Arguing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be unfortunate if we come from the right perspective…a perspective of listening. Sadly, we often enter argument to win, to prove our point, or to prove we’re right. We cut off listening. This predictably d-evolves the argument into a fight. There is skill in arguing, and if we don’t choose to use that skill, or even to develop it, we quickly turn events into damaging fights. Arguing requires intelligence, fighting demands none.
Arguing gets mixed up with fighting, and I think this is where disrespect has found its place within the exchange. Losing the art of arguing means fighting is all we know how to do, and it can get vicious in that boxing ring. People can say things that cannot be unsaid, no matter if there is forgiveness in the end. Trust will either need to be re-earned or, will never be quite the same between those two people.
In this sense, arguing is a valuable skill to develop for those relationships we truly care about; and, needless to say, for our own self-respect and dignity. People who argue to win, who don’t stop pelting their point until they’ve dominated the argument, are in it for a fight…and they want to bring you in to it with them. People won’t back down from a fight, thinking they’ll lose their dignity if they do; but in a fight, dignity can already be lost.
Arguing itself, really just comes down to differing (and usually passionate) points of view…that’s it. Having different opinions isn’t a bad thing. Opinions are just different ways of experiencing or perceiving an issue or event. There isn’t really a reason to make that difference a win/lose situation where one comes out on top. It’s when we stop listening that opinion turns into ignorance.
Less often we enter argument with the intent to learn something about the other person. 1) Do you cut the other person off or talk over them? If yes, are you willing to stop yourself from doing that? 2) Do you listen to learn from the other person? In this way, we actually listen to what they’re saying because we want to understand why they’re angry or argumentative. What is it that they’re trying to communicate? 3) Are you willing to accommodate what you learn about them based on what they are saying? Notice how much “willingness” comes in to play here. This takes putting ourselves aside a little bit. We, ourselves have to be willing to do this. If willingness isn’t there, the fight stays strong. There is open-mindedness in arguing because of the listening aspect, this is what removes it from fighting.
Arguing could hopefully be a space where we stay quiet long enough to listen to the other person’s perspective; likewise, be given the space for our own to be heard. Whether the two ever meet isn’t the issue, it’s about perspectives being heard with a willingness to understand. Best case scenario is that a meeting of the minds comes from it, or, if not, a coming together as the argument diffuses and you carry on with something else in your day, knowing you each respected unshared views. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes from driving our dominance over another person, and when two (or more) people speak at the same time. This happens all the time in fights. It’s baffling that anyone could possibly think they’re hearing what the other person is saying, whilst simultaneously drilling their own point home. Is this style of relating really worth it? Or has enough past damage been done from it that the skill of arguing might offer a more respectful outcome?--with love, Letters In Yoga www.lettersinyoga.com
image credit: carolbroome & simplefamilies
Modern yoga teachers are just regular people, it’s not too common to find true gurus these days. The teachers we admire and respect are not often enlightened Masters anymore, but they are the ones who honestly acknowledge and learn from their inner demons. They’ve bothered to work their own practice, to make it work for them, to come to realizations and understandings that inspire them to continue and to grow…they didn’t persist just on a weekly hit of inspiration.
It’s very popular to “name drop” in the yoga scene…and there seems to be a new name in recent months. I don’t know that she’s particular to yoga, or if she is more of an inspirational speaker. So, when I saw one of her clips in my facebook newsfeed recently, I decided to see what she spoke about. It wasn’t anything new to my ears, but I was intrigued by her audience who sat fully engaged and agog with inspiration.
Being our best selves is what the human heart wants. But when the reality of what lies between here (our current situation) and there (our imagined self) hits, it hits hard and our inspiration tends to wain, if not tumble into an abyss. While watching the video, I was suddenly aware that these type of speakers make a lot of money doing talks because of the inspiration….it’s that hit that the audience is so in need of. People are so intrigued with inspiration while they sit through the talk, that reality hasn’t set in yet….so these speakers continue to make money while nothing much changes in the end, for the majority of the audience.
The daily walk of becoming what that speaker is talking about is messy, it’s lonely, it’s isolating, it’s dark and it’s depressing…but what makes it worth it, is what comes from it (which is the part the speaker focused on). The speaker didn’t mention the mess between where we are now and where they’re talking about. So people from the audience set out, all gung-ho, when the breaks come on having found themselves in the middle. The middle is where we don’t like it, we don’t know what to do with ourselves because this part wasn’t included in what the speaker told us about.
Fumbling around in the middle, not liking it, slap our purged inner ugliness on to another, fueling a nice blame and shame cycle instead of becoming that person we envisioned ourselves to be when we were sitting in that audience. Most people don’t expect how painful the walk can feel, this isn’t what they signed up for when they were sitting in that audience with tears of inspiration and beauty welling up in their eyes, being called through such inspired motivation.
The point is, you cannot make your yoga teacher be that hit of inspiration. Like any addiction, there comes a point in your practice where that inspiration needs to touch you deeply enough that you’re the one doing your practice. The teacher can’t do that for you. If by some sad circumstance you do use your teacher as your source of inspiration, that same teacher will one day touch a raw nerve…then it’s a make or break relationship because you’ll be out that door, never to be seen or heard from again. You’ll find your next hit elsewhere. Inspiration is as addictive as anything. The glamour wears off when we dig in to the real thing and those who are willing to walk beside you will receive the ugly end of the stick, not the glamour speaker who started it all. It’s not so beautiful wading through the mess we’ve spent a lifetime building up, but if we have the courage to see it through, we will actually be what that speaker was talking about.--with love, Letters In Yoga www.lettersinyoga.com
image credit: imdb; shady-shypervertdeviantart; glumaceous-tent