What to Do When Someone “Does You Wrong”

Is it the season, the recession, the stars, or something in the water? The number of “Somebody did me wrong” stories I’ve heard from colleagues, friends, even strangers in line at the supermarket is multiplying like the fabled fish and loaves.

There is an abundance of emotional immaturity wafting through the ether. Folks are dehumanizing others from one inexplicable extreme to the other: screaming at the top of their lungs or giving them the silent treatment. There are so many adult actors starring in elementary school dramas that it must be a new trend, a frightening one at that.

Almost everywhere we turn, people are treating us in ways that they wouldn’t want to be treated. These larger than life Anti-Christ visitations create imbalance; they make us feel out of control. (Double the wobble when these bad actors can clearly see the spirit of the Anti-Christ in others, but can’t see it in themselves.) Fascinating stuff.

Life really is simple, despite our beliefs to the contrary. We consistently make it complicated and painful by delaying, detouring or completely derailing our Souls’ journeys to their desired destinations. Why? Our egos have made us forgetful and short-sighted, the same combination that transforms gullible people into suicide bombers. Sorry about the imagery, but it’s true.

This is self-inflicted pain that hurts a lot of people unnecessarily. And all of these distressing dramas follow the same pitiful script template:

Somebody Has Done Me Wrong. Again.


Woe S. Me


You: A Soul in a human body struggling to remember that It was created in God’s divine image.

Villain: An ego-driven Soul who has lost contact with the God presence within.

Ego: The personality in every human that focuses the body’s attention on fears, insecurities and threats.

Scene:   Anywhere on the planet that the ego can destroy our inner peace

Time:    Day or night, in all time zones

Act One: Ego Deceives, We Believe

Scene One: Ego tells us that Life is unfair; only tangibles exist—and oh, by the way, we’re only human.

Scene Two: Ego tells us that there are villains who will make us their victims. These people will break our hearts, hurt our bodies, and (gasp!) they will steal or destroy our stuff.

Scene Three: Ego tells us that we should respond to all villains with wrath, righteous indignation and verbal or physical force.

Act Two: We Forget Core Spiritual Truths

Scene One: Believing Ego, we forget the core spiritual truth that God is within us and we are powerful and divine.

Scene Two: We forget that we should see the divinity in all humans, even if they can’t see it within in themselves—a disability that causes them to act as villains.

Scene Three: We focus our attention on what the villain did, which makes us feel victimized, forgetting that:

  1. We are not held accountable for what others do to us, only what we do to them.
  2. No one can hurt us without hurting themselves. Ultimately, they’re the victims, not us.
  3. We should compassionate about their disability, which causes them to be unkind.

Act Three: We Become Defensive

Scene One: We retaliate against the disabled Soul’s errant behavior with anger, righteous indignation, and verbal or physical force—so blind with rage that we can no longer see God dwelling inside our target, the so-called villain.

Scene Two: We reap what we sow. Our retaliation attracts others into our lives who will be as unforgiving as we were.

Scene Three: We can’t figure out why life is so difficult, and why long-term happiness always seems to elude us.

How often has this teeth-gnashing drama encored on our life’s stages? More accurately, how many times have we chosen to act in this play? When will it dawn upon us that these dramas will replay ad nauseum, until we see the divinity in all things and all people—and consistently treat each situation and person as if God dwells within them.

We’re not going to change our experience or our luck until we learn to respond more divinely to other people’s behavior, no matter how many new brushstrokes they’re painting on the portrait of crazy. (Thanks, Margo, I LOVE that phrase!)

Truth be told, at some point in our eternal lives, we behaved the same way. It’s part of our evolutionary process. Just because we’ve figured out that it’s not in our best interest to treat others like pond scum doesn’t mean that we don’t still have the potential to drag our Boogie Man costumes from the back of the closet. So let’s not get holier than thou by being judgmental.

Darkness gives us the impetus to turn on our Light. These errant behaving Souls—as crazy as they’re acting—play an invaluable role. Quite possibly, we attract these hurtful people into our lives to give us practice in looking for the Christ Light that is in every Soul.

These people are our coaches. They help us practice forgiveness. How could we become good at it if there was no one or nothing to forgive? The reward for our diligence and proficiency is that we will attract more forgiving people and other Beings of Light and fewer Princes(ses) of Darkness. I’d say it’s worth the effort.

Wouldn’t we rather surround ourselves with loving people who respect and treasure us? That requires us to be loving and respectful. It means that we have to treasure every divine Soul, regardless of their outward appearances or bad acting. That doesn’t mean we have to invite them for dinner, hang out or fall in love with them. We can love their Souls…from over here, where Light and Peace and Joy prevail.

This is important stuff: Attracting people who will not disturb your peace requires you to invite the God within you to direct all of your dramas. God is not a screamer. You must listen very closely for the “Still Small Voice” that delivers your divine instructions. You’ll be surprised by the clarity and simplicity of those directions.

Sometimes there is nothing more to learn from a situation, and the “Still Small Voice” might say, “Let go, move on.” Trust what you hear. Do what you’re told. Know that something or someone more respectful, more honorable, more supportive, more joyful, and more deserving awaits the divine you.

Other times, the “Still Small Voice” might tell you to do something to neutralize a situation that someone’s else’s ego has imbalanced. It means that your Soul has agreed to be the channel through which the matter will be resolved for the Highest Good of all concerned. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Allow God, and God alone, to work through you. You’ll know that it’s the Divine talking to you if what you are directed to do is not vindictive, involves no anger, requires no force, and no one is physically or emotionally harmed.

Whatever and whomever you need to complete your Divine Assignment will mysteriously appear. Sometimes they provide resources and information that you didn’t know existed. You didn’t need to know before that moment.

No doubt, the egos of the so-called villains probably want to maintain the status quo. But their Souls and the Divine Spirit within their Souls want their errant behavior to cease—for their own good. Egos only have control over bodies. They have absolutely no power over Divine Spirit. Game over.

What are the implications for you? Understand who you are; be curious about why you’re here. Instead of fixating on the darkness dancing in others’ errant behavior, look for their Light. And by all means, keep your Light on. Since Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time, your Light will be critical to the healing of that Soul or situation.

Who knows? Perhaps they called you onto their path to help them find their Light. Do a little over-acting: Magnify their Light. Uplift them. Bless them. Or maybe the need was yours: Maybe your Soul blessed you with the dilemma so that you could gain more “been there done that” credibility and “I know exactly how you feel” empathy for others who might reach out to you.

As Iyanla Vanzant wrote, “There Is Value in the Valley.” When someone does you wrong, thank them. They’ve stopped their own evolutionary growth to give you this opportunity to reconnect with the Divine within you, to practice acting as if you are divine, to practice non-judgment and forgiveness.

These so-called villains are not party crashers. Your Soul invited them onto your stage because they were the perfect characters to teach the lessons you needed to learn. Everyone and every situation that arises in your life serves the purpose of your Infinite Soul and Divine Spirit—the real you, the part that was made in the image of God.

You have options. You can choose to focus your attention on creating comfort and abundance for your finite physical body. You can even believe that God sent you here to wallow in paper money and luxurious material items. (Haven’t you heard? “God wants you to be rich.”) But consider the possibility that focusing on temporary possessions on the physical plane is as ego-driven and self-destructive as going into a crowded marketplace with explosives strapped to your body.

Even if you choose that route, your infinite Soul will survive. And it will grow, despite your ego’s antics. Stretching beyond the physical plane is uncomfortable. Growing pains are real. But the Soul can handle it, and it has all eternity to patiently teach you the value of being more visionary, making more divine choices.

The next time someone does you wrong, think before you react. Remember the Law of Attraction/Reciprocity: Whatever you do will be done to you. You will attract souls who mirror your beliefs and behaviors. They will treat you the way that you treat those whom you refuse to forgive.

Take advantage of every painful experience that arises. If you don’t learn and grow from that experience, if you don’t seize the opportunity to rely more heavily on the Divine within you, the one who “did you wrong” won’t be someone else.

Who are you listening to, who’s leading you?

Many of us seem to notice children when they’re near, even if we’re walking along a crowded sidewalk or getting on an elevator, at least I do. On rare occasions, these sightings are memorable, as was the case yesterday when I spotted a cherub surveying her surroundings over her Daddy’s shoulder as her parents strolled down the crowded downtown sidewalk, about 50 feet ahead of me.

The bright-eyed beauty couldn’t have been more than two years old; she had a few fingers in her mouth as she digested everything and everyone in sight. Then she caught my eye. I smiled broadly and waved hello. She stared back, pensively. I expected a toothless grin. But no, I was going to have to settle for an inquisitive stare. 

Walking at a faster pace than the young family, I was soon within a few feet of her. Aha! Finally, she gave me her toothless grin–and more. The expression on her little face curiously reflected surprise. In fact, it almost appeared that she recognized me. Within seconds, my suspicions were confirmed. 

Baby Girl pulled her fingers from her mouth, pulled her torso slightly from her Dad’s, looked at me very intently, then very deliberately, she touched her heart. As I walked by, her eyes followed me and her little fingers continued to speak to me, as she patted her heart, patted her heart, and patted her heart until I was out of sight.

The brief encounter completely transformed my short walk to my friend Janet’s home. The most I had expected of the day was that, while enjoying the warm day, Janet and I would find the definitive sofa for my new place. Never had I anticipated something as powerful as the silent meeting that spoke volumes.  

What if everyone began each day like that? What if, before we launched into the day, anticipating and bracing ourselves for the Earth drama, the distracting props, price tags, bills and bad actors, we crossed paths with a soul who connected with us on a soul-level, reminding us that we are more than bodies; we are, in the image of our Creator, Unconditional Love. More than that, they tell us–in whatever way they can–that we touch their very hearts. Would that give us a different perspective on Life, and set a more positive tone for the day?

That’s certainly what that encounter did for me. I saw no ugly sofas yesterday–OK, maybe a couple. But overall, most things looked amazing after communing with that little angel.

Finally, after Janet stopped instigating pure confusion by wandering into one showroom after another, discovering one beautiful sofa after another, I settled on one. It was lovely; because of the economy, the price was incredible. But I didn’t absolutely love it. The one I really, really wanted was a floor sample that already had been sold. To flip my frowny face, I reminded myself: If the sofa was mine, it would have been available.

Hoping that the sofa was in stock somewhere in world, I returned home and combed  the Internet for it. That’s what I was doing when another angel, my own little girl, taught me the second lesson of the day about listening to the silence:

Hearing the lack of enthusiasm in my voice about my sofa choice, Maiysha told me what I would have told her: Don’t settle. We both agreed that my spectacular new place deserved a sofa that was just as spectacular. Then my baby girl, who is wise beyond her years, volleyed another bit of her mother’s oft-repeated guidance: Listen to the silence, instead of trying to control a situation with your head.

“I believe that rooms have a life of their own; the space is alive,” she said. “The room will tell you what color it wants to be, and what furniture would best suit that space. Go into the room and listen for your guidance.”

It sounded like a task better suited for a room whisperer than a loud mouth, but I was willing to try. This morning Janet met me, and we walked over to the new building. We looked at the newly installed hardwood flooring and listened to the rooms–especially the living room, where the new sofa would be.

One of the first things I discovered was that the energy and dark color of the sofa that I had wanted so badly was not right for that room–affirming that the reason it wasn’t available was because it wasn’t supposed to be. I instantly lost the desire to search for it elsewhere.

I should mention that the reason I was moving to this fabulous place was because, although I believed that I had been ready months earlier, I was content to be still. I trusted that Spirit would lead me to my perfect home at the most perfect time. It has never failed me before. Each home has been consistently better than the last–even when I’ve been in a holding pattern, as I have for the past ten months–and always better than the home my brain had envisioned.

As we left the building, I thought about the mound of writing I had to finish today, including this post. But instead of heading home, I was compelled to walk to a nearby department store. It was en route to Janet’s building, so she decided to go shopping with me. Again.

After nearly an hour of walking in and out of showrooms, we were both discouraged–and I was confused. Was it my heart or my head that had directed me to go to the store? “I don’t see a thing in here that the room asked for,” I complained.

Janet nodded disgustedly. Hungry and tired, we decided to head toward one of the eateries in the store, relax, then head back to our respective homes. I can’t recall in what direction we turned; but suddenly, we stumbled into one sofa after another that was right for the space and my budget. We hadn’t seen The One, but we were infused with enough encouragement and energy to keep lookingIf it was there, I trusted that we would be led directly to it.

Moments later, there it was: a gorgeous, curvaceous, downright sexy little number, wearing white leather. She was sitting on a main aisle, nonchalantly waiting for someone to recognize that she was a class act. The girl wasn’t even wearing a price tag–probably thought it was way too tacky. Or maybe Spirit was looking out for me. If everyone passing that aisle had realized how much the price had been reduced, that sofa probably would have been out of stock when I walked by.

It was not the style, color or covering I’d had in mind when I began my sofa search. Honestly, had I seen it yesterday, I probably would have kept walking. But then, my brain was leading, which is why I had tentatively but unenthusiastically committed to the lovely but undesirable sofa in the other store.

However, after consulting the room this morning, after allowing myself to listen and trusting Spirit to lead the search, I got a much more exciting result: a tap, tap, tapping in my heart that revealed that I had made a real connection. Now I have a spectacular piece of furniture that powerfully complements the light, peaceful, healing energy of my new home. Continuing to listen, getting myself out of the way and allowing Spirit to lead promises to give me a more joyful experience in this home than I’ve had anywhere else. (For those of you who’ve been counting since Earth Is the Mother of All Drama Queens, it’s Home #28.)

Spirit makes no mistakes and will lead you nowhere that is not for your highest good. Who are you listening to? Who’s leading you?

The world that lives happily on your face

The humongous photograph in the Museum of Science and Industry stopped me in my tracks long enough to read the caption. I gasped, pivoted and fled the room, completely grossed out. For a split second, I even forgot where I had been headed before the frightening encounter. The gigantic face had to have been 20 feet tall–no exaggeration. A high-powered microscope revealed thousands of bugs scurrying across a man’s forehead, eyelids, cheeks and mouth. Ewww! 

You know, I hadn’t thought about that frightening photo in about 25 years. But yesterday, while thinking about how many invisible life forms live among us, the photo suddenly popped into my head, reminding me that many of those life forms actually live on us. While trying to verify my recollection, I found a BBC news article claiming that human skin is a “virtual zoo” of microscopic life forms.

Do you ever think about the world of organisms that lives happily on your face, in the air you breathe, the food you eat and the bed in which you sleep–or is the Loud Mouth the only one who is oblivious? Sure, we are aware that dust mites, germs and bacteria are rampant in our reality; but because they are invisible to the naked eye, we disregard their presence in our living space and totally ignore the fact that they have a life parallel to our own. In fact, our skin might be their world!

The same is true in the world we visited last week, the world of the tennis ball, fourth largest in a special system of spheres. Tennis is big brother to the marble, golf ball and powerball, kid brother to the hard ball, soft ball, fireball and volleyball. (Recently, the tiniest sphere, the BB, was cast aside after being treated like a member of the family for many, many years. Sad. The good news is that it’s still quite a distance from the goof ball, which lives in a world of its own. Even sadder.) Each of the other balls, however, still play a significant role in this unique universe. 

As you’ll recall, every soul in the tennis-sphere is transient. That’s the way the souls designed it. Also by design, something miraculous happens whenever one of them clothes itself in a body: All memory of the soul’s reality–its likeness to and oneness with its immortal Creator–is erased. As a practical matter, the memory loss enables each soul to begin the game of “So, You Think This Is Life?” with the same handicap on a level playing field.

Since the object of the game is for the souls’ bodies to reflect the divinity of their Creator in their behavior, they must first remember that they are divine and leverage their relationships in the invisible world to get the support they need to overcome anything they might hear on the tennis-sphere. Problem is, they’re oblivious; their memories have been wiped clean. They are convinced that they are merely mortal bodies, and they trust only what they can detect with their physical senses. To complicate matters, they also believe that the tennis-sphere not only is their real home, it is the only place in the universe that can sustain life.  

This is quite perplexing to anyone observing the tennis-sphere from a distance, because everyone in the tennis-sphere knows that nobody has ever come and stayed forever. They’ve also observed that everything on the sphere is constantly changing, deteriorating and disappearing–from bodies to buildings–evidence that the sphere is the permanent home of no one and nothing. It probably was never intended to be.

The vast majority of these forgetful souls also believes that the tennis-sphere is eternal and they are not. Consequently, whenever souls withdraw from their bodies and move on, according to the itineraries they established prior to arriving, the others believe that these departed souls are no longer alive, which makes them very unhappy. In truth, only the body the soul was wearing has died; the invisible soul within them, their breath of life, has not ceased to exist. 

The tennis-souls’ confusion over their identity and reality is best reflected in poems such as this one found on plaques, stones and paper and embroidered on cloth (author unknown):

“If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,

I would walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.”

During the next few weeks, we’ll look at the inception and perpetuation of this belief, and the effect that it’s had on the joy and fulfillment of all souls who visit the tennis-sphere. Throughout this process, I’d like you to give some serious thought to the genesis of your own beliefs and, if you choose, update them. You already have empirical evidence that invalidates some of your beliefs, yet you are unwilling to release them. When you pay attention, you’ll discover that your beliefs directly impact your behavior and subsequently reflect in your life experiences.  

The fact that you’re paying any attention at all to the Loud Mouth indicates that your soul is ready to stretch, even if your body and brain are resisting. But this is not your body’s life, its your invisible invincible soul’s. Until it’s departure date, it will endeavor to accomplish its goal: To master the game of “So, You Think This Is Life?”

Every shift in your thoughts and beliefs will create a shift in your physical experience. Your soul knows that it has all eternity to win this game, and it will win, no matter how long it takes, how difficult you make the lessons or how painful you make your physical experience.

Please don’t feel pressured to do anything. You don’t have to know yourself right now. You don’t have to learn or grow. You can stand still and repeat your current mistakes as many times as you like–or you can create a more enlightened experience. 

If you want to free yourself from the quicksand sooner rather than later, put on your thinking cap and return to the beginning–not of the tennis-sphere but of our own planet:

  1. How many souls were the first visitors?  
  2. How did they multiply into billions?
  3. How did you reach that conclusion?

Please share your thoughts by clicking “Comments” next to the date at the top of the page instead of emailing, as many seem to prefer. We all know that Together Each Accomplishes More. Together, let’s create a more joyful and fulfilling life experience.

A reminder: Today is the last day to register for the dynamic Women’s Leadership Conference (March 26-28) at the Hilton/Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Thursday is spa day! To find out if there are any rooms and workshop seats still available, contact the Rev. Jacqueline Atkins, J.D. at revjatkins[at]ameritech.net.

More trust = more peace

I had a different topic in mind for this week’s homily. Then I was abruptly awakened and given a new one. It was almost 3 o’clock this morning. That’s when my phone rang. 

It was my daughter, Maiysha. She was in the Amsterdam airport, en route to South Africa, and she was in tears.

“It appears that my wallet is missing,” she said calmly, but I could hear the tears in her voice.

There have been many moments during her young life that Maiysha has made me immensely proud. The moment she spoke those words ranked among my favorites: Why? She’d told me that it appeared that her wallet, debit card and all her cash were missing.

Whoo hoo! Maiysha not only had heard the Loud Mouth’s rants, she’d internalized them. How many times had I told her that what happens on planet Earth is a physical appearance–only a shadow of what’s really happening in the world of Spirit, the Source of all Life? How many times had I said that when we believe that the physical plane is real and the spiritual plane is not, we’re more likely to live in fear, a state that prevents us from thinking clearly and responding appropriately when challenges arise? 

Those concepts are tough to embrace because, like most of us, Maiysha spends practically every waking moment with people who believe that physical life is Life Itself.  

“Remember to breathe,” I said, reminding her of the email message from “Loving Each Day” that I’d forwarded hours earlier. (If you’re ready to think rather than blindly accept others’ beliefs, treat yourself to a free subscription of these daily thought-provoking emails.) Yesterday’s message was:

“When you find yourself in a tense situation, for example, you may notice that you are holding your breath. Putting your attention on your breathing can help you relax and immediately be in the here and now. This practice, found in many spiritual traditions, is often referred to as mindfulness, being present, or living in the now.

“You may ask, since we’re breathing all the time, why do we need to practice it? What we’re practicing is conscious awareness of the breath. Then breathing becomes a concentration exercise that not only focuses the mind but brings many healing benefits as well.” 

– John-Roger with Paul Kaye
(From: Momentum, Letting Love Lead – Simple Practices for Spiritual Living, p. 61)

“I am trying to breathe, Mom,” Maiysha said. “Actually, it’s helping me stay calm.” 

True, she wasn’t flipping out, despite the disappointment of retracing her steps, speaking with empathetic but unhelpful airport personnel, and coming up empty. Plus, her flight to Capetown left in less than an hour. Luckily, she had her passport and boarding pass. A limousine was picking her up at the airport, and her hotel was paid. But she had no money–and no access to any. As much as she hated to wake me, she needed her Mom by her side at that moment.

As I “stood” in line with her at the customer service counter, a more helpful airline employee took one look at my child’s tear-filled eyes and offered to check the cabin of the plane, just in case she’d left it onboard. It was a long-shot, but the wallet hadn’t turned up anywhere else. What if she’d been pick-pocketed?

I started to get dressed so that I could dash around the corner to her bank, and withdraw her daily cash limit with the duplicate debit card that had her bank had issued me. Afterward, we’d cancel both cards and I’d wire the cash to a location near her Capetown hotel.

That resolved her problem on the physical plane; but we knew there was more. We began to look deeper, pondering the questions I always ask in situations such as this: “Why did I create this predicament? How does it serve me: What learning opportunities does it present? How does it help me grow spiritually?”

When we see exclusively with our physical eyes, we miss the information, answers and blessings from Spirit that are so close to us. Seeking the opportunities for growth in every  situation brings us closer to the “I am always with you” Christ Spirit that lives within us. It allows us breathe peacefully, not panic. 

Sure, it was possible that thieves might have made a hefty withdrawal from their karmic accounts by trying to steal money from Maiysha’s bank account; but we trusted that God would bring perfect balance to both sides. Trusting that, we also realized what a divine blessing it was that she was compelled to buy a gift for her Dad at an airport shop; otherwise, she would have been in Capetown before discovering that her wallet was missing. Finally, we trusted that the situation would resolve itself for everyone’s Highest Good.

It certainly was good for me to witness Maiysha moving through this dilemma fearlessly and peacefully. She was prepared to accept the outcome of the search of the plane, no matter what. She merely hoped that she’d discover the outcome before time to board her next flight.

Finally, she spotted the agent approaching her. Before I could ask, I heard her say, “They found it!” 

We breathed more deeply. What an opportunity had been presented to us. We could mouth the words, “I trust God,” and we can say we trust in a perfect outcome. But until we demonstrate that trust to ourselves, they are empty words.  

What was the “perfect” outcome here: having Maiysha’s wallet returned intact? No, although it was. Remember “thy will be done?” That’s what it means: trusting and acquiescing to the will of your Higher Self. “Perfect” was whatever her soul wanted the outcome to be, even if it meant that the body surrounding the soul went to Capetown penniless. Physical life is just a shadow.

Wow, you’re not going to believe this: The phone just rang again. It was the doorman. It appears that I left my wallet in a chair downstairs a couple of hours ago. I hadn’t even missed it. As I rode the elevator down to the lobby, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. It’s as if it happened so that the story angle I’d been given came full circle.

Yes, every card and every penny in the wallet were there. But I would have been as peaceful, even if they hadn’t been.

Trust me: You can do this. You can enjoy the peace that comes from trusting the divine God within you, no matter what appears to go awry on planet Earth.

Will you be in the Chicago area March 26-28? The Loud Mouth in the Balcony is conducting a workshop at the Women’s Leadership Conference. For more information on this event and the other dynamic presenters, visit my website: www.dramaqueenworkshops.com