As Long as There’s An Other …

… the rattlesnake must strike

I may not agree with you. Regardless of the width of the chasm separating us, why would I try to make you feel bad about your version of life? Wouldn’t that widen the gap, making it even more uncrossable?

The only reason I would try to overpower your idea is because I have little trust in mine. I would need to you validate mine by seeing how wrong you are. I wouldn’t be able to stand in my own truth while allowing you to stand in yours.

When we look closely. we see that all ideas and opinions have no ground upon which to stand. Some stand more cleanly in inclusion while others tend to push away, to ban, ostracize, exclude. All are ways of being in the world.

Holding preference for inclusion is exclusive. Is not requiring others to grow up, to wake up and be happy exclusion? Does it matter that what we exclude are those who tend to exclude, who seem, to us at least, to survive on fear, on hate, on their way being the only way?

It is hard to stop, damn near impossible at times, and yet, does hating back, does getting angry heal our wounds? Maybe. It does seem to be part of the process. It seems to be required. It feels necessary to pluck up enough momentum for a course change, to alter the direction, to walk away, to leave what we have invested our hearts and souls in behind.

But once we have set upon the new does it do any good to drag the world we have left behind us? We do that when we hang onto anger, when we continue to exclude.

It took me years to truly walk away from my last relationship, years of not-so-subtle … even though unintentional … bad-mouthing, hanging on, living in fear, peeking around every corner with one eye constantly on the rearview mirror. Fear had me. It lived in my cells.

Only recently have I been able to truly relax. I no longer expect to see him walking through my door uninvited but that isn’t the whole of it. Writing this now brings back old memories, a touch of anxiety, a bit of tightness, but that’s okay. I can be with it as it is now. As the sense of self diminishes, as the reality of what this is integrates into all aspects of this I am, the need to protect and defend loses its edge.

As long as we believe in the separate self, as long as we don’t fully grok what this is, what we are, we need others to agree with us. We need to know we are safe, that others won’t threaten our status quo, our sense of self that we have so carefully constructed. That’s why we strike like a rattlesnake, sunning himself on a hot rock, that we carelessly disturbed. 

It doesn’t matter what I write. Someone will be disturbed, disturbed enough to strike back. Taking it personally seems to be part of the human gig, defending the self the point of existence for most.  We only defend when we are threatened. It’s one of the easiest shadows to spot, the slightly hidden inner trigger, the insatiable urge to disagree.

It’s always about us — not about an other — the other person who is imprecise, or arrogant, who comes off all wrong, who is inept, inbred, insane or just inane. The trigger lies within us, not them. We react. We get angry. We stew in our juices and often don’t let it go for longer than healthy. It doesn’t matter who started it, who said what. It ends with us. 

On the absolute level there is no other. There is not two. That feels abstract although it isn’t. On the level of appearance, there appears to be more than one, but that is an appearance. The only experience that is real for you is yours. It is your experience of another, your interpretation of another, your perception … and you feel them all within. There is no way to verify the existence of an other, let alone the validity of ideas and thoughts.

When you react, you aren’t reacting to what another says or does. You are reacting to your perception of what they said and did, the stakes you put in the ground. In essence, you are fighting yourself, badmouthing yourself, hating yourself. When you disagree you are disagreeing with yourself.

Be kind if you can. You’ll thank yourself.

6 thoughts

      • The first clap was for this line: “The only reason I would try to overpower your idea is because I have little trust in mine. I would need to you validate mine by seeing how wrong you are. ” And later, as I read further, I sense the journey that took you from: “peeking around every corner with one eye constantly on the rearview mirror” and I recognize this journey well, and appreciate the way that you have earned the understanding you are describing here, and sharing so generously. : ) Namaste, friend.

      • Thank you. Only someone who’s walked those steps would understand that comment. I see that you recognize the journey and am bowed humbly to a sister of the path. Amaya

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