Like on most mornings on my SMR page, today I posted a motivational quote to accompany yet another spectacular Selma sunrise. I chose an inspirational message from Eleanor Roosevelt. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I selected this as it seemed particularly relevant to the week I have had. Through circumstances beyond my control, I have spent significant time this week with folks who seem to take pleasure in hurting others. I call them the Malevolent Ones. Their trademark: Mocking and meanness delivered with intent to belittle, injure, and illegitimize. You know them…they lie, they twist the truth to fit their narrative and they find sport in hurting others. And unfortunately, they are all around us (just turn on the evening news!).
Many of us (me included sometimes) become angry when we experience these folks and this kind of behavior. Becoming angry is a normal reaction, especially when boundaries are crossed and the behavior is disrespectful. But we must never allow the anger to turn to fear. We must not give the Malevolent Ones permission to hurt us. Instead, we must turn our anger to pity and pray for them. Imagine being so hollow that there is only contempt that fills the void. Can you imagine what that must feel like, being a Malevolent One? How sad!
As for my dealings with the Malevolent Ones this week, I am FINE – stronger than ever! I am blessed with courage, confidence and truth. And I am blessed with enlightenment. I am writing this today, not for sympathy of any kind (Trust me – I am one tough ol’ bird!). So please, no “I’m sorry for you” kinds of comments needed. I am writing this for YOU. Some of you may have trouble dealing with Malevolent Ones in your own lives. I wanted to share my enlightenment with you.
When you encounter a Malevolent One or experience malevolent behavior, take a deep breath. Be righteously indignant when boundaries are crossed. Remain steadfast in reaffirming those boundaries. Say a prayer that they may find JOY and become ENLIGHTENED too. And stay strong. But never, ever, give them permission to make you feel “less than” or to hurt you. Because you know your true character. And that, my friends, is all that matters!
Sharon Virts is a successful entrepreneur and historical fiction author. Her passion for storytelling is encapsulated in her novel Masque of Honor. It is one of the best historical fiction books chronicling the drama, life, loves and struggles of two families of the Virginia aristocracy following the War of 1812. Sharon Virts has captured Virginia history in this American historical fiction novel based on the true story of two cousins in the early 19th century. Set in Loudoun County Virginia and the District of Columbia it is both historical fiction romance and historical fiction drama.