I rarely watch the news or read the paper. I haven’t done so for years. But when I do, I’m always struck by how much fighting is going on. I’m not just talking about wars and civil unrest, I’m talking about the corporate takeovers, the law suits, the backstabbing and infighting. Ordinary people bearing grudges against their family members, bosses, colleagues and friends. Are we humans just an argumentative species? Are we just wired to fight with each other, or is there a way to transcend the argument?
Why do we even fight in the first place? There are some global beliefs (vibrations that have been adopted by the majority of the world) that seem to affect most of us: First, we have a need to be right. We have a need to be heard. We have a fear of and at the same time a huge desire to be seen for who we really are. And when another person disagrees with our truth, with how we see things, it makes us feel rejected, in a way. Secondly, we believe (not always rationally, mind you) that in order for us to be right, everyone who disagrees with us must be wrong. In order for us to win, they have to lose. You’re either with us, or against us.
Let’s look at an example. Two children are coloring at a table with some paper and crayons. One child chooses a red crayon and one child chooses a green one. Each child feels very strongly that their choice is the best one. They begin to tell each other why their crayon choice is really superior to all other crayons. And they begin to argue, then fight. Each will not give in. Their crayon is the best color, damn it, and no one can change their mind.
Of course, in that scenario, the children wouldn’t fight over the crayons. They’d each be happy with their choice, knowing that it was the right one, for them. And the other child’s choice would in no way diminish theirs. But, we adults do this exact thing all the time. If someone disagrees with us, we feel attacked. It doesn’t even have to be anything big, or life changing. People have gotten so upset over the tiniest thing that they’ve even forgotten what they were upset about, but kept fighting anyway. The need to be right was much bigger than the actual issue.
We don’t want to be wrong. We can’t stand it. It’s an ugly, ugly feeling. But why? Because we’re not, and Who We Really Are knows it. Our choices are never wrong, if they feel intuitively right to us. Our arguments are valid and our reasons sound. The only thing we’re missing is the realization that someone else’s opinion has absolutely no impact on how right we are. Because they’re right, too. There doesn’t have to be a winner and a loser. Life doesn’t have to be adversarial. One child can color their horsey red and the other one can color it green. We’re each right in our own reality.
So, how does this translate to bigger issues? I’ll use an example from my own life. A few months ago, I was speaking with a fellow spiritual teacher. He was explaining his philosophy to me, and it differed greatly to mine. Whereas I believe that all is ultimately well and that we really can never get it wrong, he was teaching a message of doom and gloom. If we don’t do something to change the world by a specific date, all kinds of horrible things will be visited upon us. It was a cross between war of the worlds and the Old Testament. I chose this example, because more lives have been lost over spiritual and religious disagreements than anything else. People will kill each other over a disagreement of the slightest of details, even if they basically agree on everything else.
I was taking a break from doing some pretty heavy duty spiritual growth in the Peruvian Rainforest at the time, and was wide open. My vibration was incredibly high. So, there I was, being lectured by someone with a philosophy which, on the surface, looked pretty much opposite to mine. And while in that high vibrational state, something amazing happened: I felt no need to defend my point of view. I didn’t even feel any need to tell him that I disagreed with his. I just listened to him tell his story. I made mental notes of the things I disagreed with, instantly understanding that doing so helped me to clarify my own stance. And I was able to just let the stuff that I didn’t agree with go. Then, when he finished his lecture, I realized that the destination of his philosophy was the exact same as mine. He was, in his own way, aiming to wake people up and help them remember who they really were. His message was a lot more hard core than mine and used the doom and gloom approach, but some people love the drama of it all and need a bit of a fire under their butts to get them going in the very direction they actually want to go in. His message was perfect for those that resonated with it. And mine was perfect for me.
This was a pretty special moment for me. I’ve always loved a good debate. People that know me will tell you that I can talk an auctioneer into the ground. So when someone seemingly disagreed with the philosophy I was about to base my life’s purpose on, and I was able to react in such a Zen manner, it really got my attention. Perhaps this was just a one-off, an aberration caused by being in just the right place at just the right time in just the right emotional state. But I’ve come to understand that there are no coincidences or aberrations. This had been no mistake. I was supposed to learn something here.
Once I got back to the real world and my normal life, I began to see if my newfound Zen-like attitude still worked. Could I continue to resist the urge to be right? It turns out, that yes, I could. I’d realized that 1.) Someone else disagreeing with me had nothing to do with me, it was their opinion and mine was my own; it in no way negated my point of view and 2.) if you avoid shutting down the second you hear a detail you don’t agree with and keep listening, you’ll often discover that you’re both essentially saying the same thing. You might be getting there on vastly different roads, but your destination is the same. And once those realizations hit, once I “got” it, my reaction to every confrontational situation changed. I just didn’t see the point of fighting someone in order to arrogantly convince them that I knew which opinion (mine!) was best for them.
You are right. Always. So am I. So is everyone. We are all right from our own point of view, in our own reality. How you react when someone disagrees with you really says more about you than them. Why do you need to defend your point of view? How have they diminished your belief system? Let the other kid have his green crayon while you use the red one.
Did you like this article? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!
The purpose of arguments is to incite passion. If you go into conversations and you expect the people to agree with you, your explanations might get lazy. You already know they are “with” you so people might stop trying.
If someone challenges you, pushes your buttons, ruffles you a bit.. You get even more passionate about your POV.
It gets inspiration going and thoughts and kick-starts the mind. A great debate can bring out the intelligence of a person.
Backing someone into a corner exercises their strength. To get out of the corner you argued them into they have to come out guns blazing.
It only strengthens your position. It forces you to challenge your beliefs, maybe even your ideals that are close to heart.
What is important? What is real? Why am I on this side of the fence?
aha! That’s why. The argument contained enlightenment. 🙂
I agree – you’re never forced to be as clear about your point of view as when you have to defend them against someone who disagrees with you. And if everyone saw arguing like that, all would be well. There would be no arguments, only spirited discussions. I love those, BTW. But most people are not coming from that point of view. They try desperately to convince the other person, and if they don’t, they feel powerless and that can lead to some ugly, ugly behavior.
And of course, if you manifest being backed into a corner, it’s also an opportunity to overcome the belief that caused you to experience that. You can use the experience to get stronger.
If you can approach all arguments this way, they will no longer be arguments. 🙂
This is generally true. I’ve had my Zen moments. The best was when a friend totally shocked me with a belief I thought no human in their right mind could ever imagine (warning it’s pretty confronting and they weren’t joking) that a pedaphile is no different from any other fetish like two consenting adults playing with handcuffs. He likened pedaphilia to a fetish.
I calmly asked why he believed this. He was 17 at the time. He said because he has a fetish for older men like in their 40s and 50s and felt it would be unfair that if they felt the same way they couldn’t be in a relationship.
If I had jumped to conclusions and been outraged I would have assumed he was abusing some kid and rang the police.
It seemed he was just a bit misguided and mistaken slightly underage love/attraction to a severe crime of raping a tiny child with no secondary sex characteristics.
It also made me think outside the square about love and attraction and what is really right.
I was glad he challenged me and that I didn’t explode.
Your friend was voicing his opinion and it was a pretty tolerant one at that. I never understood why people consider sleeping with a 17year old the same as raping a baby. But many do. The law certainly does. And yet, these laws and attitudes are simply a reflection of our society. In ancient Greece, Rome and many other cultures, people married at 14 and had babies. Basically, you were considered ready for sex as soon as you went through puberty. There are sociological and anthropological studies that suggest that the way we are treating teenagers now is not natural at all. That we may be stunting our children’s development by infantilizing them until they are 18, or even beyond. The rule that you must be 18 to have sex is completely arbitrary.
A 35 year old who is attracted to a 17 year old is a pedophile, but if it’s an 18 year old it’s somehow not sick anymore? Why not? What changed?
There is a HUGE difference vibrationally between being attracted to someone and wanting to connect with them and allowing that to happen even if your partner is younger than you, and being sexually attracted to an actual child.
The latter is about extreme powerlessness and control. The sexual attraction doesn’t come from an inspired place of connection, but as a response to immense pain. That’s why when you think of an adult doing stuff to a kid, you feel a natural sense of revulsion. The energy that results in such an act causes a huge amount of discord in most of us. Most people do not feel this natural sense of ick when they see two teenagers together. If they do, it’s a learned response. And no, I don’t differentiate between two teenagers doing it and a teenager and an “adult” doing it. Consensual sex is consensual sex.
I don’t ever agree with taking a black and white stance on principle. You have to look at the energy behind each case. Is it possible for a 35 year old and a 16 year old to truly have consenting sex? Yes. Is it also possible that the 16 year old was coerced and/or manipulated? Yes. Is it possible for the 35 year old to have been coerced and/or manipulated? Yes. I don’t believe you can create one rule to fit all possible scenarios. I think you have to dig deeper than that.
And yes, I get that this may be a VERY unpopular view. People are much more comfortable with judgment and absolutes. I just don’t play that game.
Hey Lady Zen,
This is superbly fantabulous Article I must say. I think you should re-public this on your website because, I don’t know how many will take out time to read Archive instead of your regular blogs. This will surely help people at large extend (think over it).
To follow this or to agree your article one must not be perfectionist because, perfection doesn’t allow keeping mum when he/she hear or see something which is not matching with him/her. Immediately perfectionist start correcting it without reaching to the end (destination) for realizing that you both were going to one direction.
Salute to your Wisdom 🙂
Thanks with Huge Hug & Love,
It’s great to see you working your way through the old articles. You know, I do try to link back to older articles, but I also trust that people will find and be drawn to whatever it is they need. My job is to make it findable. It’s your job to listen to your intuition and follow it to the information that’s best suited to you. 🙂
See how perfect it all is? And you’re so right. Judgment of self and others all runs through the idea of allowing (or not) others’ opinions as well as perfectionism. Good catch! 🙂
I just want to say I’m very new to weblog and truly enjoyed you’re web page. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your website . You actually come with exceptional writings. Bless you for revealing your web-site.
Thanks Nickole! I’m really glad you found us. 🙂
I used to love a good debate too before my spiritual awakening. I also noticed that once my vibration raised, I became more interested in feeling good rather than being right. Drama and conflict is all part of the illusion and it takes awareness and practice to disengage.
Thanks for your comment!
I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂
I still love a good debate, but now I don’t get emotionally involved. I love words, and debating usually involves a creative and quick-witted use of them. I just don’t care who “wins” anymore.
It’s amazing how much easier relationships get once we let go of the need to be right all the time.