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Hello Everyone, Welcome to the podcast “Close to the Bone.” I’m Carl Vreeland, your host. This is episode #49, it’s called, “Dealing with the Dark Side.”

If we were to get completely honest with ourselves, we would come to know and admit that we are capable of doing good things and bad things. In fact, as human beings, we are capable of good and evil. We are tested from time to time. And we have a breaking point. Fear and anxiety can take hold of us, and anger and resentment can grow into revengeful, hateful acts. Some folks sadly experience horrific, traumatic events that dramatically change their view of the world, which can sometimes even alter their brain chemistry.

Regardless, there is a monster within us. And again, if we were to get real with ourselves, we would confess, at the very least, that we have caught a glimpse of this ugly part of us. For instance. . . when you see someone on television who committed a heinous crime, who tortured and murdered a young innocent person, doesn’t your blood boil, if only for a few minutes? Don’t you desire justice? Doesn’t the thought of wanting this person to suffer in the same fashion come to mind? Just think about how difficult it would it be if this victim was a family member or friend? How hard would it be to rise above it, as it were, to accept it, and perhaps even forgive this wicked being? Difficult, no doubt, maybe unattainable. And what happens when we witness a heartbroken father in a courtroom, facing his child’s murderer, don’t we feel his pain? Don’t we cheer him on when he shockingly jumps over the stand and starts choking the person who devastated his poor family? Don’t we relate? Don’t we find his actions just? Don’t we justify his desperate display, if only for a moment or two?

Yes, I know, this is disturbing to imagine and ponder. But the truth is, we may encounter circumstances when we will be challenged, when controlling the monster within us will be nearly impossible. When it will sway us and convince us that any revengeful destructive actions would be justifiable. And so, we must heighten our awareness and be vigilant. And this takes effort and practice. Think about it, if we lose our wits over someone cutting the line at the supermarket, we better start practicing patience and understanding now, big time, before we get confronted with something much more serious.

Now, you might say, “No, not me. I’m a good person. I would never do anything harmful to anyone.” Well, perhaps so. But I’m suggesting to consider otherwise. Look at yourself. Don’t you get frustrated now and again? Hasn’t anyone done you wrong? And haven’t you had thoughts of retaliation? Really, look closely. Now,

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