I’m afraid of being attacked, so I’m usually never putting myself in the centre of attention so I come across as a little withdrawn when I’m around others face to face. However the online / internet world allows me a level of confidence that I lack outside of it. So this is a bit of a story about my interactions here online.
I joined a forum a while back which I became vocal on. Once I replied to one of many antagonistic posts by a guy on that forum. I’ll call him Wayne but wont use his real name as this story is about what I have come to learn about myself, not about Wayne. When I saw that post, I felt threatened but I quickly dismissed this feeling because it didn’t feel good so instead I talked myself into believing that with the power of my well crafted words, I might turn this guy who was clearly angry around to see the error of his ways.
It would have benefited me more to stop there but I put my heart and time into crafting those words with “love” and with one line I was ridiculed for the effort with:
“Henny Penny the sky is falling down!”
Henny Penny’s the silly chicken who being hit on the head by a nut that falls from a tree believes the sky is falling down and decides she has to warn the king. Along the way she tells all she meets who convinced by her tale follow her to tell the king also. It all ends when they meet the fox who shows them a “short cut” to the king, by leading them all into a dark hole to be eaten.
At that point I didn’t chose to feel the pain of being ridiculed either, I avoided it because I rather wanted to convince myself that this was just a bigger challenge to remain “loving” in further interactions, because I knew I wasn’t on that reply, so next time I thought – I’ll do better. Really though, I was afraid of being attacked again so I began my “loving” quest to soften or even stop the attacks that might occur again for me and others on the forum.
But I never asked myself how I could be loving myself or others while I was avoiding my fear and living in it?
I definitely fitted Henny Penny’s shoes. But what I didn’t realize was that Wayne fitted the fox’s, because he fed off those who challenged him and I supplied a constant stream of food. And the food of course was my “loving” challenges to Wayne’s intentional attacks and ridicules; and with that I helped the chain effect that would ensure others coming on board too. Just like Henny Penny did.
But I never asked myself how I could be loving while I was feeding another’s addiction?
Once too Wayne was deleted from that forum because he was clearly showing he was intentionally attacking others and I could see this too. But I was on my quest and I stood up for the principle of inclusiveness on that forum at all costs because that is “loving”. I convinced myself and others that a forum should be open and include anyone and everyone because transparency and inclusion are definitely all about love. If people felt hurt, then that was no different to the real world and it was not my responsibility.
But I never asked myself how can it be loving to include a person who wants to attack and ridicule others if it doesn’t need to be this way? And how loving is a principle if that very principle permits unlovingness to occur? I never asked myself either if knowing a person is intentionally unloving, how it is NOT my responsibility?
I suppose that’s why there’s no rule book for how to be loving because a rule or a principle won’t necessarily be loving in all circumstances.
On all these questions I failed to ask myself, others on that very forum pointed me in the right direction often but I, in my arrogance would be quick to reply with my brand of “loving”. And often those same people never replied back. I assumed they were afraid to admit their error.
But again I never asked myself if they were really just being truly loving to me by not engaging my arrogance and feeding my addiction?
Perhaps if I did ask that question, I may have realized they actually were loving me.
All in all, I understand now that it’s very easy for a Henny Penny like myself to soon enough become a fox and all it takes is holding on to a quest that derives from a place of fear. I suppose even the darkest of spirits may have been Henny Pennys once too.
Over the last six months or so I’ve found my feeling of closeness to God get less and less and I couldn’t understand why that would be especially when I’ve been acting so “loving”.
Perhaps if I just looked at how I had increased my interactions on this forum and how doing that became an addiction for me that allowed me to not only avoid my fears but also my own creative passions, I might have come to some realizations. But if I really wanted to know, I might have seen the connection staring me in the face. I suppose I didn’t want to know.
Although in the end I feel it’s not even about my ability or inability to ask myself the right questions and to reflect, all I needed to do was just stop and listen and trust what God was showing me. And from there just lean into how these reflections of myself felt like for me.
I also want to take this opportunity to say sorry. I am deeply sorry for how my actions have led to others being ridiculed and judged, when it didn’t have to be so. I’m deeply sorry too for my arrogance and self belief that I knew better when clearly I didn’t know too much at all. In reality it showed me I knew far far less than I imagined. I’m sorry, I do hope for you, whom this resonates with that you might find it in your hearts to see that I wished you no harm and one day perhaps you’ll forgive this Henny Penny and his broken quest…
The Henny Penny Story: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/eft/eft21.htm