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Quetion 111: About passive-aggressive behavior

Posted on: January 31, 2015

Question 111: Can the Gospel of Oneness help me overcome passive-aggressive behavior?

First of all, let’s think about what passive aggressive behavior is. It is one of the subtle sins of the religious and spiritual people who think they are living a holy life, but underneath their shining veneer they may hold onto resentments that get acted out in various hurtful ways. Resentment can come out by withholding love and attention. It can come out with sharp words and subtle put-downs. It can come out by refusing to forgive or even to smile at someone. It can come out by giving the cold shoulder to someone. So you don’t actually try to physically hurt someone, but you want to punish them in small ways. Sometimes it is real anger that gets suppressed, and that can come out in more intense ways, but still short of physical violence.

How can the Gospel of Oneness help overcome this kind of behavior? One of the important practices is to always look first at our own behavior to see where we need to reform ourselves. Since we have our own individual identity in the one Spirit, it is the only place we can purify. The more we truly learn to love everyone and express the joy of Spirit, the less we will resent anyone else for anything. Passive-aggressive behavior comes from a lack of love and joy. On a radio program, one person confessed that he resented people who were having too much fun, and he wanted them to tone it down. And he secretly wished that he was having that much fun.

Sometimes the passive-aggressive behavior comes from many years of troubled relationships where people never sit down and talk about their subconscious resentments. People become afraid of expressing emotions that may get a negative reaction from others. If we don’t clear away our resentments we will be attached to them, thus making it harder for us to ascend into the realm of oneness where Jesus and the other true saints live in paradise. Resentments may be easier to give up when we have a larger perspective on life and thus can see how petty some resentful behaviors can be.

So the Gospel of Oneness can help by reminding us that resentments mostly hurt ourselves. And it can remind us that true love and joy can be found in embracing the oneness of all life. We need to have an action plan to clear away our resentments. This may involve professional therapy for some people.

 

To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of this weary pilgrimage.” ~Samuel Johnson”

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