Sunday, January 06, 2008

Horns and Punches..

When I was in the Choir in my junior high school, my best friend was Jason Paltrowitz. We had won a trip to go compete in some national championship, so all of us kids from new york city got on a bus and headed down to a town I won't name.

When we met the other kids there, we all introduced ourselves, and said where we were from.

When Jason said "My name is Jason Paltrowitz, and I'm from New York City!"

The kids from this town got all excited. We asked them why:

"Well, Jason.... are you JEWISH?" one kid asked excitedly.
"Yeah, I am" he said, figuring they knew from his last name.

They giggled, and asked quite innocently: "Can we see your horns?"
..........

I was totally aghast. I hadn't even heard that myth before, but I could tell from their faces that they truly and sincerely thought that Jews had horns on their heads.

Like the devil.

They didn't mean anything by it; that's just what they had heard.

I was about to start yelling and screaming and throwing punches, but I was frozen. This was my BEST FRIEND they were talking about.

But then I saw an amazing thing.

Jason just said "Oh, I don't have horns. Jews don't really have horns; that's just a crazy story."

"Oh,... ok" the kids said, disappointed that they weren't going to see a free freakshow.

After that, we all just went out and played "tag" together- and made sure not to yell and mess up our voices!

That day has stuck in my mind forever, and I tell that story a lot to demonstrate the power of perception and how simple they can be changed. But today I tell it because I recently had a conversation (over email) with a wonderful girl who is so stuck in her own perception of herself, that she believes she has horns of her own.

If you met this (very gorgeous) girl, you would immediately see that she is smart, vivacious, witty and deep-feeling.

However, she is always in a drama of some sort, she feels victimized by her circumstances, and she keeps finding people who let her down in one way or another. It's so obvious to everyone around her that she LOVES the drama, even though it makes her feel worthless.

She is ADDICTED to the drama because it justifies her own self-hatred.

She believes the "crazy story" about herself being worthless, stupid, and ugly. So, she believes her personality is all a front and a lie. Which of course, she hates herself for feeling she has to lie to everyone, and so she punishes herself by whatever means necessary.

Mind you, I'm no psychologist, but it is so painfully obvious one doesn't need to be.

It also may be obvious to me because I see myself in her.

-Wait- not like that....

I mean that I recognize that I have some self-hatred, and some self-punishing that I do because I don't think I am worthy for some reason. I've been reading Louise Hayes' "You Can Heal Your Life", and watching the video, and she kinda says that self-hatred is the center of most people's issues. I've been seeing it everywhere lately.

In myself, in my friends, and especially in this girl.

Well, hopefully we'll all get to a point where we can change our perceptions of those "crazy stories" about ourselves so we can go out, quit the drama, and play tag!!!


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