Turn The Other Cheek
I’m not a theologian, nor am I religious for that matter. I am a believer though and I take my personal relationship with my higher power seriously. From my gathering, all organized religion is pretty much the same. the differences are based on culture, time period of emergence and geography. Again, I am no scholar of religion, but I read. A lot.
Folks from the New Though Movement, particularly those from the early 20th century, like Florence Scovel Shinn and later folks like Wayne Dyer and Iyanla Vanzant have really helped me understand the bible, the holy book I was raised to revere, even more.
Recently, while re-reading portions of I Was Born This Way (y’all should read this, for real), I came across a passage where Archbishop Bean is talking about being trained as a young, non-violent demonstrator during the early days of the civil rights movement. He correlated the Matthew 5:39 which espouses turning the other cheek, with resistance. Now, I have heard this before, but being a child of the 80’s, I saw this as being a punk, sucka, fool and any other descriptors for being “soft”.
But then it hit me. A light bulb literally went off!
Turning the other cheek means the same thing as this sentence from Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life: “if you can control your emotions, you can control any situation.” Yup. I got it! I’m one of those folks who doesn’t think the bible is literal, but instead, includes many parables, that if studied and understood, helps you create the fabulos life of your choosing.
Like many folks, I used to not be able to control my emotions. In fact, I probably had some anger management, um, issues. Everything was an attack on me, me me! It took some time for me to realize that my emotions had nothing to do with anything going on outside of me, but were all mine to deal with. You can’t make me sad or angry, how I choose to process what you say or do makes me sad or angry. Get it? If not, that’s cool. It took me years to get that point.
So if someone says or does something unsavory, don’t react. Cool your heels and manage your emotions. Turn the other cheek and keep it moving. What they say or do has really nothing to do with you, it’s a reflection of them and their character.