What do you do when someone close to you makes a choice that you feel is not true for them, but they are convinced it is? It could be with your partner, sibling, teenage son or daughter or a close friend. How do you handle that disagreement… with love?
We often see things as a choice between Right and Wrong, but there is also Truth.
The most loving thing we can do at any time is to express the Truth of what we feel, but it is not loving if our own expression is laced with our reaction to their choice, or with our need to maintain a good relationship, or simply with our need to avoid being hurt.
When we express an absolute truth with love, we are offering someone an opportunity to see things differently and move out of their comfort zone, but they may react if they feel they are being judged. The disagreement comes when they are convinced that their opinion is the absolute truth, because it’s what they have experienced in the past and therefore what they believe to be true.
So… how do we break the impasse?
If we compromise and hold back our expression to avoid a reaction, we are slipping back into our own comfort zone. We can numb ourselves to what is going on, ‘forget’ that we disagreed, and appear to support their choices just to be ‘nice,’ but that is not love. That is not supporting them to feel Truth and it does absolutely nothing for our evolution or theirs.
When we both are complicit in this game of ‘let’s pretend’ we are both denying Truth.
How can we change this?
We cannot draw on any outside sources because anything we say that comes from outside ourselves is purely mental and so can be argued with. We all have our own authority and inner knowing within our own bodies.
If we live in such a way that we are sensitive to what our body is feeling, then we can be aware of subtle shifts of energy that happen as situations arise, and we can express these. Sometimes we can sense what is going on in another person’s body that they may not be feeling for themselves at that time and we can choose to express what we have felt.
Before we say anything, we need to let go of the need to be ‘right’ and be open to all possibilities. We all learn things in our own time and everybody needs the space to make their own choices with no judgement, no attachment, and no pictures or ‘hope’ of a better outcome from us.
When we can offer a holding space for others, they have an opportunity to reconnect back to themselves and can make different choices in their own time. We can provide a loving reflection for them through the quality of the way we live more than any words we might say.
It’s not loving to hold back what we feel and if we do speak, it cannot be laced with any judgement or they may react, so we need to do our best to be sure we are well supported, well nourished, well rested and tender in our movements so that what we feel is a truth can be expressed and shared with the other.
Anything we express from emotions – with our own reaction or with judgement – is harming, not healing. If we are not totally connected to our body, our minds can go around and around in circles, working us into a state of mental chaos that we can’t see our way out of. We may then move into blaming the other person instead of feeling inside ourselves first and observing what is truly going on.
Instead of going around in circles, we could use more discernment with our expression: we are not perfect but we can learn from our experiences. If we don’t say anything, no-one learns anything, although sometimes it is more appropriate to say nothing and simply offer a loving space for people to work things out for themselves.
So, back to the original question of, “How do you handle a disagreement with love?”
The answer is simply to be in your body, feel what is there to be expressed, and feel if it needs to be expressed in that moment. Or we can stay respectfully silent and simply provide a tender, loving, holding space with no judgement while allowing the other to evolve in their own time.
By Carmel Reid, a student of life