The Gift of the Petty Tyrant

The warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one. You’re fortunate if you come upon one in your path, because if you don’t you have to go out and look for one. ~ don Juan, The Fire from Within

I’ve been thinking about petty tyrants for the past week or so. I guess I wouldn’t have been if one had not come into my perceptual field. Petty tyrants are the button pushers and often self-important characters whom we meet in our lives that impose their will upon us in their attempts to assert their sense of superiority. How we react to them is determinate upon our own levels of button pushing and self-importance. I wrote about them a couple of years ago in an article called The Petty Tyrant.

Petty tyrants teach us detachment. They also teach us how to overcome our self-importance. They escort us to the point of having nothing to defend. Some are harsh and some are oh so gentle. There have been petty tyrants in my life that I have wanted to strangle and there have been others that I loved so much they made me weep. And what I learned this week is that they appear at times as reminders to challenge us in maintaining and upholding our personal integrity.

Knowing the wily ways of petty tyrants for most of my adult life I can usually see one coming from a mile away but I wasn’t prepared for this one. She came at me in an underhanded approach, spirituality her disguise with an inorganic being grasping onto her tightly. I listened to her request, asked for more information, considered the impact that my decision would have on both of us and ultimately realized that I could not honor her request and I gently explained this in an email.

Her email response was a shocker. She implied that I am not a conscious being, that I don’t walk my talk and that I’d better get used to honoring such requests. She attacked my integrity as her own self-importance demanded many things be compromised in order to support her reality. And then, when I didn’t respond to her scathing note she wrote again asking me to confirm that I had received her email and to include a response. All I could say was, “many blessings on your journey.”

The gift to me was that I can stand fully in my integrity without, as a friend recently discussed, having anything to defend, nothing to hide, unafraid to be myself, not afraid to receive and willing to give whatever I can within reason.

Thank you dear petty tyrants. Without you I would not have the strength to honor myself and if I can’t honor myself then how could I possibly honor you? To compromise who I am in order to please you is ultimately inauthentic to both of us and in the end, we both lose. Many blessings on your journey.

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