MindsetThe TAO of YouWhat would love do?

Stop, Drop, & Ask

One of my practices for 2018 is to stop trying to GET anyone to anything.
I really don’t want to spend my time and energy convincing, defending, insisting, working to get anyone to want what I want or agree with what I believe or see its value.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have preferences or that I won’t speak up or ask for things. It means that I am interested in noticing when I’ve left the land of self-expression and moved into a full-on (though often under-cover) campaign to CONVERT someone into my way of seeing things.
 I’m a passionate person. I can fool myself into thinking that I’m just being ME at those time, when what I’m actually being is not okay with YOU.

Look, I don’t always like what other people are doing–the people in Congress, the people in the White House, the people on the Twitter, the people in other cars on the highway, the people in my household. 🙂

Okay, so let’s take that last one–people in my household. I live with my husband and my teenage son so right there I experience the outrage of living with autonomous beings who have their own minds and nervous systems that aren’t always interested in me getting them to GET something. When I’ve tried to do just that, I’ve noticed:
  1. It never joyful.
  2. It’s never easeful.
  3. Even when it ‘works’, it’s not satisfying.

I tell you what IS satisfying—a deep meeting of the minds, hearts, and souls, talking to someone who really GROKS me, someone who finishes my sentences, someone who nearly leaps into my lap saying OH MY GOD YESSSSSSSS ME TOO!!!

But you know what else is satisfying? Knowing what I know and saying it to someone who doesn’t see it that way and then BEING OKAY WITH THAT. It’s one of those jolly mental health moments when I’m positively tingling with the basic truth that:

  1. I’m not you.
  2. You are not me.

Who likes being manipulated? Or argued with? Especially when the person arguing with you insists that they’re NOT arguing,  that they’re really okay with what you’re saying when clearly they are NOT?

I’ve been both people—the arguer and the argue-e. And I can say that they are both ick.

Here’s something else:

  1. What I think you need is what I need.
  2. The more I need you to have something (see something, do something), the harder I make it for you to get it.
  3. The more I think you need me to help you, the less able I am to receive the help you have for me.

This practice begins with noticing, the first step to really, ANYTHING. I can’t shift until I NOTICE that my current path is headed straight for the wall (or the quicksand or the ditch or the cliff). I need to notice that I’m trying to make the other person be different.

My first clue? I’m usually VERY ANNOYED WITH THEM. They’re being “difficult”–“stubborn”, “unreasonable”, “inflexible”, “close-minded”, an “asshole”. You could say that I am being the very same things in those moments. But I won’t realize that until I:

10. Stop

11. Drop &

12. Ask: What do I need right now and how can I give it to myself?

Maybe I need a hand on my heart and the gentle reassurance that what I’m saying and feeling is okay and makes sense.

Maybe some old hurt or fear or fury got rustled up and it’s trying to be seen so that it can leave.

Or maybe what I need is what I already have–the freedom to choose the next words that comes out of my mouth rather than be dragged behind my advancing Argument Army. La la!

What about you? Do you ever try and talk the people into your way of seeing something? It’s especially tricky when it’s something that means the world to you, when it feels as if you can’t move toward the life that calls to you unless they share your view.

I guess that’s possible. Some people may not be able to go where you’re going. Though–might it be worth testing that out?

See it your way. Let them see it their way. And carry on.

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