The more we enjoy personal relationships with those we have been told are ‘others’, the less likely we will be to judge. That path has been a way of life for me, and I imagine a lot of folks have a similar path, realizing that it is through relationships that we evolve and are able to serve the Divine. I’m going to tell you about my relationship with a young man who came to our door, and what happened with judgment.
A few days ago I told a friend, “I don’t think I’ve ever met a sociopath.” It’s interesting how I believed that I hadn’t met or dealt with a person in that state.
We’ve all encountered troubled souls; emotionally harmed people. The experience of taking young people in, dealing with their ‘games’ and their needs, and doing my best to help them, has been a part of my life school. I teach them and they teach me. Recently the school offered another lesson: I’ve given shelter for five months to a young man who is troubled so deeply that he just might fit the unfortunate description: Sociopath = someone who will play you like a fiddle.
Readers may remember that I mentioned, in a past article, how I was allowing a childhood friend of my son and godson to sleep on a cot in our home for a few days, as he was homeless. In the article I said a few words about his troubled life, and left it open, questioning how this will turn out.
Five months and many puzzling frustrations later, it took just one sentence for me to put the final pieces together. In a recent article, Soren Dreier wrote, “And I do not give sociopaths the benefit of doubt, since that is what they thrive on.” Boy did the light go on! I’ve been giving the benefit of doubt again and again as things come up missing… a few dollars, some change, a few more dollars, a phone, a billfold, a few pills out of a prescription bottle, a paycheck not arriving in the mail.
Our guest is a very personable, seemingly honest and earnest, subtly intimidating, able to ‘turn on the tears’ young man who asked for a place to sleep for a few days. At the request of my sons I accepted him. In these five months we have all learned a lot: he is so deeply into a ‘victim therefore entitled’ state of being that he has to go. A realization like that can be a long time coming for people who are reluctant to judge and willing to help.
With regard to judgment, Jesus’ words were given to me at a young age. As I remember, he invited: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” This invitation immediately takes one to ‘allowing’: “I’ve done my share of dirt so I can’t cast stones.” Judgment is something we’ve learned to assiduously avoid. Since it is such a no no, to avoid it we might turn away from discernment as well, and refuse the guidance of intuition. It’s time to learn how to judge as we refine the meaning of that word.
On the spiritual journey, as we grow into a heart-centered response to others, we will naturally be prone to give people the benefit of the doubt. At the same time we are usually savvy enough to see if someone is manipulating us. But sociopathic behavior is on another level. It’s a much greater challenge to gain sight of who and what you’re dealing with. Being unfamiliar with the baffling contradictions that will arise, not having had close contact with a person who continuously schemes, we simply don’t know what we’re dealing with.
Our guest hid his thefts very well, and he ‘played’ me with tears over past wrongs until it reached a point where the puzzle pieces came together and I could see it. He is very deep into the victim program, so much so that he is capable of what I would call severe disrespect of himself and others. In his mind he is entitled to take whatever he wants and use anyone who is vulnerable to his manipulation. Does he know he’s doing low stuff? Yes, he does. He will express remorse only to steal once again within hours.
People say that compassion and respect have no effect on a sociopath and from this experience it appears to be so. But to be completely honest, we don’t know what has an effect on anyone in the long run. Did our guest gain something during these five months that will help him turn around at a later date? It’s my prayer that the answer is yes, and that somewhere down the line, maybe after more consequences, he will leave the victim mind and become the man that he wants to be.
As we uncover and return to our true selves, through this great Shift in consciousness, we must be capable of judging (while not condemning).
Lessons like this aren’t easy, and that’s okay because we didn’t come here for easy. I appreciate learning from young people as many of them are incredible in their wisdom. In this brief time I’ve seen another level to which the damage can go, and I’ve watched how the young men in my home have dealt with their ‘friend’… from the first day of enjoying him until they were ready to finish it off. A few days ago they set up a video camera and watched him walk into the trap – BAM – you’re done! It’s amazing the lengths one has to go with a person as skilled at manipulation as this one is.
I’ve also realized how susceptible heart-centered people can be, and how vital it is to listen to and act on our inner voice.
When it comes to helping others, I’d say, don’t be afraid of being used just because there are sociopathic people. Give with an open heart because that’s what you are, and that’s how you serve. Only if you see yourself overruling your inner voice and repeatedly giving the benefit of the doubt should you close the door.
The rainbow says… ‘things work out’