Getting along with People

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anna
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Getting along with People

Post by anna »

Well, Bhakti just generated a string of thoughts that I decided to share with the outside world - my thoughts are usually confined to my small, limited head - perhaps that is bad, or perhaps that is good - all depends upon the thoughts, I suppose?! Or perhaps depends upon how large I consider my "head" to be, or how small. What are thoughts, anyway?!

I digress.... I thought about the quote of Bhakti re envisioning the world, and acting out of that vision, re Marianne Williamson (see Bhakti's string, Martin Luther King). This works, of course, so long as you can hold the vision, and so long as that vision resides within the heart, and isn't only an intellectual vision, or "hope". Most of us are human beings afraid of dying, loss, pain, and all the other tribulations that occur to us throughout our lives. This generates a considerably different state of mind than a "spiritual" one, for sure. It is not easy to be human: it is almost impossible to be spiritual. (I am not certain that there is a division, in any event.)

To give you an example of the opposite, and possibly more substantive solution to problems with folks that create havoc in our world, by their rudeness, their inconsiderateness, their outright unkindness. Ramakrishna told a story about a poisonous snake that was tormented by a bunch of young men to the point where the snake was afraid of serious harm. But he was trying to live by God's admonitions, so he asked God what he should do, because he was really sick of this treatment, and was tempted to strike out with his poison and show them once and for all how strong he was, and to teach them a lesson, since these fellows were tormenting him and making his life a living hell. God responded, "My dear, you must not harm these fellows, because that will create karma in your life." So the snake went back to his home, and the fellows continued to harm him, and eventually almost killed him. The snake lay there on his back, bleeding and bruised, and complained to God that he had tried to follow his directions, but look what he had come to because of that. God looked at his snake with pity, and responded "Yes, it is true that I told you that you must not harm another creature, but I never told you not to hiss!"

Sometimes, in an effort to be "spiritual", we forget that like generates like from both sides of the fence, and perhaps the correct response to unkindness or rudeness is to respond in kind. This of course is "anti-social", is not "appropriate behavior", and certainly is not "spiritual". However, it is sometimes appropriate, and often, instructive, not to mention "karma balancing". :wink: In that same vein, perhaps spiritual has a wider vision, and a more subtle interpretation. We don't want to actually harm another sentient being, but hissing is not harming, it is telling tormentors to "back off!".

Well, so be it.

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NewMoonDaughter
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Post by NewMoonDaughter »

Hello Anna,
Thanks for sharing this story. It gave me a laugh. And also reminded me of my own "hissing" episode about a year ago. I won't go into all the details, but I wanted to be rid of a harasser. I had no interest in doing any harm, nor in being "un-spiritual" but the situation called for confrontation. So, I said a prayer, and then intentionally worked myself up into an appropriate dramatic state of anger. I then went outside to meet my tormentor head-on, and I hissed very convincingly, (a hissy fit? :o ;) ). I came back inside, took some deep breaths to calm down again, wept and said a prayer asking for peace for both of us, but I prayed especially for the awful pain in his heart that causes him to torment others. He quickly retreated, but promptly and extensively announced to all who would listen that I had treated him horribly, and then he went on to torment his next victim, which I later heard about. But I haven't been bothered by him since.

In a way it didn’t feel spiritual, but in another way it did, and I knew exactly why it was necessary. He's extremely abusive. And I'm not saying this is the solution for everyone nor for every incident. (There have even been times I've been able to have the kind of peaceful response like Bhakti's. :-)) But with someone else, or in another time, I might respond in a completely different way. I think we have to be willing to allow ourselves to do our best in that moment. I'm not at the level of a saint yet, so I have to accept where I am and work from there. And it did seem that through that whole encounter, I was aware that there was a peaceful "vision residing in my heart." In all instances, but especially difficult ones, we can carry that heartfelt prayer for peace for all, and also be willing to listen to divine guidance each time and act accordingly. I know A Course in Miracles teaches this too, that we should ask Holy Spirit in each instance and wait on that answer. I felt like I had carried that prayer in my heart into the battle.

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Post by Guest »

Thanks NewMoonDaughter and Anna for your replies. I've asked the Mother archetype, who is fierce as well as gentle, to help me "hiss" at this coworker and to use the words that She gives me (thanks for reminding me of this story, Anna). I appreciate your story and your bold action, NewMoonDaughter, and I ask Mother to give me your courage. Bhakti

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NewMoonDaughter
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Post by NewMoonDaughter »

Hello Bhakti.
I hadn't realized I would inspire you. I thought this kind of behavior I described was something we'd like to eventually leave behind as we evolve. But in thinking about it again, I can see how it is also useful, appropriate, even wonderfully radiant and divine in its own way. It seems some of us have a fierce warrior's calling that we can tap into when needed. I had long been out of touch with mine because I had discarded it at the insistence of another abusive person. I guess it had inconvenienced her too. Now I'm learning to accept it and get comfy with it again, and those who like to exploit my kindness are losing interest.

I think it's like Anna said... no matter what else is going on, it's all about what you carry in your heart... empathy and compassion and love, and learning to trust and keep awareness of that, even while in a battle. I still think zoofence(Stefan) gave good advice too about how to hold that vision.

Thanks for the good regards and prayers. You have a kind heart. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as well. May you also find your courage and strength, always walking in divine guidance.

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anna
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It's about courage

Post by anna »

Thinking about the difficulty that folks have in confronting others about their inappropriate behavior, got me to reminiscing about my own struggle with speaking out and forthrightly, risking the discomfort caused by other's disapproval of my own behavior, and around it goes, endlessly holding us captive to each other's opinions of our behavior.

When I worked through this, I realized that it all came down to the courage to stand alone, the ability to take a position that was right for me, but perhaps "unpopular" or discomforting to others, and thus risk my own "position" in the flock, or herd. It was all about the courage to risk one's very survival: if we depend upon the herd to protect us from harm, (which, there is no doubt about it, we do!), then to stand aside and risk the herd's disapproval, or even rejection (however big or small that herd may it - it can consist of just one other, of course), was a herculean task, and one which required enormous courage.

This is not a conditioned feeling - this settling in quietly amongst the group, it is an instinct, a survival mechanism built into the species, and serves us well in times of danger. (It is also what allows each of us to permit the atrocities throughout human history against our very neighbors, not to mention nations of people). This protective mechanism coincidentally stifles individual evolution, except in a physical sense by means of a survival of the fittest, and keeps us captured within the group. (Of course, perhaps the concept of survival is limited to the physical, and once we realize that, then perhaps only then does courage step in and we remove ourselves, or transcend, that imperative? Hmmm, interesting thought.)

Anyway, my own personal struggle with allowing myself to stand upright and often alone, to risk censure, to know my position threatened my acceptance by the group, to appear strong, independent, and perhaps even confrontational because of that, took many, many years, and still surfaces. And yet I know that all the great minds, the true spiritual giants, stood apart, had confrontations with those who disagreed with their position, indeed, in some cases, were killed because of it, and required of each of them enormous courage, and the capacity to stand firm. This takes, therefore, amongst any true spiritual seeker similar courage - it requires that we stand apart, and stand firm, and often, requires that we confront others who attempt to bring us down and back into the herd. It is not easy, but it is doable.

Bhakti
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Post by Bhakti »

I wanted to give a follow up to my difficulty with my coworker. A few weeks ago, I did confront her. I asked if I could speak with her and she told me she was too busy at the moment. When I told her it would take only a minute or two, she refused. My next action really took courage. I then told her that if she would talk with me that so that we could find a way to work more amiable together that I was going to go to the owner of the store and talk with him about my problem. She said that she had planned to do the same.

Thankfully—and this is how the Universe or the One blesses us each moment—the manager of the store overheard part of this conversation and talked with each of us separately and then together. He asked each of us what our problem with the other was. He also said that he didn't realize that I had an ongoing problem. He usually lets us work things out for ourselves, but if we can't, he intervenes. I spilled my guts out and he listened without judging me. I was grateful for this.

When my coworker and I met with him, which I thought was brilliant on the manager's part, he asked us to tell each other what we both felt about our working together. We then both acknowledged that we saw the other person's side of the story and we both apologized. My coworker also asked me to hug her. Wow!!

Now, we not only work amiably together but we talk, laugh, joke, and cry about other things in our lives. She realizes that I'm not a threat to her position and I realize that her behavior is how she operates and she didn't mean anything harmful to me. But not she operates differently toward me and I accept and respect her graciously. I also now trust our relationship. What a boon I've received from this hardship and pain in my life!

Thank you all for your assistance and support. It has given me the courage to stand up to my punny little self! Bless you, Bhakti

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Neo
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Post by Neo »

A happy ending. Yea! Somene should make a movie of your story. Reading the nwspapers, I despair sometimes that there are anyreasonable people willing to reach reasonble solutions. You and your friend and your store mannger have resotred my confidence in humanity. Thank you.

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anna
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Post by anna »

Neo, I agree with your applause! It is lovely when folks talk to one another and work it out. Funny, how obvious that is, and yet how rarely folks are willing to be vulnerable enough to do so.

And Bhakti - one small step for mankind! Thank you for making the world a little sweeter!

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