I read this in a daily email I receive:
Any feeling can be expressed in respectful or disrespectful ways.Anger is one of the most difficult to express respectfully. Everyone feels frustrated and angry at times. The crucial thing to learn is how to be angry and still be respectful - how to deal with our impatience without blame or put-downs. [52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie.]
I was tempted to dismiss it as it seemed, initially, to BE aimed toward couples. But I know better than to DO that Now. I have been receiving this daily email for 8 years. I canNOT think of one time I did NOT learn from it.
So, while I have titled this post as a question, a HUH?! of sorts, I really DO think that one of the things I want most to expand in myself is HOW I go about disagreeing respectfully.
It is NOT about BEing angry, although that is something I find creeping up on me more and more lately, but really about disagreeing, seeing things in a different way, seeing things differently and having another person try to sway me their way. This is what I grapple with. Oftentimes NOT so delicately...
It is easy to blame and slough off responsibility onto others. It is also easy to judge someone for their perspective if it is NOT one I share.
On the other hand, what is perhaps hardest of all is loving someone, dearly
and deeply, and then discovering that they hold thoughts and opinions and ideals in ways I DO NOT.
Actually, what is more challenging is when I realise that my own thoughts and opinions and ideals are seen as inferior by someone I love. Someone who loves me.
I grew up with people who used put-downs and sarcasm regulary. Daily I heard them ridicule me. And so I learned to keep myself hidden and apart. I learned to cover my anger with secrecy. And I learned that feeling and BEing ashamed was just the cost of DOing Life with some people.
Even people I loved. People who loved me.
I will BE thinking on this for some time to come. I will pay attention to the times I slip into judging someone's different opinion and see, am I BEing respectful of this person or am I BEing disrespectful, even in my thoughts?!
This is how I learn. How I grow. And how I change.
How about YOU?! Where does this notion meet you today?!