We Become That Which We Hate

“Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”

–Peter Fonda

 

“I didn’t think it was possible but @iamfonda found a way to be as disgusting as his sister Jane was when she stood with the enemy in Vietnam.
Doesn’t get more vile than wishing for a young boy to be raped by pedophiles.
There’s a special place in hell… “

–Donald Trump, Jr.

 

Reading these two tweets, and observing the events of the past week, reminded me of an important spiritual lesson. We become that which we hate.

Peter Fonda, like most decent people, was distressed by our country’s callous response to the immigrant situation. The fact that children were being put in “camps” and separated from their parents – regardless of the legality or illegality of their parents’ actions – was abhorrent to most. Most of my friends were distressed to the point of distraction over this.

However, Peter Fonda went “too far,” with his revenge Tweet because he began to focus too much on what he hated – and not enough on what he wanted. Donald Trump Jr.’s response was just as silly. Jane Fonda’s activism in the 1970’s has nothing to do with anything. Trump II used the remark against his half-brother as a means to advertise for anti-liberal sentiment. He even repeated the vile remark, giving it more energy and exposure.

Trump Jr.’s focus on revenge also motivated him to distort the truth: “Doesn’t get more vile than wishing for a young boy to be raped by pedophiles.” Um, it does get more vile – actually leaving small children in the hands of alleged pedophiles. That is definitely more vile.

But, this is the distorted thinking that comes from anger and revenge. Instead of dealing with facts and solutions, our leaders sound like elementary school students: “You started it!” “I know you are, but what am I!” “Who cares? I don’t. Do you?” “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” What’s next? “Yo mama?”  We should be able to expect better from grown-up people in positions of influence.

When we react with passionate hatred toward that which we despise, not only do we not help the situation. We come to resemble that very thing. Just like two people who love each other passionately will eventually become more and more similar, people who hate each other will eventually engage in remarkably similar behavior.

If you hate someone or something, don’t focus on the hate. Focus on what you want to experience. It’s okay to speak out against immoral situations. It’s okay to avoid toxic people and the drama they create. Noticing what we don’t like, or don’t want, is the beginning. It sparks anger, which motivates us to come out of our comfort zones and do something. But, the next step is to put all our efforts into creating what we do want.

This also applies to interpersonal relationships. If you are in a toxic relationship of any kind – romantic, family, workplace – focusing on how much you hate a particular person will slowly turn you into that person. Anger is good for motivation. Anger helps you realize you can’t tolerate a situation any longer. It gives you the energy to change the situation, or get out of it.

But, once that decision has been made, and a plan is put in place, the focus has to change. The focus has to shift toward who and what you are becoming. If you continue to focus on the person or situation you hate, that emotional energy will eventually attract that type of person or situation back into your life again.

As Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith often says, “the Universe doesn’t deliver what you do or don’t like. It delivers what you are interested in.” Try to become interested in who and what you are becoming, not the people and situations you’ve left behind. They are not invited to come with you on your new journey.

The new journey will require you to shed old, bad habits formed during the past. The intolerable situation, or person, caused you to adopt coping mechanisms that will no longer serve you. Let go of any thought pattern or habit that doesn’t match the new experience you want to have.

And if you are still stuck in a situation or with a person you can’t stand, don’t wait for things to change. Begin to heal yourself now. From a healed mental state, you can work within the current situation to effect change, or figure a way out.

If you are in a toxic relationship, for example, don’t wait until you’re out of it to heal your mind. Begin to take care of yourself now. Your improved mental and emotional condition will bring things to a head sooner. Before you know it, something will happen that will provide a way out. Lasting change occurs from the inside out. We change inside first, then our circumstances change.

So, when an unthinkable, hated problem presents itself, here’s the plan: Notice the problem. Let the anger generate the energy to move you to action. Allow the anger to fall away like scaffolding. Focus exclusively on what you are trying to create. Forget about the people who harmed you. Leave them to stew in their toxicity.

That toxic situation has become no longer good enough for you!

Whenever we want to punch a racist in the face, or feed the son of a wanna-be dictator to pedophiles, we need to check ourselves. We need to step back and follow the path of peace: Anger to Action to Attitude Adjustment to Alignment with the All-Good.

Much love to all my Peaceful Warriors out there! And, as always, happy writing!

 

Raven

Advertisements

Making Time to Write

When you’re a beginning screenwriter, actually finding time to write can be the biggest challenge. You’re not getting paid for your writing at first, so you have to balance your desire to write with your need to make money.

If your job is incredibly draining, but you’re serious about being a writer, you might need to find a job that is more compatible with your writing. Or, you might have to commit to being a morning person – or a night owl – and get your writing done before or after work. I am naturally a morning person, and my job starts in the afternoon. So, the best part of my day is reserved for my passion.

“Iliad Bookshop” in North Hollywood, California

Once you decide whether you want to write before work, after work, or during your lunch hour, you must make sure you keep your appointment with yourself. My cell phone alarm has become indispensable. When a habit is new, the toughest part is remembering to do it. Having an alarm that pops us and says “WRITE!” is a great little tool to have.

For some people, writing on the weekends is the only time that will work. This can be challenging, since it’s easy for other things to pop up and challenge one’s commitment. You’ll have to be firm with everyone – friends, family, children, and your own laziness. The weekends are your writing time, period.

The other potential problem with the weekend is that you will have to binge-write. Instead of writing daily, which would allow you to stay in touch with your story throughout the week, you’re playing catch-up on the weekend. If this is your issue, all you have to do is read your story during the week for a few minutes. Even if you don’t have much time, reading parts of your script will keep you engaged until you can sit down and write on the weekend.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Trees in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA

There is no right and wrong time to write. You may have to experiment with different days, times, and places to find what works for you. Don’t give up! Experimenting also helps you get to know yourself as a writer. I know I’m a morning person, for example, as I mentioned, and I prefer to have a block of time to write – at least an hour, preferably two. However, I can sneak writing in for a few minutes here and there if I’m writing a non-fiction piece. For fiction, I need time for my mind to wander without the pressure of the clock. I’ve learned this about myself over time.

I’ve also learned that threats and rewards can help me keep my butt in the chair. If there’s something I want to do (or eat, or watch), I tell myself that I will reward myself with it as soon as I finish x-amount of writing, or as soon as I write for x-number of minutes. This increases my motivation to start. Once I start, I’m fine. Or, sometimes, threats are more effective. If I fail to get x-number of pages written, I will smile and initiate conversation with (fill in the name of someone I really dislike), for example. Rewards tend to work better for me than threats. But just the thought of the threat is enough to make me do what I’m supposed to do!

Most writing gurus recommend that you write every day, but the best plan is whatever works. If Monday/Wednesday/Friday is a schedule you can do consistently, do it! It’s better than pressuring yourself to write every day and failing. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to get into a regular flow. But don’t give yourself too much slack either. If you don’t hold yourself to your commitment, your dream will never become a reality. Once your book is published, or your script is optioned, you will be expected to continue producing lots of content. So you might as well get into the habit now.

Happy writing!

Have a blessed and beautiful weekend,

Raven

What I’m Reading: Non-fiction Finance

I’m always reading multiple books. One of the books I’m flying through right now is called Earn What You Deserve: How to Stop Underearning and Start Thriving by Jerrold Mundis. Although the book’s title might be a little off-putting, especially if you feel like you’re thriving already, the contents of the book are extremely practical and actionable.

I haven’t finished the book yet. But, so far, there are a series of very specific action steps he advises to help you up-level your life in many ways, not just financially. He guides you to look within to honestly assess your own habits, then provides easy-to-implement tips on how to brainstorm various solutions.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time because artists are always saddled with the stereotype of “starving.” This is often not the case, but, like any stereotype, it’s true often enough to stick. So, to avoid falling into that stereotype, I think it’s important for artists to be entrepreneurs as well as creatives. I’m trying to learn all I can.

What I love about this author is that he is a great teacher. His other book, How to Get Out of Debt and Live Prosperously is the most helpful budgeting book I’ve ever read, hands down. He makes things very simple and easy to implement. He doesn’t waste a ton of time on different theories or flowery language, although he is a novelist. Because he’s also a writer and not, primarily, a financial guru, I know he knows what it’s like.

Some of the advice he gives, such as having a Spending Plan, I’ve already been doing for months. I can’t express how helpful it is to know exactly how much you plan to spend each month, and then record each transaction to the penny. When you do this, you end up having a greater sense of peace around money. You also feel like you have more money, because you know exactly where it went. No more mysteries!

If any of you feel like there’s more prosperity you could be generating, or if you feel stuck financially in any way, I hope you’ll check this book out.

May the coming week be financially responsible and productive.

And, as always, happy writing!

Peace and love,

Raven