Spitting Into the Wind

woman-megaphone-man-criticizingPure intentions and honorable actions do not always offer protection from hurtful accusations from those you had been close to. More than one instance comes to mind in which I acted with complete integrity and selfless service only to have wildly untrue accusations flung in my face. Sadly, I have seen the same unfortunate fate befall people I love.

When I am unfairly attacked, my first instinct is to defend my integrity by explaining why the accuser’s perceptions are so horribly off target. Up until recently, I believed that explaining my position with clarity and precision would always be helpful and productive.

I was wrong. Time and time again, I have learned that trying to reason with an unreasonable, irrational or psychologically damaged person is like spitting into the wind. Why? The circumstances of each case are always unique. Perhaps the other person lacks the self-awareness to truly understand the dynamics at play. Maybe their level of consciousness isn’t high enough to grasp the subtleties of personal interactions. It could be that the psychological issues they’re grappling with are an impenetrable roadblock to reconciliation. Then there are those seemingly normal people who simply are not fully tethered to reality (unfortunately, this realization is often not discovered until the damage has been done). It’s maddening, but the more you try to explain yourself to such people, the more tightly they will cling to their inaccurate judgments of you.

In any event, another person’s inability to understand and appreciate your intentions and insights says more about them than it does about you. I only wonder now what took me so long to recognize the futility of defending my honor after so many failed attempts to enlighten those who were incapable of being enlightened.

Now, when such injustices occur, I remind myself of these words by Saint Francis of Assisi:

Learn to accept blame, criticism, and accusation silently and without retaliation, even though untrue and unjustified.

When I first read these words a few years back, I recoiled. What if I was accused of a horrible crime? It would be foolish, and possibly suicidal, not to defend myself. True enough. But applied to interpersonal relationships, I am now in full agreement with Saint Francis’ wisdom . . . with one caveat: If I feel the other person is sane and wise enough to understand the truth once it is explained to them, I will attempt to do so. Fortunately, I am now much better at distinguishing between rational, normal people  and those who are one sandwich short of a picnic.


In many cases, what should you do when someone thinks poorly and wrongly of you? Two words: Let them. As Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, advised: Be like steel inside.

Here are two truths that took me forever to learn that will save you loads of frustration, heartache and regret:

1) Trying to reason with hostility only escalates the hostility.
2) Trying to reason with irrationality only escalates the irrationality.

Fail to heed these truths and you are destined to forever travel down the road that leads to disaster.

Granted, it’s easy to accept these truths intellectually; it can take a while to process them emotionally. Fortunately, the Awareness Release Technique never fails to diminish or even eliminate the emotional charge associated with such maddening encounters.

Ultimately, the only solution to being unjustly criticized is to go within. If you know you can stand in front of God with a clear conscience and your integrity intact, you will find the comfort and solace that come with the knowledge that your intentions and actions were perfectly aligned with that which is right.

When you live solely to please God instead of pleasing anyone else, burdens will magically fall from your shoulders and hurts will instantly heal. Even if all the world believes the worst about you, you will be able to hold your head up high and walk confidently past your accuser, shedding benedictions and forgiveness in your wake. You will know true peace; and you will be free.

Finally, words of wisdom from the May 23, 2014 edition of Notes from the Universe, daily e-mails from Mike Dooley‘s TUT’s Adventurers Club:

In the short run, there are two types of people who live in darkness: those who are desperate to emerge and those who are desperate to stay.

When you finally realize that part of the reason you chose this lifetime was to shine your light for the first type, you’ll stop worrying about what the second type thinks of you.

Click here to view all my posts about relationships.


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4 Responses to “Spitting Into the Wind”

  1. Sharon Brooks Says:

    We are here to encourage one another. This is nourishment to my heart. I’m thankful. * bows*

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m glad you found this post meaningful, Sharon.

  3. Syl Says:

    I have so many many male friends that need to read this post. Thank you for your insight. I will be sharing this on my FB. God speed.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You’re very welcome, Syl. Thank you for helping to get the word out!

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