Sunday, April 09, 2006

Whose resistance? - Feedback to a friend -

Question: With X, there is this underlying and everpresent malaise, a kind of tension that has been there for a few years.

Overall I feel like X won't meet me halfway, not even a quarter way...is it just me, or is he really that guarded and aloof? Or am I truly as deluded and arrogant as he implies? My problem with him has been that he is so bent on "rational only" discussions, yet denies any underlying currents than can and do exist, and simply won't address them. He won't let go of his ideas of me and doesn't hear what I say. I do not feel that I am giving "unsolicited opinions" or psychoanalyzing him without his permission" but that I am sharing with him to get beyond the resistance.

Anyways, if you have time I'd love your feedback. Anything you have to offer would be appreciated.


Reply: What I notice is this: In having had my own problems like this in the past, I can feel your side of this. - I have found that my peace could come not from them changing or my trying to fight the way it is and to change them and how they communicate or perceive me, but in noticing my preconceptions of what I thought they should see and how I felt they should behave for what they are.

It is not our business whether X is open and fluid in discussions or guarded and aloof. It is not our business whether he meets us half way, all the way or not at all. It is not our business what he thinks of us. and making it our business is a kind of arrogance... and insanity.

X is being X and acting the way he always has. When people call us on being arrogant when we are coming from wanting to openly communicate and get beyond obstacles to greater understanding and intimacy, it can seem completely unreasonable, inflexible and off-the-wall of them. It appears they are not team-playing and seeking to meet us. It appears/feels like that they are not listening, intimidating and trying to be right while making us wrong. They don't seem to see our heart or intent - - but I have found that they are mirroring and reacting to exactly what in us needs them to be different than how they are. Especially when we are invested in an outcome, they are reflecting that point of division in us.

I think that telling each other our truth leads to intimacy and gives a chance for transformation. But the truth can have many layers of clothing on top of it - and it can be what is defined by the heart or what comes from reasoning more or less disconnected from that or trying to defend it. Telling someone they "have resistance" is different from saying that you want to be closer to them.

Your acceptance and really hearing them might be a far more potent and empowering teaching that points them to their resistance than pointing them to their resistance. Or even your honest lack of acceptance and resignation that they will not change can be very powerful as an expression of your truth, and edges. In fact, that is kind of like what X and Y have done with you - just leaving you with yourself. I say all of this having held the belief that people's behavior can change and that their behavior is not 'who they are.' Yet, there is a point where if our own sense of peace and well-being rests on their changing in some way, it is more about us than them. And that is where it is healthy to look closer and recognize that 'X is being X perfectly' - and to feel anything else is arguing with reality - with the way it is - and that is a recipe for suffering.

You might wonder where social activism in making the 'wrongs right' can take root if we are not railing against the way it is but it depends on how we do it and where we are coming from. This may appear paradoxical but if in our wanting to effect change in the world, we come from a sense of division, we merely recreate that division in the world and not facilitate any kind of real transformation.

Not expecting X to be different or see you freshly while at the same time being willing to see and respond to him freshly also might seem like a contradiction. The more you stop concerning yourself with how he sees you and that he is not letting go of his preconceptions about you, the more you can respond to him freshly and that is all that will matter. You can see that he is not listening to what you think you are saying or that he is reacting to someone who you feel you aren't. But unless he has invited it on some level, talking about what might drive him to do this is useless.

Trust your innocence and express your truth and the rest - what he does with it - is his business. You might think this that not caring what he does with it is a lack of compassion ... but I think it is much more compassionate ... and it is much more compassionate to yourself too. You spare yourself the headache of trying to change things that you have no control over. Give yourself the break and understanding that you seek from others.

What I feel is "my business" is to look at what or who cares about others' reactions to me and what I say. I have noticed that when that is investigated to its depths, the knot of that concern is seen for what it is and can unravel along with the sense of "me" that needed something to be other than what it was for its own sense of identity.

~~~

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
We see what we know ourselves to be

We see what we know ourselves to be. And with awareness love sees love and can recognize the love that at levels doesn't recognize itself .... Enlightenment sees enlightenment and the enlightenment that at levels doesn't recognize itself... The idea of self that we call ego sees ego with ego and judges it.... Hatred sees hate and hates it .... Limitation sees within the confines of its own self-idea. Brilliance and expansiveness can only be seen by that which it is.

3 Comments:

Blogger nothingmissing said...

I appreciate, Ellen, your multi-level feedback to your friend, which struck me as very clear and helpful. I want to share another way, perhaps, of expressing your reflection that, when "they don't seem to see our heart or intent . . . they are mirroring and reacting to exactly what in us needs them to be different than how they are." And, I know you are well rooted in this. The "knot of concern" that I have learned to investigate (and to ignore at least as often) is to consider how is it the other person could see me that way. Could that person be right in some way? Therein lies my pain. The teachings of A Course in Miracles and The Work of Byron Katie can both be summarized as "projection makes perception." It is as you see it.

Byron Katie has said: "You believe what you think, and that's who you meet" and "I am what I think you are in the moment I think it."

And from The Course in Miracles: "You look upon that which you feel inside."

Good news is that what I admire, love and respect in you is likewise my reflection.

As you have written: "As Love meets Love in form, as it recognizes itself, it spreads everywhere waking itself up to its own glory!"

Love loving love.

No boundaries. No division.

3:16 AM  
Blogger sunya lila said...

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I like to look at what might be true about what people are saying especially if I feel emotionally "triggered" in some way with what they say or feel in such a way as to be inclined to see what they are saying as being out-right wrong. I find that when I am triggered, what they say or do is something that I have not learned to see, accept or forgive in myself. Recognizing this has also been a path for me.

I appreciate and resonate with the quotes you gave. I have said, that we can only see what we know ourselves to be.

Katie's work is Manjushri's sword in action. When that sword is sharp enough and cuts to the essential core, it is a sword that cuts in one.

When I mentioned that "they are mirroring and reacting to exactly what in us needs them to be different than how they are" I was referring to a specific dynamic that relates to how people might react to that tension of our wanting others to change that seems incongruous to what it is (that we think) we are saying.

Love and namaste,

Ellen

3:45 PM  
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5:13 PM  

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