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
Having The Right to React?
Why Do I Do That?
There is a very strong need for us as human- beings to be right and if there is a right then there is also a wrong and while we stay in this mind set of right and wrong as you say Carmel there is no possibility of the knowing the truth of any situation. And to me we have set ourselves up in this way to avoid truth because we want to stay in the comfort of right and wrong because there is no evolution in this.
I know I have done this I go into ‘what ever’ energy and give up with an attitude of what’s the use.
‘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.”
I feel it’s a very old pattern of withdrawal now it has been exposed I can pick apart why I go into this negative Nancy attitude.
Allowing people the space to work things out by themselves is something I have to do in my work a lot. I can express how I feel and they have the right to take notice or not. Sometimes we have to fall flat on our face in order to learn something if unwilling to listen to another. There’s nothing wrong with this, just one way of learning.
I agree with you Leigh its feeling where the other person is at in their stage of evolution if they are willing to hear or not. Or, it could be that there is a pattern someone goes into which gets played out and then it just to observe the game being played and not react. Often when this occurs I read the energy and say nothing as I can feel the energy wants to grab me and turn something into an argument.
Learning not to take things personally is a work in progress, but knowing that the energy we allow through us dictates how we express enables me to feel more clearly and I am less likely to react.
Dealing with a disagreement can mean speaking up and being frank with someone but in a loving way. At times humour may be what’s needed as the person in question responds best to that approach and it opens the door for an honest discussion. Sometimes saying nothing but dealing with our own reactions to make sure we are not harbouring any negative thoughts towards another.
Yes, when we express in a loving way and with understanding rather than judgement, the outcome may be very different, as long as we don’t have a picture of what that will look like.
Sometimes I have found the best way to deal with a disagreement is to simple not say anything, and let our movements do the talking.
Living in a way that shares the True-intimacy (letting people in) with True-appreciation, as both (Intimacy and Appreciation) exist as twin sisters and ‘can-not’ be separated and thus the pre-existing Joy or Soul-full-ness deepens in us and shares our Love allowing another to evolve, through their own choice as you have shared Carmel.
Simple appreciation of what comes through another eliminates judge-ment and allows the space for their evolution.
And comes from the Joy we are already living and thus we are also living with the innate Love, Truth, Harmony and Wisdom of our Soul.
I have learned with the years that ending up in a disagreement is like a dead end or like a prison. There is no coming out of it by standing by the oppositions and even one giving up and follow the other is not a true expansion of the situation. Nothing is learned. There has to come up a 3rd element that gives focus on a world beyond. It is like the 2 people who have a disagreement are A and B and they build a line. This is 2-dimensional. With bringing in the 3rd element – as you said Carmel, ‘we both are not true’ – and open up for MORE to become aware of comes the expansion and the liberation so to speak of the prison. When i get stuck in any way, I now know: there is more to discover. What an opportunity! And how amazing if I can go on this journey together with the other.
When two people are committed to being in truth, rather than being in the justification of who is right and wrong then it can be easy to solve any disputes or arguments with love. With neither person having this as a fundamental foundation then I’d say it’s almost impossible to bring a quality of love to a situation.
Yes, when we try to justify or defend our position by being in the right, we are on a hiding to nothing. Giving the other person space and allowing them their choice frees up what may have come between them.
“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 no longer hold an investment in being ‘right’ we can let go and allow the other to hold their opinion while we express ours.
A great philosopher once said: “The greatest form of love is allowing people to make choices” (and not judge them). Very hard to do.
We are all free to make our own choices and sometimes there is a greater learning in making a ‘wrong’ choice as we get to understand a deeper truth.
As long as we don’t bash ourselves for making the ‘wrong’ choice but use it as a learning opportunity, a work still in progress for me.
Sometimes, giving someone the space to ‘make mistakes’ can be a very supportive thing to do. If we try and rescue, what can be learned?
“Anything we express from emotions – with our own reaction or with judgement – is harming, not healing.” This is something we should be taught from young because it not only harms another, it also harms ourselves and is rarely noticed till the consequence in our body is far more complicated than the original moment of reaction.
Yes I agree Lucy teachings like this are so important for us to know and learn about and essential for our wellbeing and positive relationships and something we should be taught at from young.
I so agree Lucy. There are so many opportunities in primary school to teach some basic ways of living that will be supportive all through life. We don’t make the most of that stage of life…. yet…..
I know for me when I’m overly involved in another’s life it can sometimes be an avoidance to take responsibility for all the things I need to look at in myself.
” 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.”
Words of great wisdom thank you Carmel
Yes, good point, does what you want to express actually need to be expressed. There are times when it does and there are times when it doesn’t. Stepping away from having a need to express offer the space to discern which one is called for.
Yes I love this too. Honouring the body’s messages and its own wisdom is a great tenet to hold in life.
The moments when I am truly free of judgement are so exquisitely sweet and free; all the love I naturally feel for people is there to be expressed untainted.
If we look below the surface of a disagreement, we often feel the hurt and upset in self or another. Our responsibility is to respond in a way that expands awareness, not fans the flames. It helps to have a clear sense of who we are and what we bring to situations.
Yes and that comes with practice doesn’t it, remembering to not run away from what we feel in our body but to embrace the opportunity to deepen our awareness.
What most supports me in a disagreement is looking the situation with the other as an opportunity to deepen in my relationship with myself. Did I judge them? Did I hold any kind of investment? Did I react to what they were reflecting me? Is there something that I didn’t realised yet? Am I offering myself the space and the permission to express what I feel? Did I communicate from my head or from my heart? Is there any resistance to understand what I offer or receive? Can I hold the other in brotherhood even when there is no encounter with them?… The list of questions might go on and on, hand to hand with the surrender I allow myself to find the answer to all of them, and wih this, suddenly the understanding that comes from the acceptance of any form, the openness to continue learning and the truth that is always found in my heart.
It is super simple yes. The more I honour myself the more I honour others. And my experience is that there is no end to this, as in there is endless depth and development. If I can attend to my relationship with myself without judgement then I am not going to taint others with judgement. This brings me to the simplicity and significance of responsibility.
To be able to express from love one needs to be free of all attachment to outcome and know that what is communicated is for the healing of all
“When we both are complicit in this game of ‘let’s pretend’ we are both denying Truth.” I have so been here many many times before, when my hurts jump in the way of reality, oh well we are all learning, and blogs like these offer an amazing reflection.
I know of times when I’ve feared to say what I know is there to be said. I’ve let my need to not ‘rick the boat’ or upset someone and then feared the reaction get in the way. But then I remember to hold the other in love and us both as equal, then what is said comes from the communication that we are equally amazing. If I observe without judgement, there is space for them to come to their own choices. And if they react I can feel that’s their prerogative but it needn’t impact me internally.
“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.” This is gold Carmel – and so true. Expressing our truth with love feels so very different from wanting to be “right”
Beautifully expressed Carmel! I absolutely connect to your sharing. Thank You.
Great blog Carmel. I came back to study it and all the comments today. As others have said a much needed discussion, and I enjoyed from the whole expansion and conversation. I wrote this a few days back, before returning to it, that just felt to leave here:
“Everything that I complaint about in my relationships, everything that I complaint about feeling separated from the rest and the “seemingly” the lack of support, I have created it. But that is no reason for not holding me in great love and respect, and expressing what needs to be expressed. I am learning how to stop, feel and connect before expressing. I am learning to work with and allow space. I am learning to feel the inner knowing… I am reawakening to a different way of relating to others.. what if I don’t relate from the need to say something, as it will make it imposing. What if I just make the space to feel the group, the person first and in that space I allow myself to feel what is needed, what is the meaning, potential and purpose of that connection, that moment.. it could be something very small, it doesn´t matter.. but what if I just forget about everything I know and I just simply allow myself to feel and feel the pull inside. Why I don´t first learn to hear, understand, no preconceptions, no agendas… What if I make it about feeling, reading, understanding and honouring the person in front first and foremost. Woudn´t that be honouring me too, the truth within me I have been neglecting for a very, very long time?”
Every moment is an opportunity to go deeper with our care, understanding and tenderness. No amount of ‘you’re wrong and I’m right’ is ever going to help anyone see the light.
So true Joseph. Sticking stubbornly to our beliefs and making the other ‘wrong’ gets us nowhere. whereas expressing our truth with love gives a very different feel.
And when we expose the trap of ‘right or wrong’ it is super clear that we need to let it go.
It hurts to see and feel others choose to harm themselves – but if we speak from this upset we just add to the abuse. It’s crucial we accept and surrender to the way the world currently is and also our own behaviour.
Thanks Joseph, so true about accepting and surrendering, there is a much bigger picture than the small snapshot of others we allow ourselves to see. Most people also want to be loved for who they are, not seen for their choices, and that love is incredibly healing when we are seen and met in our essence.
“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,” This is a forever developing journey I know there are times when I react and times when I deliver whats needed with love and truth, making this a consistency and not going into to judgement is super important.
Thank you Carmel. There is a key strategy here and that is to ensure the way we live honours the physical body so we can read what is energetically needed in any given moment.
A much needed discussion. So many times we may get into situations whereby there is a difference in opinion.
Do we force our point with the need to be right?… which brings in a force of supremacy and anger, or do we hold ourselves from a point of stillness & holding space and calmly speak what our body is wanting to express from truth and love. I know for me the latter feels so much more expanding in my body.
It is a beautiful thing to know how to respond to another in any given moment. This knowing comes from our alignment with God and nothing else. Not driven by any desire to be right, we offer love and express in a way that inspires and brings greater understanding for self and other.
And despite our pretence that we don’t recognise love, we all actually do because how else would we be able to do such a masterly job at avoiding it if we didn’t have a good idea of what we were avoiding in the first place.
We have been brought up with the belief that having disagreements or different views is not loving. This is simply not true – it’s actually the energy of supremacy and anger that we let through in reaction that taints it all. Keep our true steadiness and anything is possible.
If we are honest it’s easy to tell when we are speaking out to bring harmony, greater understanding and true love or attempting to win an empty victory. The latter always comes with a horrible force.
There is a huge difference between ‘speaking out to bring harmony, greater understanding and true love or attempting to win an empty victory.’ And it is felt in the body, we can speak out from truth still feel settled, whilst to speak out from reaction brings tension and ugliness, borne from a ‘horrible force’
A much needed discussion on the absolute love that can be delivered even when tension arises.
Tension scribbles over the top of love but it doesn’t obliterate it, it just makes us lose sight of the fact that it’s constantly there.
Sometimes responding in haste to something written or said can worsen the situation and cause harm. Where there’s potential for conflict, and if uncertain, better to pause (even overnight) and feel before expressing or writing. Often a droplet of wisdom comes in that allows us to express what needs to be said with love, elevating understanding for self and other.
Wise words Kehinde. Often when we react and do or say things in haste we can come to regret them very quickly. Learning to pause and support a situation by checking in with myself first – checking to see why I am in reaction, allowing myself to come back to a place of connection, supports then with a much more loving expression. In supporting myself in this way I am much better able to support the other without investment either.
Yes I agree responding or rather reacting in haste can always make a situation worse something I have experienced a while ago from myself and also another with me. It is always better to stop, take time out (walk away) reflect and evaluate and then express from a place of clarity rather than reaction.
A great point Kehinde. Taking time to feel before expressing is always valid. However our body will express energetically first, regardless of what we may then say or write.
One way to handle a disagreement with love is to separate person from words and actions, which may not necessarily be theirs, but comes through them. It is possible to read an email or blog disagree with it’s content or way of expression and see beyond the words, to something deeper for example a childhood or family hurt, resentment, or long held grievance. And in some cases, the true response is to not respond because the person is not communicating with you, but expressing a hurt or much worse.
I so love this, “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. ” it is is so true the more we let go, don’t judge and just love someone is when the magic really happens.
Last night a friend and I went into proving ourselves to be right, there was no consideration of what the other person was saying just an absolute determination to prove ourselves right. And the funny thing is that we both came up with evidence to back ourselves and yet neither of us was the least bit interested in looking at the other person’s ‘evidence’. It feels to me that when we are trying to prove ourselves to be right that we never reach the point that we are trying to reach’ i.e. the other person saying ‘yes, you know what, you are right’.
This being right and wrong always exposes itself because we go round in circles justifying and defending and never actually listening or reading the situation.
So true. Not difficult to see. It does really expose itself, yet we grab it as a dog grabs his bone. Surrender & LET GO. Striving to being right is such a waste of time, in the best scenario it gives us a very brief and supreme pleasure, but at a high price: love and connection are lost.
Great blog. So with this ‘How do you handle a disagreement with love?’ to me as well as what you have shared it is seeing and holding the other as an equal in the same love I hold myself in. The moment I think or see another as lesser or greater than me then I know I am off track.
This is a simple ‘formula’ that I love too. Thank you Vicky.
Being able to see where another is at, without getting entangled in their emotions and expressing your truth simply and clearly supports them to find their own way.
Not reacting to their emotions and expressing without attachment to an outcome allows the other person the space to explore their options.
Not having an investment in an outcome creates space and allows more open communication. It also means we stay true to ourselves and are less likely to be manipulated.
If only we gave each other more space then we would all heal so much quicker but we don’t. We hem each other in with our emotions, reactions, expectations, ideals and more. We interfere with the potential that space offers by filling it with all manner of debris.
I have felt that I choose to not give others space or give space to the situation because I want to own the whole process. I unconsciously feel that I am in-charge, that I have the right to fix it on that precise moment. It is a lack of humbleness or inability to surrender, let it go (without putting my point across) and give space.
Wanting to be ‘right’ is a hook I’ve a attached to in the past for sure. Holding on to fixed positions, intensifies arguments and pushes us apart from one and other. Feeling the space of listening, observing, without judging, staying silent if there is nothing to add is more likely to deepen relationships.
Wanting and trying to be right closes down space as do so many other behaviours and anything that closes down space greatly reduces our access to Universal Intelligence because space is Universal Intelligence. And unfortunately most of us live in a way that almost constantly reduces space which is why we are so ignorant to what life is truly about.
Little do we know the harm caused when we shut out another or put them down in pursuit of being right, or because it is ‘what we do’. In doing so we also reduce ourselves and another and deny ourselves ‘ access to Universal Intelligence’.
We are Universal Intelligence, shut ourselves down and so too do we shut down Universal Intelligence. But, open ourselves up and hey presto Universal Intelligence is able to flow through us once more. The simplicity and magic of life just blow me away.
In a recent workshop we did an experiment where a group talked about another – who was out of the room at the time. It was shocking to understand that those vibrations could be felt by the absent person who reported back on re-entry, be they ‘positive’ talk by others or ‘negative’. How much harm gossip about others does.
Indeed – any form of contraction closes down space. This in turn over time, can leave more hurts in the body (sadness, anger, frustration and so on) that then have to be worked on and cleared before we can get to that original form of contraction and why that happened in the first place. Understanding and feeling that everything in life is about energy and that we are vehicles of it, supports greatly in our awareness of what life is about, even in the imperfection that we are and in the recognition that contraction is always going to hit us in places.
We are walking frames through which one of two energies enters. The biggest contributing factor to our deeply ingrained and long held misconception of life is that we have fallen for the illusion that we are more than a frame for energy. Not only have we fallen for the illusion but we have totally and utterly immersed ourselves in it and almost our entire existence revolves around our belief that we are fleshy individuals who are living a human existence. We’re not, we’re moving frames through which energy pours. And currently the energy that is pouring through most of us is pranic, which is an energy that loves nothing better than the fact that we are choosing to live a lie and to deny the truth of who we all are.
So true Michelle. Contraction in the form of negative talk, whether it be from others or self-talk, harms everyone in the long run.
We get hooked into the “right and wrong” scenario, because as you all have been saying we dont give us the grace of creating a moment (space) in the middle of the argument to accept that our point of view is not going to be acknowledged and accepted. It could be true and important for us to express it, but never in that way (when truth turned into an investment). If it is being rejected by the other person, it doesnt matter the amount of force we call in to make sure we will be heard, it will never make the other accept. It is wiser to give up on all of that: stop, feel, accept and detach.
Being with myself is something I’m so aware of as preparation for when I am with others or even just the next moment. I’m coming to know checking out, even just as a reward in the evening after a long day (just this phrase is trying to justify how deserved the check is) is not an option if I want to be responsive in life.
I have always felt that you cannot change other people you can only change yourself if we understand ourselves I feel we then have more understanding for where others are at without judgement this allows them the space to make their own choices good or bad.
Gosh this letting go of the need to be right in a disagreement is a big one!…and one I am definietly still working on but I like your tips here how we can do this and when I have done this it has made a huge difference to how the conversation ends up and whether it turns into a fight or not!
The need to be right closes down space to a suffocating opening. Recently someone said something to me that I categorically knew to be wrong and felt myself propelled into a mission of proving myself right. My whole body seemed committed to the cause of being right, it was an all consuming feeling and one that I could feel was very slamming of the other person. There was a hard edge to it and it fuelled the illusion of the ‘them and us mentality’, rather than the truth of brotherhood.
After reading your blog I can see when I react I am in a way disagreeing with where someone is at, as I have an expectation which is essentially imposing how I think things should be.
Some people may look at this and say it is impossible to handle a disagreement with love .. like when you disagree there is anger, hurt or upset etc but I know from experience of both that disagreeing with love is possible holding both myself and the other in love and as an equal. It’s pretty cool to do.
Yes a disagreement does not have to be a fight or conflict it is simply a moment when a consensus or agreement has not been reached. We can still respectfully disagree without any judgement, drama, emotion, blame or righteousness.
The most valuable couple of things I have learnt in relationships is to be responsible for your own feelings: 1) Do not blame another and deal with what hurts before you express, so therefore 2) Give yourself space to feel what hurts by giving another space. It is the greatest understanding to allow yourself to feel what is true for you. “We all have our own authority and inner knowing within our own bodies.” This is what power means to me — knowing your truth and not holding it back. . there is nothing more rewarding.
‘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.’ In the fug of comfort it can be very hard to see the wood for the trees, as in my experience there is a lot of denial going on. I have found when I do this there is an unsettlement in the body, a discomfort that never quite goes away – a feeling of being disempowered, or of being in reaction. Dead give aways as to where I am at. However when I do connect to truth and love, suddenly everything falls into place as my choices become clear and I can read much better what is going on. In this observation I find I am much better placed to bring more love through and much more empowered to observe any reactions in another without taking it on.
Yes, allowing space for observation and understanding means we once again, have a choice to judge and go into the pattern of justification to prove ourselves right and another wrong, or to simply understand another persons’ perspective and where it is coming from with no need to change it.
“The most loving thing we can do at any time is to express the Truth of what we feel”, I have to say that I don’t agree with this, I actually believe that there are many, many times when the most loving thing to do is to actually keep quiet. That’s not to say that I’m advocating lying, but I certainly wouldn’t express the truth of what I feel at all times.
One could even say that simply holding someone in love and understanding while staying silent is also a form of expressing the Truth.
I feel that it is important to express the truth to ourselves even if it is not appropriate or the right time to express the truth to another in the moment if they are not ready to hear it. I am someone who has spent much of her life in denial of the truth of what I am feeling. Learning to honour myself and to honour what I am feeling by nominating it (to myself) has supported me so much in feeling more self empowered and at ease in the relationship I have with myself.
Yes – sometimes the most profound form of loving expression is to give someone the space to simply feel. When we can support another in this way to come to their own understanding and awareness the learning is far more powerful. When I have been supported in this way the learning has gone deeper than if someone had simply told me something, especially if I wasn’t ready to hear it.
Truth is always an offering, it is never an imposition.
“We often see things as a choice between Right and Wrong, but there is also Truth”. And the truth is both right and wrong are completely arbitrary concepts, there is no truth in either of them.
Carmel, this is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is one to read again and again.
I have found that when i hold back in expressing how I feel about something it does not solve anything but simply delays the inevitable and builds up a resentment or tension that eventually bursts out further down the line. So much better to have a go at saying how we feel at the time (without reaction or judgement) in the long run.
Words of practical wisdom on a subject common in everyday life. Thank you Carmel.
With Truth there is no right or wrong or judgment – to express it with love from our inner-heart takes practice and perseverance.
“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” Truth expressed often shakes one’s comfort zone, which can feel threatening, yet if we are open to and willing to learn from what is being said it is always expansive and evolutionary.
This is really important for all to understand in that it is not loving for us to hold back in expressing how we feel HOWEVER and it is a huge HOWEVER how we express what we feel and how we are both with ourselves and the other person when expressing what we feel is super important, otherwise as you say, it then becomes harming instead of healing both for the person expressing and the person receiving this.
Super supportive blog Carmel. I am learning to stay in my stillness and read the situation and observe what the outplay is before speaking if needed- it is work in progress.
When we know a person isn’t ready or there’s nothing to say or add in a disagreement, lovingly remaining silent can be a holding response. This allows the other to be with themselves and reflect on what they have said or written.
Allowing another the space to reflect on their actions without adding to the discord is a truly loving response that can prevent a situation from escalating.
The essence of this is knowing that however another presents, what matters is not what they do, but how we respond. With willingness to hold another in space without judgement, we offer them an advance equal to our own.
“Anything we express from emotions – with our own reaction or with judgement – is harming, not healing” For me that is so true and therefore I am very aware of when to speak to others and how I speak to them. But sometimes I am so in reaction that I can not stop to express in that energy and so I have to deal afterwards with the harm I have produced in the body of the other and also in mine. That helped me more and more to not want to react anymore!
To simply allow another person to be is massive. It is something that so many of us struggle with, we constantly want to pull, push and mould people into certain positions dependant on our current view. A view I might add that changes considerably for most of us as we progress through life. This constant wanting and needing others to be somewhere where they’re not is quite absurd when you actually think about it and creates nothing but struggle for all parties involved. How much freer and easier it is to simply let go of the whole lot and just allow Life to be as it is. And this is not shirking responsibility by the way, far from it, it is simply surrendering to what is and allowing the what is to take it’s course unabated.
This was a lovely read, to understand that a disagreement can be an opportunity for deeper connection to the love we all are, thank you.
I agree John and indeed the whole of life is an opportunity “for deeper connection to the love we all are”, it’s just that most of the time we don’t take it. We skirt around on the surface, unconsciously resisting the opportunity to dive deeper into the belly of Life.
Great point you make here that in order to be steady and solid in our relationships and reduce those harmful reactions we need to support ourselves all the time throughout the day even all those little moments when we are not with others.
There may be many times throughout our day when we are technically not ‘with others’. But even if we live on a remote island off the top of Scotland we are all constantly in connection with others because there are actually no real dividing lines between us and the space all around us. Our eyes see the outline of things (including the outline of people) and we erroneously believe that everything is contained within the perimeter of that thing but it’s not true. We are all particles that bleed into everything else. One glorious mass of us all and all things. And that ‘mass’ is referred to by many as ‘God’.
Holding the space for someone without judgement is empowering and so inspiring when I have experienced it being applied to me. Having in the past often imposed my views on others, whether through speaking or body language, I am appreciating when I respond rather than react and what it reveals about how invested I am in certain situations where I still tend to react.
I agree I respond so much differently when someone presents something to me without judgement even if it is a challenge or difficult thing for me to hear.
“This blog makes so much sense. Spending time in our head and arguing from there serves no one. As you say Carmel “The answer is simply to be in your body,” Expressing from love – the only way…
Such timing. Just this very day I had a conversation with good friends, about ‘the elephant’ that had walked into the space of our friendship. I had been sitting in silence for a few weeks,, growing increasingly uncomfortable with my inability or unwillingness to speak about what was happening. I was aware that I was ‘afraid’ that there would be a reaction, someone would get their feelings hurt, the friendship might suffer a blow. So keeping quiet was my choice, until such time as being nice, ‘pretending’ started feeling worse than the risk of what being truthful might bring. We are still in process so I can’t report how it went but it was super supportive to read this article today.
When I start to ponder on how many of us prefer the ‘pretending’ (myself included) I would have to say that this pretty well sums up the majority. I have to agree with you Gayle – the keeping quiet starts to feel very uncomfortable as it begins to erode at my inner well being. The only way to go is to honestly express, hopefully without reaction, but even if it does elicit such a response in another the honest/direct/gentle expression of it leaves a whole lot more space in the body – inner well being in tact.
One has to look at oneself first before commentating upon another, as it always takes ‘two to tango’.
Sharing how you feel with no judgement, criticism or ‘soft soap’ gives another space to make their own choices.
This is such a great topic. In life it is so accepted to just express whatever we feel is right and the Truth from our perspective and we feel we have got the right to let people know our opinions and crush them if they don’t agree. But when we make it about love and care there is much more to consider than convincing someone of what we know is true, there is a true science to knowing when to say something and when not to say something. There is anyway much more conveyed by how we live than by what we say alone. Words can be false and as you called it ‘mental’ and have no truth in them from the person who is expressing them. I witnessed the other day a situation where someone apologised for getting angry at someone but the apology did not come with the energy of an apology, it was just words but it did not come with the person truly feeling how harmful the burst of anger had been to the other person and without seeing the mistake in that. It was great to observe this as it was obvious how the person who received this apology did not feel it and still went on with deciding to not be in contact with that person anymore as they did not want abuse.
So true L, we can say the words to comply with the etiquette but in energy are meaningless or better said empty.
Beautiful. None of us is the owner of truth. We all have the same access. Some are more allowing of it than others, but that does not nullify the fact. Letting go of this need for others to get it, and when to get it, liberate us all. I know this is not always easy.
A very supportive read. I know I shall read this many times and feel the wisdom that’s embodied here.
The moment we react, we have lost the connection and cannot in truth offer what is needed.
I agree Gabrielle, unless we are connected to ourselves and through that connection to ourselves streaming truth through our bodies then all we’re really streaming is chicken feed. And I know because I’ve spent a lifetime feeding chickens.
Reaction is the most common way many of us fall into when dealing with disagreements. Yet I’ve found when I stop, check in with myself about what I’m upset about, and create a bit of space before diving in with what I think ‘should’ be done, the heat is taken out of things. Thanks Carmel for raising this subject for our consideration.
Life as it is currently lived is absolutely chockers with disagreements, disagreements between couples, people, companies, institutions, states, nations and countries. There is a constant backdrop of disagreements. If we were to bring Carmel’s approach into these disagreements then we would be introducing love into all areas of our lives and that would change the world that we live in.
Carmel there is so much that I love about this article, it’s very concise, full of wisdom and relevant to us all are but a few of the things that I love This paragraph in particular really stood out to me “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”.
A great clear look at discussion and disagreement, Carmel. Once I would not have understood the different energies of reacting, responding or holding that are possible. Now I can also feel them quite differently in my body. If I slip up and start ‘telling’ or ‘reacting’, I immediately feel the shift in my body and it’s not pretty. Then I know I’ve dumped that energy on the other person! However when I stay with my own body, hold the space and really observe, it feels loving and yet grand beyond loving, for both bodies.
The key word here is love and doing this to the best of our ability without judgement, loving both ourselves and the other person and expressing how we feel. Something I am finding so much easier and so much lovelier to do rather than go into reaction, judgement or not saying anything at all. I am continually learning with this.
Beautifully shared, Carmel. As one who grew up in an argumentative home, considered this quite normal well into adulthood, it’s been a long road to relearning how to express from the authority of my own body and what I feel is true. It’s certainly something I’m still evolving but what has helped enormously is the reflection of others who do this so well. The more we each bring the love we are naturally, and to hold this with others with no judgement whatsoever, the more reflections that are out there – for all to feel and return to. Love this blog immensely.
Super blog Carmel. ‘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.’ This isn’t something I have mastered yet but when others have practiced this on me I have felt totally honoured and loved.
Holding space – with loving understanding – something I too am learning, rather than reacting.