When is too much? What is the line between constructive and destructive? How do you know, when offering an opinion, where you end and the person you are advising begins? What is the difference between stubbornness and integrity? These are questions I ask myself on a daily basis. As social creatures, we are employed to engage in relationships with other people. Unless an intentional solitary lifestyle is chosen, these dynamics are unavoidable and offer us an opportunity to truly explore our deepest selves and are poised to become our greatest teachers.
I am a passionate person. My opinions and beliefs, marred by personal life experience and standards tend to influence me when conversing with others. My fierce conviction is both part of my appeal and my biggest blindside. In the exalted state, I am disciplined, focused, clear minded and will stop at nothing to achieve my intention of moving through life authentically and compassionately. On the flip side I can be impulsive, judgmental, arrogant and offensive which on occasion has thrown a curve ball into my purposeful plans. The truth is, I only in the past few years have come to recognize these shadows on my path and befriended them. They are not pretty and I have found myself in more than one instance in which I wish I had paused before reacting or handled an interaction with someone differently. I used to be hard on myself – spending days, months and sometimes years trying to make up for and get forgiveness and approval from the people I felt were slighted by my radical honesty. I felt the need to prove I had changed, that I was empathetic and compassionate and not “that person” who hits and runs. But the truth is, I was lobbying to the wrong people… it was myself I needed to get real with and offer compassion to.
I began to investigate the sensations that arise when using language as a means to communicate with others. What emotions trigger my behavior? Is it fear, insecurity or just plain old foot in my mouth. Taking responsibility for the delivery of my words, understanding the reasons behind them and allowing the space for conversation and listening has helped to dull some of the edges of my sharp tongue, offering up a sense of accountability, confidence and peace in my actions.
The qualities in nature are transient and constantly changing. It is our job as humans not to try and manipulate or control them, as that will result in attachment and aversion, but rather to embrace and allow our unique attributes to offer us a daily lesson plan so we can graduate into our most productive and evolved selves .