‘Crocodiles are easy, they try to kill and eat you. People are harder, sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.’ Steve Irwin
I love this quote… it is such a good reminder of why we are so often hurt by our fellow humans. Crocodiles have their nature and it’s no mystery what it is. As humans we’re as varied in nature as we can be, and sometimes we really surprise one another.
Not too long ago I ran into an old acquaintance. I had not seen her in several years but was well aware that by nature, she is mercurial. She can be nurturing and kind in one moment, and harsh and combative the next. I knew this when the ‘meet and greet’ began, so when she took a sudden deep dig at me mid-conversation I ducked and weaved- and shrugged her pointed opinion off with humor. My husband witnessed the conversation and after she walked away he expressed his shock. I explained that I had gone into the conversation prepared; I had my hackles down, and my imaginary deflective gear up before she had ever spoken a word. I knew her basic nature and I was prepared to meet it- but not match it.
To engage would have brought out a part of my nature that I do not aspire toward… As expected, she baited me with her caustic comment- that proverbial hook dangled right at eye level in front of me. One very measured verbal deflection escaped from my lips, but in essence my mouth stayed shut tight and she ended up having to reel her opinion in and walk away with an empty hook. Knowing her nature beforehand helped me keep my own lower nature where I like to keep it- on a short tight leash.
What hidden parts of your nature can emerge when provoked? Forethought is our best defense… know thyself, and when someone’s darker nature emerges and calls your lower nature forward – make a conscious decision to steer clear of those croc infested waters…there are much better places for your higher self to swim