something about not drinking poison

This is your life, and  you can decide... What do you want? Thus spake the wisdom of more Disney channel. This most recent pop-message is one that, again, I find myself tested on in my own, real life.
One of the things I've had trouble with for a while is managing some of the people around me. Sometimes we cannot choose who surrounds us, and I do not care for the argument that we are magnets to a certain kind of person. We can only choose those who are closest to us, in our most private lives.
I am beginning to realise how much strength is needed to be kindly towards the kind of person who smiles hello, but is not entirely honest. Where I come from, a smile is honesty. So, if someone smiles without telling the whole story (i.e. not withholding it out of compassion), I consider that smile a lie.
Such people can be rather tricky to deal with when one doesn't have the strength for the kind acts. At such times, I'm finding I need to accept my incapacity, and understand that I am no-one's slave. Just because I can't run the extra mile, doesn't mean I wish anyone ill. That they would have me, or others, think so, is part of their own problem that they carry around with themselves.

There are two choices, to act out of love, and out of fear.
Let us inspect the paradoxes of this principle. Sometimes, it is the fear that makes people slaves to each other: slaves in good favours, slaves in toxic gossip. Sometimes, it is love for oneself that keeps one from entering that infested place.  On the other hand, sometimes, when one is graced with benevolence of spirit, it is love to give to others what they have only ever taken from you (i.e. who have never given in return). It is always fear to fight fire with fire.
So, let us return to the Disney quote. What kind of life do we want?
I want one where I respect myself, but try hard to extend kindness to others, even those who I know are not always my well wishers (gossip mongers, beware! the gossip always finds a way to the subject!). I really want that kind of life, where I go to sleep at night knowing I did what was up to me to cultivate kindness, regardless of what choices others make. But, as I said, there are times one is only released by realising one's shortcomings - and at such times, it is important to remember one's good intent. I do not wish that person ill; just because I couldn't bend over backwards this time does not mean otherwise.
I once read that one should not drink the poison others try to give us. Don't do it! They will have strong arguments.
In my last post, I wrote about a Disney adaptation of the King Arthur legend, wherein one can only come to realise one's potential by not believing in all the poison, all that turns into self doubt. I can testify that there are situations, not always caused directly by people, that cause one to lose faith in oneself. I am beginning to think that this is a really important "root idea" - from which so much else stems. One mustn't doubt one's intentions, and know that just because one is not good all of the time, one is not a bad person, just a person, with weaknesses and all. People who do not understand that have not understood their own nature.
If we come out looking less than our best selves, we are reminded of our humanity, and it is those times we are supposed to find peace, not fear - of, oh, what will they think of me! - because when we are weak, but still filled with good intentions, we can count on help from above.
Do not be afraid, my little sheep. All the difficulties that have come before us will be shaken like dust from a rug. Thus read the inscription in a book store window ten years ago. It is a fitting end to this post.

 Elements: doilies: project Gimp; dots and face: Animus.

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