Tag Archives: living owrds

590. From Defensiveness to Openness

Or deciding to challenge my own past decisions to ‘get away from’ certain relationships and instead decide to develop a common ground with them this time around.

In looking back at this month that ends today, there’s been a lot of ‘movements’ going on which I’ve decided to do and ‘take on’ in terms of self-investigation and so also creating openings with people that I had not talked to in a long time and in a way ‘opening the door’ that I had comfortably shut in my past for reactive reasons of course, which I’ve now come to reassess because a lot has been changing or ‘opening up’ within and there’s like this expansion going on that I’ve taken on as well as a drive to re-connect with people, meet new people, etc.

Through doing the self-preparation to get this done, I noticed this ‘defensive’ stance within me which belongs to the ‘religion of self’ where I was the one creating this armor or invisible fortress around me that would contain ‘me’ inside of it with all of these reasons, excuses, justifications of why I would not ‘get along with’ certain people anymore, or why I just didn’t have to talk to them again. In a way I was quite blinded by my own ego and ideas of ‘who I am’ which prevented me from precisely even thinking of challenging such perceptions and re-approaching people that were once quite close to me in my life.

I’ve also realized that yes, at the time it is what I decided to do and it was part of my own self-rediscovery process, finding ‘who I am’ beyond all the relationships I had formed and this ‘who I am’ to those people as well. But it’s also very normal to say that once that ‘self-processing’ phase is over, what opens up next – at least for me and how I’m deciding to live it – is to reconnect, to re-establish communication and that’s something I’ve been doing here and there throughout this whole month, not only with people that I stopped talking to before or with family members, but also in terms of opening more of myself to myself and so being able to comfortably share it with others, and also with new people that I’ve come to develop a cool communication with.

Though I had this particular experience where I did notice I had to physically ‘walk through’ this fortress that I created around me as my ‘righteous ego’ as I was meeting with an ‘old friend’ the other day and as he was explaining how he views himself, the world, his role in it and going into expressing himself the way I used to in terms of ‘giving up on any change in the world’ and being generally ‘pessimistic’ in his own view about things, I noticed there was this emergence of a stiffness within my body, and I became aware of it ‘building up’ as this tension which would many other times lead me to speak faster, louder and in essence end up in conflicts with people.

In that moment I realized this was my ‘fortressed ego’ emerging, rising, believing that he was speaking in those terms because of ‘wanting to show me he doesn’t agree with my current stance about the world’ or where I instantly went into ‘defiance’ mode of ‘what I stand for’ but that’s the point, I realized how in wanting to create a ‘battle’ against anyone that doesn’t ‘agree with me’ I am – of course – becoming part of the problem and recreating the same mechanisms that have led us to be ‘divided and conquered’ as human beings.

So what I did in that moment is keep quiet while being aware of what was ‘building up within me’ and decided to keep listening, understanding where ‘he’s currently at’ in his life and ‘views’ on things, until I decided to intervene to explain how one of the reasons why I stopped hanging out with him before is because I would perceive us to be in ‘very different stances’ in ‘how we view things,’ instead of rather being able to focus on finding a common ground. Here, as I spoke those words to him, I could still notice that there was this ‘stiffness’ which is the ego-fortress of defensiveness coming through and I was able to move through that ‘stiffened stance’ to the solution which I mentioned in that moment: let’s focus on creating a common ground.

I kept then listening to what he had to say not so much about the ways he defines himself at a ‘theoretical level’ but more so in ‘who he is’ on his day to day living in the job he has, and it turns out that he’s definitely not at all what he has defined himself to be. Who he is in his day to day living is in fact commitment to do his work the best way he can, to support himself to get out of certain harmful habits, destructive relationships, becoming a responsible person that is living for the purpose of bettering his work environment with the people in it and in the business itself, using all of the expertise, skills and studies he has to precisely do just that, which has led him to a leadership position at his job and in practical ways living principles of ‘do onto others as you’d like to be done onto yourself’ and stopping the chains of spite, doing the least effort, lack of commitment or discipline to do things.

To me this was very refreshing to see within him, to see how throughout these past years he’s gotten himself to a stable position after having walked through,  yes, quite a bit of consequence of precisely not doing and not being ‘all of the above’ towards himself and his relationship to the many jobs he’s had. So, that’s when I told him how he is not who he says he is in fact when it comes to ‘being pessimist’ or ‘seeing no way out in the world,’ otherwise he would not be living what he is living in his day to day, which is actually enjoying life, enjoying his role at work and being a very humorous person that yes can be ‘cynical’ and ‘satirical’ about reality and having all of this baggage of information/theories about reality, yet still remain very practical and supportive in his approach to his life as it is.

I reflected upon all of this to see how my ‘reunion’ with him went from me initially recreating this ‘fortress’ around me that had led me to want to ‘not talk to him again’ years ago, to walking through that ‘mirage’ and keeping myself open to create a common ground, to learn from the person, to understand them and how that left us realizing that yep, we do in fact have that similar approach to life even if we cannot agree in ‘concepts’ or ‘theories’ or whatever else that stands in the way of human beings as knowledge and information, as self-definitions or ‘creeds’.

I let him know that I am definitely glad about the changes and ‘upgrades’ in his life and how I appreciate the process he’s gone through to ‘get to where he’s at’ right now, and how even though he denies himself as being a ‘practivist’ to make things better and so ‘change the world,’ he’s in fact doing just that with his everyday doings at work and in the relationships he’s deciding to have now.

Here then I look at what would have happened if I had simply ‘reacted’ to ‘knowledge and information’ and decided to repeat myself in my ‘defensive stance’ towards him? We would not have gotten to realize that we are in fact able to talk, get along, enjoy our communication and have things in common if we both leave our ‘self-definitions’/personality cages behind and instead focus on the very practical, simplistic ways in which we share our doings, what we’ve learned about ourselves, what we’ve gone through and what we are currently doing in our lives, which is what we plan on doing from now on.

This also led me to realize – and I also shared this with him – how we get entirely ‘lost in translation’ when it comes to how each person approaches one word, where some people react to words like ‘equality’ or ‘forgiveness’ or ‘community’ or ‘oneness’ or ‘potential’ or ‘self support’ or ‘entrepreneurial’ and judging it as ‘positive hogwash’ which I sure did at some point in my past as well, only to get to a point of understanding what these words mean in reality.  I actually shared with him how I see that he is in fact living those principles even if he is not aware of it, or if he is defining them ‘differently’ in his own mind – but how in the end what matters is ‘who we are’ in our day to day and the actions that we do which speak louder than words as ‘definitions’ or ‘ideas of self’ which yep, we definitely have to either equalize to our doings, to ‘who we really are’ instead of keeping ourselves caged in these limitations that usually become labels that more often than not lead us to have conflicts and disagreements with others, just because of how we define ourselves as information, instead of focusing on the actuality of what we do, the nature of what we in fact ARE and DO, which is what matters in reality.

I’ll definitely continue nurturing this point of communication with different people because I thoroughly enjoy getting to know, understand another and even more so when I have a certain ‘history’ with them and so challenging myself in being able to ‘reconnect’ with others beyond this personality they knew of me – and at the same time for sure get to learn from them and what they’ve gone through throughout all of these years as well. I definitely enjoy those moments when I get to have something be ‘triggered’ within me and decide to ‘disarm’ myself within it all, it’s like being able to burst my bubbles in a moment and move into a decision to be open, to embrace, to be vulnerable, to be understanding – and that’s a very refreshing and liberating thing to do.

Thanks for reading.

 

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