When I was growing up, the one thing I recall hearing from my father very often is “There is no dignity in fighting”. As far as he was concerned, every conflict can be resolved with dialogue. Some dialogues can be handled between the conflicting parties and others will require a mediator, but no matter how toxic the conflict was, neither side remains dignified when they attempt solving it with fighting.
And so I have gone through life having that philosophy as a guide to my relationships. I treasure communication above all else, but I walk away even from that, if there is no listening applied, but witty responses that lead to no resolve and more conflict.
The past 8 months have been one of the most trying periods of my life for a variety of reasons. I have been fortunate enough that the timing of it all corresponded with when I started attending therapy. There was an underlying situation in my life that had been brewing for years and I watched, almost detached, as things spiraled out of control and my every attempt to resolve it only worsened it, and I was slowly turning into the sort of person I didn’t care to become; a deeply wounded person that was perpetually angry and permitting room for grudges and unforgiveness.
It became apparent at some point that I was poisoning myself, more than I was the person I felt was causing this, so in my attempt to fix it, I started therapy alone, after inviting all involved, to no avail. I figured if I fix what I have become, it would be easier from a healed space to try a different approach to this brewing situation, but as luck would have it, a rug was pulled from underneath me when I least expected it.
What that did briefly, was give me more reason to validate why I felt what I have been feeling for the past few years; that my voice and concerns never counted or mattered. However, because I was also on the path to mending, I had to discard that thought immediately and focus on healing. See, the new plan that was presented to me was to throw the brew away altogether; no interest at all in remedy. That was totally unexpected, but I came to terms with it; that regardless of the fact that I may not need to address the brewing pot after all, I still needed to heal me, so that I will be in a positive place to carry on.
What I learned through all of this is that ego was at the base of it all. And in order to speed up healing, I will have to let go of ego. Now THAT is very tricky because ego is that part of us that defines our dignity for us, and reminds us to defend it when it is being threatened. However, ego is also that part of us that can become so very quickly and easily infected, until it morphes into something ugly and unrecognizable and utterly useless for what we might find it useful for.
So the tricky part of it all for me has been to let go of ego altogether and focus on mending. Every now and then though, a facade of this path reveals to me what comes across as a wounding of my dignity, what that does is make me want to lash out and claim back my dignity, but then I’d remember what my father would say and I’d retreat. It’s exhausting when the mind and the heart don’t see eye to eye on the same matter. Still I forged ahead and focused on healing and mending me and learning to daily let go of the ego.
The past 8 months have been the longest and hardest period of my life thus far. Life has been a daily decision to stay on top of the feeling, to make logic of it in order not to be overcome by pain and sadness, and thus not revert to fighting. For the longest time, the daily mantra has been “Be with someone that makes you happy”. It was my way of talking myself into accepting that this is not the place for me so there is nothing to fight for. Logic agrees with me here, but investing close to a decade to something and have it all pulled from underneath me when I didn’t see it coming makes it hard to understand how I could have been hoodwinked, and that puts me back in a fight mode.
“Surely, you must have suspected something?” someone asked me. Questions flood me constantly, explanations pop up, reasoning and logic try to find shelves for it all and I kept reverting to the mantra “Be with someone that makes you happy” (as my reminder to let go, because I was not happy here). The other morning, I woke up and there was a slight change in that mantra that created a major shift.
BE SOMEONE THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.
Heck! That freaking rug was MEANT to be pulled from underneath me in order for me to tap unto my essence. The light at the end of this tunnel is blinding and I am right in the midst of it all
Peace begins with me.
©Naan Pocen 2020.
P.S. Jay Shetty shared a quote that captures it all so well.