Often times it is hard for us during conflict to see our role. Anytime something arises to the surface in communication that is uncomfortable, I push myself to greatly self-reflect on my own words and actions. It is easy to project our hurts outwards and blame others. It is challenging to find the source of the actual pain that was triggered long before the conversation or situation that upset you.
Someone expressed anger lately for my expression of disapproval of some new age ideology. He told me I was attacking his religion. I had never really viewed this as a religion and realized I may have to shift my approach when speaking of these ideas. I am quite sad that this “create your reality/new thought” has become a sort of indoctrination. I love that it gives us hope and often great results, yet I find all religions can create distortions and forms of programming that are necessary for us to evaluate and explore.
I speak candidly about my issues with the new age movement and that is difficult for some to swallow because it is a belief system that has saved and altered so many lives, even my own at one time. I have great respect for many of the works of Ernest Holmes, Ester Hicks, The Secret, Napoleon Hill, and so many others not as well known. I even recommend my clients to read these books, albeit with some discretion.
My greatest concern with these teachings, however liberating, is that it teaches the seeker that we are responsible for absolutely everything that happens in our lives. (more on this in my blog post New Age Poo and Spiritual Affliction) It puts all the accountability in the lap of the person feeling the pain and none on the other person. We do have past lives creating karmic webs and events in our lives, but we also have many other forces at work in our reality. We are not the only ones playing on this playground of life. Our reality is set up to reflect what we are dreaming, however some of our free will has been hijacked. If we believe naively otherwise, this can encourage evil to spread right in plain sight as we look away. We are not meant to fear this or become victims. We are not meant to do good versus evil. We must shift the darkness in our own lives and what we tolerate in others, in order to establish a new level of consciousness in the world. We must all participate.
There are many extraordinary teachings about peace and love and accountability. One of the primary things I convey to my clients is that we must accept our role in everything. I always apologize for words that harmed, no matter what the situation or how little in contrast to their wrongdoing. At first when I teach people this, I am often met with resistance and anger. People want to feel justified and right when someone causes them to hurt. They want to put their pain back on to the person who they felt caused it.
I push myself to clean up my end always no matter what. Most importantly, I do not diminish myself in the process either. I accept full and total responsibility for whatever was said or done that was not my true nature. This does not mean I no longer hold the other person accountable for their part. Often people do not want to apologize because they feel it is telling the other person what they did was acceptable. They fail to realize that it is about healing the relationship as the primary goal. It is not about you or me and our feelings. When resolution is the goal, then both parties can stop acting as enemies and strive together to come up with a solution. If the relationship is incapable of healing, then it is still important to serve the relationship by releasing it in a loving way. When I misstep I often say, “I am sorry for any pain I caused you. “X and Y” was not okay to say and this was not my intention. I was triggered by my past or by what was said; however my reaction to the situation could have been better.” I will often mention what I need to work on and what my needs and boundaries are for the future. I will explore to find out the same for the other person.
Some people will not accept this fully and be able to go into an accountability phase of resolution with you when you try this. Some will say, “Thanks for your apology and I did nothing wrong!” Some clients have almost hung up on me when I asked them to initiate this conversation by being the first one to take ownership of their part in a fight they had with a loved one. (one actually did hang up and pretended it was an accident because I think they forgot I was psychic 🙂 They felt like I was not supporting their experience. Those same clients have told me now how liberated they feel that they practice this compassion in their lives.
Not wanting to take ownership of your end is merely about fear of accepting something that doesn’t belong to you. It is about not trusting yourself to set your boundaries and the shame that comes with the recognition that we aren’t always as loving as we think we might be. When you accept the fact that you are just a culmination of your parents, environment, karma, and life experiences, then you go easy on yourself and decide you can forgive yourself anyway. It is not about making an excuse for your behavior, it is about accepting the root cause of it.
When you accept you are doing your best, it won’t frighten you to expose your vulnerability by expressing your responsibility. You will not be shamed by yourself and you will no longer be shaming the other person for their experience. I may get hot headed for I am Italian, however at the end of the day, I always see exactly what motivated someone to do or say something that hurt me. I can also see where I got in my ego as well. I can’t stand the idea I hurt someone regardless of the circumstances. Yet remember, the truth hurts but shouldn’t cut. Decide where you are on that spectrum in your most recent argument.
There is good truth and bad truth. Good truth is intended to motivate and shift. Bad truth is intended to criticize, attack and tear down. I am not advocating apologizing when you show your fire of truth to someone, but I never advocate going below the belt. If someone is out of control and they cry because you told them they are out of control, then that is a good truth and do not be manipulated into their melodrama by trying to repair it. However, if you call them a lunatic loser, then let’s redress…even if they’re screaming in their clown suit.
When someone hurts you, it is often their childhood or past life trauma playing out and it has nothing to do with you. That does not mean it is acceptable either. We just don’t need to point a loaded gun in their direction. We attract situations and conflict in our lives to get us to look at how we handle our feelings and beliefs. Even if the person is completely in the wrong, there is always a valuable lesson to learn from them. I will hunt for any iota of a truth because it will set me free. I will not tear myself down in the process or give away my power, but I will transform any aspect of myself that needs healing or shifting.
If we are the ones who completely messed up, then it is even harder to come forward. This is because there is a tremendous level of shame we all carry as human beings. I am not scared to look at my wounds and failings because I know my core is good. This was not the case for many years of my life and this change didn’t happen overnight. When you know you are good, you are not afraid you are bad or to hear negative things about yourself. It doesn’t wound you at the core of yourself because you know their projections often aren’t about you. And when they are, you are sad but relieved to have the help to dig deeper into your own self so you can experience transformation.
We are each others mirrors in one form or another. Some people may reflect to you a part of yourself that doesn’t feel loved. Others may show you how self serving you are or insecure. They may show you that you have a habit of attracting morons who think they know everything. Whatever it is, they are showing you something truly valuable that can set you free. Don’t be afraid to see what you need to own up to.
If someone refuses to own up to something, it is often that they simply can’t handle the shame. If they refuse to be accountable, they miss out on the amazing opportunity to grow closer to someone else. Healthy conflict breeds deep intimacy and trust that wasn’t present prior to conflict. When people avoid conflict at all costs, they are losing tremendous growth and love potential. You learn a lot more about yourself and others when you can move through this process. It is scary, but the payoff is extraordinary. When you ask someone to clean up their end with you, they think they are agreeing with you that they are “unworthy or bad”. Nothing is further from the truth. Until we can break the crippling shame, then we will continue these negative cycles of conflict.
We can each start with ourselves to teach others how to move through these difficult and challenging conversations by having compassion for ourselves and others. Please know that some may not be as excited as you to try this model of liberation. Unfortunately, many people are not yet ready to move out of the shame and into the healing with you. Just focus on your end and you will be able to share this when they are ready. Take accountability and be loving. If they can’t accept their end and seek a shift that is healing for both of you, then assess if the relationship should continue and set boundaries accordingly. If you practice this, you will experience a level of love and fulfillment you never knew possible, a freedom that lifts the pain that held you back.
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