Violence met with violence causes more violence. 

My family and I had an experience last night that left me vulnerable and delivered a message and a lesson to me that I have been struggling with for many years. 

We were driving home from puerto Vallarta in the rain, it had been raining heavily for a while so the road were filled with massive puddles. The windshield wipers weren’t doing the best job and apparently we need new tires. Needless to say we hydroplaned and my partner slightly went into the other lane where another car had to swerve a bit so we didn’t hit them. It happened so fast, as these things do, but all was good and we continued slowly. Before I knew it a white car with a motorcycle kind of hanging out of the trunk pulled in front of us and slammed on the breaks. Again it was all happening so fast. Two angry men got out of the car and made their way toward us yelling. 

Pilas and I both repeatedly apologized. They continued to yell, one man with his hand behind his back, my eyes searched their bodies for a gun and a way to escape. We were tightly pegged against a wall and with the car in front of us, there was no way to quickly leave. In Mexico, when something like this happens, you’re in danger. I asked the man if he was ok and again said I’m so sorry, we have children in our car and it was not our intention to push them off the road. I saw his face start to relax. I repeated, are you ok? I saw empathy in his eyes. The fight or flight response became to settle in both of us. This way is unfamiliar to me. The way of kindness and empathy. This is not the way that i was taught. My innate nature doesn’t allow me to feel ok to negotiate violence or threatening situations with kindness and calmness. The men both retracted and returned to their car. I then got so angry at Pilas. In my mind I would have reversed and driven off as fast as I could. I maybe even would have hit of the men or ran one of them over. I don’t react well when my children’s lives are threatened. I am a protector of them at all costs. I didn’t how to calm navigate dangerous situations in my home as a child. I learned in chaos. I grew in chaos. I am a product of chaos. 

What could have happened if i was driving and responded aggressively? Could I have killed a man? Would we have been in a high speed chase in the rain? It could have been a fucking disaster. 

I’ve certainly made a disaster of situations in my life that I’ve met with aggression. It is in my nature to tell people to fuck off. I’ve been fucked with too much in this life to no any better at times. I’m working on being a human that changes the way this world is. 

I have no doubt the universe works in patterns like fractals in nature. Cycles repeat and multiply as you conform to your own nature, the one in which you have been guided to grow, move and flow. The nature of our being is base upon our experience. Like the patterns in our brains, engrained into our character they become who we are. But there is a way to reshape and restructure the patterns and that is through recognition awareness and reflection. 

You see I’ve always met anger with anger, violence with violence. Harmful words with more harmful words. I grew up in a very violent home. Things were thrown smashed and destroyed. Doors were slammed. Belts were swung, rage was alive and Fear was prevalent. And the worst part of it was that my parents told me it was me. It takes so much work to undo the conditioning of our brains. 

This is collective work. This is global work. This is what war is, this is what the current genocide is, this is the work we all must do.  

I apologized to my partner for getting so angry. I apologized to my children for reacting the way I did. I understand that the situation required the calm and reasonable manner in which we both did handle it. 

The artwork- 

This artwork is the spirit of a tree that lives down the path from my house to the beach. We are finally living in a home that feels safe and peaceful. Quiet and calm. The branches of these trees feel like arms that are holding me in this space for me to grow and learn. It takes a lot of work for some of us to feel safe.

June 24, 2024 — Lori Menna