Three things detachment does for me:
It lets me dance my own dance, not others’
It gives me space to find my strength
It teaches me to take care of myself
The hater stood on his step-stool in the town square and yelled at us all. His topic today was the same as yesterday’s. The words didn’t matter; he hated.
I made the same mistake as I had made.so many times before. I caught his eye. I engaged him and tried to reason with him. I applied logic to emotion with just as much success as quoting the constitution to a swarm of angry bees.
Finally, I walked away, humiliated once again by unreason. Sad. Aware of nothing but my failure and his hatred. And all day I let myself feel reduced by that encounter.
A new morning came to interrupt my despair. Once again I walked to the town square. Once again I tried to reason with the madman. Once again I failed.
And so it went. Day after day, it went on.
One day, on my way to my daily humiliation, I was stopped by a stranger who asked me the way to the town square. He had heard, be said, of the madman there and felt it would be entertaining to watch his antics.
And I asked him,
“Why? Why would you listen to the hatred? Why listen to him standing there in his stool, yelling at us all? Do you think it funny?”
The man gave me a look. He sniffed and said clearly,
“No, not the hater. I mean to watch the madman. The one who argues with the hater. The one who fails every day but does the same thing the next day, without fail.”
And as I stood there, I saw, finally what I had become. What I could not see while engaged in insanity with the hater – I saw the madman.
That day I did not engage the hater. I did not try to help him. That day I engaged myself on my own behalf so that I would find the life I had lost and my own steps in the eternal dance, not his.
That day, I left my son to his madness so that I could address my own.
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