When my daughter came home from school one day and complained that a little boy was teasing her, I smiled and told her that the boy must really like her. I told her that the next time this boy teased her, she should say, "I know you like me."
This idea surprised her. She smiled herself and vowed to try it.
Contradiction can be an empowering experience. It is part of our path to wholeness.
I have a dear friend who is very good at sweetly smiling at people when they ask ignorant or probing questions. Her silence unnerves them. Her smile freaks them out. They awkwardly change the subject and look sheepish.
When people are looking for a great leader and they get a tiny, Indian nun, that is contradiction.
When people are looking for a huge sign that they are going in the right direction and they get an overflowing toilet, that is contradiction.
When people are filled with resentment and are confronted with love, that is contradiction.
When people want a way out and they end up digging a deeper hole, that is contradiction.
When people have to lose themselves to find themselves, that is a definite contradiction.
Consider one person right now who you are not very fond of, who gives you bad feelings and makes you want to spit or swear. Now replace those bad, damaging feelings with the image of a flower, a silent prayer for their wellbeing and success, an earnest wish for peace in their lives.
This is the ultimate contradiction that brings love and peace flowing into your own life. We are all children of a loving God and universe. We need to change our perspective or continue to suffer.
By the way, the advice I gave my daughter worked. The boy didn't tease her anymore. And she handled him with loving contradiction.