If You Don’t Have My Back, Get Out of My Face

So I was talking to my surrogate daughter the other day about life.  She was asking about why it is that we often get bothered when we see people doing the very things that we excuse ourselves for.  The conversation reminded me of a talk I had with my good friend, Jensen Yensen, which he said ruined his life because once he thought about what I am about to say he couldn’t let it go.  So if you are not committed to transformation, I suggest you stop reading because, chances are, there will be no going back if you reflect on this.  If you already watched the video then it is already too late for you so you might as well read the back story.

So Jensen Yensen and I were sitting on break one day at the car dealership where we were working discussing how most of the salespeople there thought everyone else was a snaking deal stealer.  He and I genuinely weren’t like that, but we were surrounded by people who were and they were always getting in each other’s faces and stabbing each other in the back.  They also went out of their way to try and frustrate us so that we would quit.  They saw every new salesperson as both a threat and an easy target. That really bothered Jensen Yensen because he wanted to do well there, but he did not want to be associated with those projections.

My advice to him was not to judge them, but to just be aware that they did that because they were operating from the limits of a body-bound level of awareness.  Basically it would be in his best interest to forgive them for they knew not what they did.  I explained that when we operate from those limitations, we are essentially choosing to solely use the dynamics of the body to interpret what’s going on around us.  We are allowing the limits of the body to be the limits of our awareness.

When the physical senses are the primary perceptual tools at our disposal, we have little choice but to look outside of ourselves to get feedback on the world as well as on ourselves.  As such, we tend to project ourselves out into the world subconsciously in order to get a sense of who we are.  That’s why so many of us care what other people think and are contantly trying to manage their perceptions of us.  We think that we are as people see us and yet we think by controlling how they see us, we will somehow be able to become the person we are making them see.  Think about that.  Doesn’t that just sound insane.  If we’re powerful enough to control how people see us, wouldn’t that mean that we’re powerful enough to be the person we want them to see without their approval.  Afterall, from that mentality, we are telling them what to see anyway.

Whenever we catch ourselves saying things like, “I don’t want so and so to think…”, we are operating this way.  From this point of view, the “good” we see in others is the “good” we see in ourselves and the “bad” we see in others is the “bad” we see in ourselves.  When we are not aware of this, we tend to attack the “us” we don’t like in others and idolize in others the “us” we hope to be.  We are basically treating people like movie screens and then applauding or booing our projections that we aim at them.

That’s why I say that there is a significance to the fact that we cannot see our own backs or our own faces.    That’s generally where our projections tend to go. This is demonstrative of the limits of body-bound perception.  The video above does a better job of putting this into perspective than I will try to explain here.  Let’s just say that unless we learn to trust and reflect, we will severely limit our opportunities to know what is possible to know about ourselves.  We will be forced to project our best and worst into the world and rely on the feedback that is aimed back at our bodies by the bodies we project onto.  The catch 22 is that, without God’s grace, we tend to get exactly what we put out.

Choosing to live that way draws us into the world that Jensen Yensen was struggling with at the time–one where survival seemed to require slapping people in the face and stabbing them in the back.  I think when Jesus said turn the other cheek, he meant that primarily from the spiritual persective.  Usually when someone slaps you, they are really slapping themselves.  When we turn the other cheek, we are allowing them to just keep slapping themselves.  When we don’t give them what they gave to us, it forces them to reflect and it keeps us out of the game and its consequences.  If you’ve ever turned the other cheek in this way, you may have noticed that the people tend to get even angrier and work even harder to disturb your peace.  It is because your reaction is the only way they know how to receive feedback on themselves.  You are essentially their magic mirror.

If you’re reading this post I can only assume that this is resonating with you.  My advice to you is to reflect on this.  If you just take this awareness and run with it, you run the risk of some serious hypocrisy.  The fact is that we all do this.  I do it. You do it.  Your momma does it.  The way toward getting out of it is through reflection and trust, but as long as we are working with these bodies, we can easily fall into this pattern.  If you haven’t noticed our whole society encourages externalizing and conquering challenges that we project outside of ourselves.  So don’t use this info to do more of the same.  Reflect on it and then watch as many people’s back as you can.  Do this and you’ll see that Jesus’ words are true.  “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Trust. It’s the better Way.

Once you commit to reflecting and trusting, you are sustained, maintained, and retrained through prayer and faith.  The reason why I don’t go into prayer and faith first is because until we realize that we have these behaviors, we will never trust in the power of prayer, nor will we walk by faith.  These practices require a commitment to not limit ourselves to a body-bound awareness but to rather tread in unseen worlds.  More about that later.

In the meantime you can enhance this experience by reflecting on the lives of those who have proven themselves trustworthy and faithful.  Personally, I reflect on Jesus Christ.  I see the life of Christ as a way into an expanded consciousness.  He is the model of trust and reflection magnified through faith and prayer.  I believe that he has my back, so I can trust his eyes and how he sees me. He sees me as worthy of all the love in the world and trustworthy enough to have the realm of God within me.  So the way I see it, if I love this friend of mine and trust him as much as I say I do, I will try to see myself through his eyes and not limit myself to the eyes of the world that couldn’t see him.

More than enough said.

2 replies »

  1. I’m thinking about the song, “Open The Eyes Of My Heart,” in which the explicit, desired request is to “see You.” Perhaps, as your ending here suggests, we should open ourselves to see ourselves. In bible study we partially reflected this week on the word sanctify. Most never make it past the word holy, to comprehend that, in essence, to be sanctified is to be completely God’s. So I too, right now, ask God to, not merely see me, but to own me and make of me what He envisioned me to be.


  2. I think of 1 John 3:2 which says:

    “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

    How can it get any clearer than that? When we see Christ as Christ is we see ourselves as we are. So I try to trust his way of seeing things, because I can trust what he puts out into the world.


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