This was always a hard pill to swallow. Even as a child, upon hearing that phrase for the first time, while I could understand the idea of not reciprocating harm, I certainly was not down with the thought of giving anyone the opportunity to harm me twice. It was just going to be one of those things that looked pretty on paper. For me, it was an idea to aspire to in principle form only. On some deep, DEEP level that I’d never actually have to come in contact with. Until one day in the shower..
I was thinking about changing my mind on things. Literally trying to see and envision words, phrases, and ideas in other ways, and this particular phrase came to mind. Turning the other cheek..
Now for some reason, I’d always figured it meant allowing harm of some nature without retaliation. Right?
If someone says something rude, “turn the other cheek.”
Someone steals your parking space, “turn the other cheek.”
Things start to get a little more uncomfortable when it hits closer to the skin. A little more unacceptable. If someone breaks your heart, what then? Turn the other cheek? For how long? And how many times?
I don’t know where the permission had been hiding, but somewhere inside it clicked that there could be another meaning for this phrase for me. And while it may not resonate for everyone, it made such clear sense.
For me, turning the other cheek could mean looking in the other direction. Not in avoidance! I want to make that clear, but rather looking into a new possibility. As if to say, “that’s enough now, I’m moving on.”
And again, I’ve given myself the permission to think this way.
I’m learning to allow myself the gift of turning the other cheek. Allowing myself the opportunity to look into a more positive light.
Saying “no more” to a negative space that’s become too comfortable.
Turn the other cheek.