Tag Archives: old relationships

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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528. Hostages of the Past

Or how I’ve been existing in righteousness about the ideas, beliefs, opinions and perceptions towards people that I haven’t seen in a long time yet have dared to create an opinion about ‘who they are’ in their lives – and standing up from the gossipy me.

I listened to this audio interview called Directing Relationships and found it quite supportive considering I had a similar situation recently based on having to explain my past relationship with someone that another person also got to know of and we both had the point in common that our relationship with that person ended up with some kind of discontent on that person’s side so, in a way through this conversation we were seconding our perspectives about that other person being conflictive or ‘the problem.’

However the reality of the point is that I haven’t really talked to this person we were talking about in years and even if our last failed interaction ended up in me being like ‘what did I do that made him get so pissed off?’ I never really made any move to clarify things or haven’t made any decision to get in contact with the person and see where they’re at in their life currently, because ‘I saw no point’ but the reality is that there are judgments there that created such vacuum for me towards that other person.

Based on what I got from this sharing that Sunette recorded in that audio, I got to see how I did participate in a form of gossip in that conversation, where I was caging the person in a definition of who they were over ten years ago and where I last saw them which was almost four years ago, which means: a long time ago already.

I’ve noticed that I’ve actually kept this and many more people in my life in a particular bubble of judgments as all the reasons why I stopped talking to them, why I cut ties with them at the time – this mostly happening some 9 or 8 years ago, which is already quite a long time to even believe that I have a say on ‘who these people are’ currently, because I know for myself that I am certainly not the same person I was 10 years ago and that any idea, belief or perception I’ve kept throughout this whole time about someone being ‘this or that’ without actually talking to them and referencing ‘who they currently are’ ends up being an assumption and yes also a form of gossip where I believe ‘I know’ the person ‘so well,’ but is it, really? Not at all.

And another aspect is that even if I would spend my days with such person currently, I would still not have any authority to have a definitive say about ‘who they really are’ as a person, because it all would still be my perception, my opinion and limited judgment about another.

So I got a very cool wakeup call through this recording where I got to see where I had just precisely done that whole gossiping myself without even having identified it as such to begin with, because I was really certain about my ‘final verdict’ on ‘who this person is currently’ and I was standing in my judge position as if I knew exactly who the person is, not considering the time that has passed and the lack of interaction with them currently.

Therefore, I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold people in my past as hostages in my mind, wherein I would only ‘release them’ if I could have any interaction with them where I could define that ‘I am ok towards them again’ and therefore, release all of the judgments of the past, instead of realizing that I am the one that has created this whole hostage situation based on my own judgments and that it is because of those judgments that I would not actually allow myself to approach them currently in my life, even if an opportunity would arise, which I hereby realize I have to change and be willing to be open and approachable if the opportunity arises to see, talk and hang out with these people again.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in gossip towards another person that I believe I know ‘so well’ and speak from past memories of who I believed them to be ten years ago, while pretending to know ‘who they currently are’ as if I had an authority over them and have a say on their lives and ‘how they are’ which is not at all so.

Here I realize that what came through are all the judgments that I’ve kept towards that person as a series of reasons and justifications of why I decided to not talk to that person again, wherein I made up a belief in my mind of ‘who they are’ and thus why we are no longer able to get along or talk to each other – this is limiting for myself because I am holding another captive in my mind based on past judgments, which means I am holding myself captive to my own judgments as well.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe I have any say about another person that I haven’t had any contact with in years, yet that I’ve held in the exact same position of ten years ago where I last interacted with them sufficiently to say ‘I know them’- when in fact, I currently do not know them, haven’t talked to them at all therefore have no say in ‘where they’re at’ in their life or ‘what they’re all about’ – which means that any judgments and opinions I shared with another person about this person is nothing else but gossip, assumptions, opinions and judgments which I would certainly not want any person to do onto myself, therefore I have to live my own principles and not dare to speak of another out of old memories, experiences and judgments that I’ve held towards another for so long and that I have to take responsibility for within myself, not share my own ‘backchat’ about them with others as ‘the truth of who they are’ which is definitely now who I want to be in conversation with other people.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to justify my opinions and judgments towards another individual because of believing that ‘I know that person so well’ that I am entirely correct in all of my assessments, and therefore it gives me this ‘authority’ to say what I have to say about the person – when in fact, it is actually really daring to say ‘I know someone’ in the totality of who they are even if they were part of my own family or a close relationship, because most of the times we really don’t know a person in their totality and therefore it doesn’t give us any ‘authority’ to speak about them or define them in a set of words that I’ve kept mostly as a reason, justification and excuse to not have to align my relationship towards that person in self-forgiveness.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that ‘I am right’ in my words and assessment about that person because this is what I’ve told to myself for all of these years to justify keeping that person in a ‘cage’ in my own mind, which I have not even dared to open up and investigate for myself, what the truth and reality of my relationship with that person entailed in my life and the impacts it had  in general, where I do not only look at all the seemingly ‘bad’ but instead I can also now dare to see it and open it up to recognize the aspects that I could take form that person in my own life and benefit from it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to keep the idea of a person in my head captive, judging them and loading them with ‘all the bad stuff and aspects I could think of’ in order to also make myself belief that ‘there is no value in another person because of all of that’ when in fact, I am the only one that is devaluing myself in keeping judgments like these about another person, even more so when not having kept in contact with them for such a long time which means, I don’t really know the person currently and I have no say in where they’re at in their lives currently.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become an absolutist judge in my head towards people in my past where I ended off relationships because of only focusing on ‘all the bad aspects’ that I saw at the time in them and so in a way giving up ‘on them’ without realizing that I in fact gave up on myself and my ability to learn to see a person for who they are in their totality, with all the pros and cons and not ‘give up’ on someone based on only focusing on the  problems, conflicts or disagreements that we had during a relationship, but instead be willing to also see the supportive and constructive aspects of a person as well, instead of believing that because I am no longer in a relationship with them and haven’t seen them in such a long time, I have a right to diminish and judge them with all my past judgments that were also created and kept from the time where I got to be most radical in myself and very absolutist in nature as well, which in the end has only been a limitation in me to not approach them with clear eyes myself.

Therefore I realize that I’ve kept my own righteousness, absolutism and judgmental perspectives upon people after all of this time based on ideas, beliefs or perceptions that I certainly see do not honor them as beings, nor does it all honor myself as the holder of all of that backchat as opinions, judgments, beliefs about ‘who others are’ which actually do not define them, but define myself as I am the creator and holder of such judgments ‘towards others.’

I hereby commit myself to stop holding others as hostages of the past in my own mind – including myself as well – wherein I have to remind myself that I can only be holding myself captive by those judgments wherein I am the one creating a barrier to not interact with these people anymore or believe that I would not dare to talk to them again, all of it based on memories, ideas, prejudices of the past which would mean I haven’t really self-forgiven and let go my relationships with them ‘back then.’

Therefore I have to give myself the opportunity to start from scratch and let go of the notion of having ‘a say’ about anyone of my past, and instead dare to get to know who they currently are, what they are about, how they are currently doing in their life and open up a door for me to also transcend a lot of my judgments of the past and within that, transcend the ‘judgmental me’ that I’ve kept with righteousness for so long within myself.

I also here commit to stop holding myself captive in ‘who I was’ in the past and therefore who I was in interactions with others in the past, so that if and when anyone speaks about another person that I used to be related with a long time ago, I can genuinely say that I sincerely not know where they’re at right now or how they are doing and I cannot really say I ‘know them so well’ either, because I only interacted them such a long time ago that it is not a fresh perspective that I can have any authority to share with another – and even if I had any current interaction with another, I genuinely have no say in defining another person with a few words in their totality either.  I can instead share a general experience of how I interacted with that person ‘back in the day’ while clarifying  that this is how it was before, that this defines me and my experience only, so this is only memory and perception based and has no validity to define who the person actually is.

By sharing these past experiences and emphasizing on how they were ‘experiences of the past that don’t define the person currently, nor myself’ I can also possibly assist others in learning to see for themselves how we tend to hold others captive in our minds based on a conflict or disagreement that happened in the past, which ultimately diminishes our ability to transcend our own limitations as judgments, perceptions, opinions and beliefs about ourselves and others.

So, I will walk as well a personal process in opening up more in relation to this person in my life because it is for a reason that they keep ‘coming up’ in my awareness and it might just be because I have kept them ‘in a cage’ in my mind, loading the idea of that person with opinions, judgments and perceptions that I sincerely had not actually realized I was doing, because of being completely believing that ‘I was right’ about my perceptions on that person and in essence, containing myself in a relationship with them of avoidance, of judgment, of holding a grudge and perceiving that ‘they were a mistake of my past’ which is part of what I have to deconstruct for myself for sure and so set myself free and set the idea I have of this and many others in my life ‘free’ in my mind, and standing one and equal to who they really are.

Thanks for reading.

 

 Captivity


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