What is the source of violent action?

I want to say, “Violent action comes from a violent heart.”

The truth in this statement is that all external actions are manifestations of internal attitudes or states. But, as soon as the words form in my mind, I know they are wrong.

The lie in this statement resides in a fundamental error about the human heart.

Human hearts are not violent.

If my words or actions are violent, they have not arisen from my heart. Their source lies in a twisted illusion that lurks in some dark unresolved corner of my brain. Violence comes, not from a violent heart, but a violent story. The mind spins a narrative in an attempt to make sense of life or to give myself the illusion of safety and security. Violent actions, attitudes, and words spill from the twisted lies I choose to harbour.

The story that gives rise to violence says, “I need this in order to survive.” The narrative of violence runs along the lines of: “This is mine. If you try to take it from me, you are threatening my identity. I must fight to protect this possession or right against your attack.”

Violence comes, not from a wrong heart, but from a wrong narrative. There is no path to peace when I am unwilling to examine the violent stories to which I cling.

What stories do I tell myself that lead to violent actions or attitudes?

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