Early this week, I had a fight with my husband and the rest of the day I spent thinking (read brooding) how he does not ‘hear me out’ or understand my point of view. Then, the funny thing happened. Thanks to sacredbonding, in a small way, I sometimes experiment with ideal behavior of a spouse and for a moment, I contemplated on what he must be going through. He must be thinking the same exact thing about me! Because, when emotions escalated to shouting and shouting blinded my intelligence, I was focused & determined to get him to hear my point and had shut myself from listening to his point of view, however valid it could have been. Then I contemplated on how I must have said things about him that I did not really mean and how it would have affected him. I recounted all that I had said and instantly I felt ashamed. I looked at my husband, he was silently working but had a definitely distressed countenance. Feelings of compassion overcame me and I went upto him and genuinely apologized to have not heard his point of view and to have let my emotions go awry. Almost instantly, he apologized too for his hurtful words and then what emerged was ‘real communication’–each one was trying to understand the other’s point of view and trying to sort things out for the other.
There is a popular myth that fighting clears the air and brings out the truth. But, during a fight, one is so consumed with wanting to show the other that their point of view is rightfully justified and that the other person is wrong and in doing so one drifts away from the truth and as both the parties battle it out, facing impending defeat (of not being able to successfully prove that their point was justified), they shift to the mode of inflicting pain and hurting the other person in the best possible manner i,e by hurling sharp words at the other. In this heated moment, how can anything meaningful such as ‘clearing the air’ happen? Fighting, if at all, creates walls or widens the divide between the couple and as fights linger on for longer and longer times, it gets more and more nastier only.
In every argument, there are two sides of the story. Both are partially wrong and partially right. If both of them continue with the argument, then they can go on till the cows come home but there will be no solution or peace at home. But, if one person puts one’s need to be right on hold for sometime, using intelligence tries to see the pain of his significant other & to what situation he is driving the other and genuinely feel sorry for it and apologize for the hurt caused, then a miraculous shift takes place between them. Energies between them shift from that of resentment and hurt to that of love and forgiveness. When this shift happens, you will see that the other person will not only voluntarily listen to the other’s point of view but also extend himself or herself to the cause of the other. When that happens, love in our hearts expands to a realm beyond us, leaving us feeling blissful and peaceful.
But, to achieve this is not an easy task for many of us. However, we can definitely borrow the principles and put it into practice in our lives until it becomes a natural quality in us. We can practice it in three stages-
- by recognizing our true self- that we’re not the doer but just an observer
- by being present in the present
- by learning to forgive
When we recognize our true self, we shift our consciousness from that of being the sufferer or one who has to emerge victorious in the argument and thereby be the enjoyer, to that of the observer. This shift of consciousness enables us to see the other person’s point of view and it gives us the intelligence that it really doesn’t matter if they see our side. Our job is to bring love in to their/our life situations and to empower ourselves, and those around us.
When we learn to be present in the present, we can easily let go of the argument as it is something from the past and that by holding onto the argument, we’re only bringing that unhappy state from the past into our present and probably into the future too.
When we truly forgive the other person who has caused some hurt to us, we release all the negative emotions that we’re holding onto so tightly over the past year (probably years!) By letting go of this false belief eg: he doesn’t care to understand my feelings etc (our side of the story), we release the source of pain that we’ve created for ourselves.
Remember, to create a happy situation in our lives is really in our own hands. We just have to be conscious of it and start living a conscious life, moment to moment. We can achieve any kind of perfection if we consciously practice it. Take baby steps and practice a ‘no fight day,’ and progress to a ‘no fight week,’ extend it to a month, three months and eventually a year. Remember, the real battles that we’ve to conquer and emerge victorious are battles within us. Never give up on the battle within, especially in your weakest moment!
Radhanath Swami in his recent discourse sums it all up–”The nature of this world is that there are innumerable reasons to fight, to disagree, to disunite. There is no shortage of reasons. It doesn’t take anybody with great intelligence or realization to do that. But what is a sign of greatness is when we prioritize higher principle and adjust all the lower principles accordingly. Cooperation is the way we show our love for God–that is the higher principle. We may be right, we may be victorious in an argument or debate but that’s a very lower level. We won, but if we displease God, then we’ve lost at a higher level! Its better to lose and win than to win and lose”!