what are we teaching our daughters? Are we creating a war between the sexes? Wouldn’t we be better parents if we armed all of our children with love and the truth…rather than thoughts of retaliation or rage?
As a woman who has endured domestic violence, please know that I am not excusing any abuse at all. The abuse I endured was inexcusable; and I have to admit that after a while…it became a matter of wanting to get him before he got me. I knew that every day my life could have been ended…by the efforts of someone that held no value in life, in general. But we must take a different look at an old problem, we should be teaching ALL of our children that it is not okay to hit ANYONE. Simply because, it isn’t.
It isn’t okay to strike someone, simply because we cannot find effective means of communication; or because the person we are debating or arguing with cannot “get” where we are coming from. If the discussion gets so heated that we “need” to physically offend the other person…it’s time to take that long walk. Give yourself the gift of a break. Allow your soul time to heal your thoughts…because it will. Learn to let go of anything that you cannot control. Instead, worship nature and the beauty that surrounds you. Concentrate on minimizing your breathing process. Allow your heart rate to become normal. Think about the birds singing or the crickets chirping. Listen for the children’s laughter. Feel the rustling of leaves in your heart….remember that you can create the change.
We should teach our children better coping skills. We should teach the value of the time out….not as a punishment, but as a means of realigning ourselves with our souls. Often we allow our ego to override the thoughts our souls have set up for us. Keeping in mind that our souls are here to elevate us and anything less just weighs us down.
Do I think that Ray Rice should have hit, punched or spat on his, then fiancé? NO. I find great offense in the fact that, at least one time in his life, he felt that behavior was okay. I appreciated the televised conference where he took responsibility for his error in judgment. But, unfortunately, often the apology can come too late. An “I’m sorry”, will not matter when there is a funeral being planned. And while this was not the case with Ray Rice…1 in 3 women are battered to the point of death. And 835,000 men are assaulted by their spouses or girlfriends, every year.
It is my hope that we do not take either statistic lightly. It is not funny when men are the victims of domestic violence. There are, most likely, so many unreported cases of men being abused by women. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps he doesn’t want to feel like less than a man. He may not want to be ridiculed by the authorities. I have to think this is a possibility, because I have felt the same way when I reported my abuse. The police and even the police chief sort of brushed it off. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be for a man…and my heart aches for all victims of abuse. It is not and should not be acceptable for men or women to be verbally, emotionally or physically abused…it MUST stop.
We are accountable for our own actions and words. Why would we treat people in a way that we would go to war about…if it were our children we were talking about?
Well, I have great news, because we are talking about our children. Our children are assaulting one another and we have the power to make changes. We should treat everyone in such a way that we would want to be treated.
Encourage our children to speak verbally…and that does not mean to verbally assault one another. It means to learn to communicate, in a loving and thoughtful way. Will this always work? Probably not, but isn’t it at least worth the consideration? Our children are killing one another. They are maiming one another’s souls…with their vile verbiage.
Lastly, allow me to say this: we are in a unique position to change things. We can begin to heal the damage that was done…but it cannot be done by carrying around the weight of thoughtless and careless people. We must step up and continue being the blueprint that others can follow. Be mindful of our thoughts and decisions. And before hitting another person…for whatever reason….be sure that we are prepared for the reaction and response to that decision.
Let us learn from the video of Ray Rice, if the actions of our lives were played out on video for the entire world to criticize and ridicule…would we be proud of our actions and reactions?
Live each day as if it is your last…how would you want to be remembered?
Join My Rays of Light Radio Tuesday Night at 10pm EST as we talk about this important issue