The whole picture
Thoughts to ponder...
Defense - the action of defending from or resisting attack. Shielding, guarding.
Defensiveness is something I have mastered throughout my life. And this isn't a good thing. I defend my defensiveness as expressing my truth, expressing my loving intention, expressing the work I AM doing behind the scenes. So why should I let others tell me I'm not doing enough, I'm not being supportive, I'm not trying? It's something I find incredibly hard to wrap my head around...it's like someone telling me I'm actually a unicorn, and me having to just hear that? (Although...how coooool!) I think I'd make a pretty sweet unicorn 😬😬😬
So I've been reflecting on this. A lot. I've been asking for guidance, for understanding, for the ability to create space. And guidance came. Defence means we are being attacked, or in opposition to someone, therefore me defending my truth still says "we are not on the same team".
Processing the opinions of others is TOUGH, oh boy is it tough, when you know your intentions, your capacity, your truth. So how on earth do we stomach the accusations without the hurt and the need to defend? Maybe we commit to space. Followed by compassion. Followed by careful selection of words (because you cannot pull those bad boys back into your mouth) that include the appropriate tone and genuine inquiry into what this other person may have H O P E D for - I used the words hoped for here because needs are well...going to affect how we hold ourselves up - our basic human needs, but our hopes, well they are our desires. Our ideals. Maybe they turn into our expectations.
After several conversations with @dalbyandco on our recent holiday, he worded this perfectly. We can desire anything we want. But unless the other person in the relationship is aware of those specific desires, we cannot put expectation and our own disappointment on them. It's true. Just because we want or desire or expect something from our partner, our friend, our colleague, our family, doesn't mean they are able to provide that - whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually.
We enter in professional relationships with clear expectations from our employer, both on a basic operational level and in fulfilling and representing a particular side of their business, their creation. When we slip up, we sometimes have to sit, and absorb that feedback (rightly or wrongly) and it would be rare to curse and defend and attack - because our JOB is at RISK. Yet in human relationships, without such contracts in place, without such clear expectations of one another, without such clear and precise requirements like show up at this time, wear this uniform, be progressional and represent my brand well, without too much RISK - it's a tangled mess of complexity, of swallowing our truth, of absorbing our hurt, of being more than you have available but still not enough to satisfy. Human relationships are TOUGH.
We are in a relationship with everyone around us. We are also in relations with nature, with the person processing our shopping, with the other drivers on the road. But the depth in all of these relationships varies from superficial with great understanding to deep and potentially little understanding of what that relationship needs to survive and desires to fulfill.
So how do we know what is required, and how do we step from defence to the same team - we are all on the SAME team. We reconnect to ourselves. We reconnect to nature - doing these 2 things alone would invite space and perspective back in. From there we begin the practice of processing the opinions of others - not defending our own actions and beautiful intentions, but processing (understanding) the reason for that opinion. Understanding the part we played. The careful selection of words, and tone to enquire, and the reminder that you can do all of this, and sometimes STILL not meet the needs of others. Defence is resistance is FEAR. Space is compassion is LOVE. Be love. Respectful, compassionate, same team LOVE.