The Evil Chilli

Monday May 23, 2022

One of my favourite wisdom sayings comes from Ancient China. “If someone strikes you on the cheek, shame on them! If they strike you on the cheek a second time, shame on you!”

This saying has always been an encouragement to take responsibility. Today, I’ve seen it in a new light, adding another dimension. Let me explain by telling you about The Evil Chilli.

I love the initial experience of hot chillies and onions. Physiologically, they don’t agree with me. If I each a hot chilli, I will suffer the consequences. It would be understandable for me to ‘blame’ the chilli for my discomfort… even pain. Understandable, but not strictly accurate. The chilli would be one element of the cause of the pain, but another more significant element would be my choice to eat the chilli. After all, I wasn’t being force-fed chillies.

The really insane choice is to eat another chilli and then another…

This is a path I have often taken.

Much pain I have experienced in life is a hangover… utterly self-inflicted – like a hangover. That’s, weirdly, good news. Good news? Yes, because if it is self-inflicted, I can also do something about it. I’m not the victim; I’m the perpetrator!

And the more I reflect on Life, the more I realise The Evil Chillies had accomplices. My childhood was not (entirely) to blame for whatever excuses I’ve been making. It wasn’t my education, nor my teachers – they had help from me. It wasn’t the company I kept. You get the idea…

For today, at least, I have decided to stop blaming The Evil Chilli for my pain. When I stop playing the blame-game, it’s amazing how fast I can recover from the pain-game too. The Game of Choice is one that is far more empowering even if it takes a lot of effort and feeling ‘responsible’ is rarely fun. However, taking responsibility is taking back control.

The next time someone goes to strike me on the cheek, I’m going to get out of the way.

A Moodscope member.

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