Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Push me, Pull you

Inspired by my dear friend, Beth Chapman's wonderfully thought provoking post, Saying Yes in her Hope's Breath blog, here I am a while later, with the thoughts a-whirling. What is it that we do, that dance of aggression one moment, magnificent dismissal the next, yet another time rushing in with earnest enthusiasm, all with an eye towards creating an exchange of energy. "I'm right, you're wrong." "Don't do that, do THIS." "That's nice, but let's change it." Someone always wants and needs to be holding the upper hand. That phrase, by the way, "getting the upper hand" is derived from...a GAME, people!

"Having the upper hand is one such expression which originated with the advent of the game of baseball. In order to determine which team would bat first, a player from each team would come forth. One player would hold the lower end of the bat and the player from the other team would place his hand above it. They would continue alternating hands this way until the last hand on the bat would be the upper hand and that team would get to bat first, having got the upper hand." The Tribune

How's that for being as triumphantly "right" as any euphemism can be?! It is the epitome of "one-upping" and underscores how we so often look at life as a competition. Personally, I have never been competitive with others. In fact, I find it to be a very unpleasant situation to be in when another person practically sprouts fangs and salivates in delight at the opportunity to beat someone else down "in friendly competition". There is nothing "friendly" about that "I win, so you must lose" mindset, and it doesn't foster anything positive that I have ever witnessed.

As always, I take a bit of time to get to the point, and my point is, we're always in motion. Saying "yes" or "no" to anything, any situation, anyone, causes a reaction. Entropy ensues. You don't stick a glass in mid-air, release it and walk away thinking it will hang suspended, do you? Of course, not; you recognize the glass will fall, hit the ground and shatter, spilling contents, requiring cleaning of broken shards that might injure, messy liquids that can stain. That is a very good analogy for our daily actions.

Our "yes/no" responses to every moment cause such reactions....sometimes there are broken shards of ourselves to pick up, attempt to repair, or recognize that they are best left broken and discarded. Other "yes/no" responses cause proverbial wounds and blood to spill and leave a stain or scar. We tidy up as best we can, of course, neaten it up, slap on a bandage and keep moving forward. Sometimes the wound heals in a practically invisible manner, other times there is a dramatic mark left behind to note the drama that occurred.

The "push me, pull you" part of life is what presents moments of discovery, wonder, beauty. Recently, I was involved in a work-related drama that had been brewing for a couple of weeks. My Higher Mind recognized this immediately and began to communicate warning signs via dreams and those "feelings" of intuition we all experience. I'm happy to say that I recognized all of the above and kept mental note while also continuing to live my life.

The situation came to an abrupt head with absolute boat loads of drama just dying to happen, to come crashing down and shatter and splash, cut, gouge and destroy. Years ago, I would have gotten caught up in the drama, I would have allowed myself to get sucked into the negative pool, all with sincere intent to "fix" the whole mess. I would have been affronted and determined to defend my reputation. Fortunately, with age comes wisdom and a calmer approach. These days, and with this situation in particular, the absolutely wonderful part was that I simply didn't engage beyond the necessary interaction to put a swift end to said drama. I was also given the gift of one friendly face in the whole bundle of personalities who embraced my own mindset of stepping back from the dramatic overtones and finding a rational solution to the situation.

Rather than falling into the typical, "Oh no, this is awful, the sky is falling, I must fix it!" mentality, and thus, driving myself into a frenzy of worrying and eventually making myself physically ill, I just recognized the drama for what it was. An attempt to be the top hand on the baseball bat - a determination to win at all costs, regardless of the fallout or the possible victims. There was definitely a negative result that I personally experienced, but it had already happened weeks ago and I had dealt with it, come to peace with and about it and had already moved on to newer, better, more positive endeavors. The other actors in this particular drama were still stuck in the old energy, still very invested in playing the drama up to the highest levels possible.

The good news is, I weathered the storm as though it were less than a single raindrop on a sunny day. I am still quite captured and captivated by the true simplicity of this whole thing. "Push me, pull you" can become a person's singular identity if they choose it to be so. A neverending saga of dramas, arguments, jockeying for power and position, always fighting to have the final word. OR, "push me, pull you" can become a different dance of energy where you choose to flow in a form of cooperation that actually turns out to be a more true example of success. Some might call it passive resistance, or if you want to be completely negative, call it passive aggressive behavior...that psychological darling of a catch-phrase.

I choose to see it, claim it, identify it as STRENGTH. Rather than engaging in a squabble full of needless drama, I chose to acknowledge the issues, state my opinions in a professional manner, stay cheerful and upbeat and refuse to be sucked into the morass of negativity. To be honest, the reactions were borderline comical, and I do not say that in a snide manner. I heard true perplexity in the voices of those I was speaking with as they grappled with someone who would not engage in their carefully crafted scenario. I could see it clearly for what it was, yet I chose to hold on to the wonderful, positive energy that has been flowing around me and saturating my Life Path in the last several months. Mark Twain, he of wry, understated humor, said it best, I think:

"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."

This is not to say I was laughing at these people. It is to indicate that I chose to not be sucked into a needless tangle of negative energy when we were dealing with a moot point to begin with. In light of this fact, the "push me, pull you" dance really couldn't take place, but as we all know, there are those souls who will determinedly create something tangible where it doesn't exist, just for the sake of stewing in that negativity. I chose to flow with them, rather than push against or pull away from them. This is key, my friends. It is a sister to the analogy of when one door closes, another opens. Think about it. If that door is closed and locked and you don't have the key, you can rattle the door knob, push against it, kick the fool out of it and you'll never get it to open. Isn't it easier to just turn away, glance about you and see that, oh, look there...an open doorway is steps away!?

I am not suggesting abandoning a situation and leaving loose ends that you are responsible for - I am saying to give a difficult situation a fair amount of attention while maintaining a cheerful mien, a positive focus on all the good things surrounding you. Do this and you flow with the energy. No struggle is necessary and no harm comes to anyone. You flow in cooperation because you are maintaining focus on the lightness, the good, the positive, the purposeful. As a result, the drama and negativity will part around you in a smooth flow of cooperation, parting as water does over an obstacle and flowing onward down the river. The obstacle is left behind and the water goes rushing merrily onward. That is what I experienced this week and it was glorious!

Yes, the situation was frustrating and annoying. It was completely unnecessary, the way it was handled. There was real opportunity for the whole thing to have lasting and negative fallout on me, personally, in my small town, had I chosen to engage and go in with guns blazing. What defines us, in the end, is how we choose to react to a given set of circumstances. I chose laughter. I chose light. I chose to flow with energy rather than push against, pull at, kick doors or stir up dissent. In southern terms, we call it "picking your battles" and that is most likely also a euphemism that is widespread. Some things merit aggressive action; in my opinion, this was not one of those moments.

Perhaps I have strayed far and wide from my friend Beth's original blog post, and that is okay. That's the beauty of blogging - we cause sparks of inspiration to flare brightly from one another. In fact, when I think about it, it is another beautiful example of flowing with energy, grasping that spark of inspiration and moving it forward in perhaps a completely unexpected direction and application. You will read this article and have your own thoughts, reactions and opinions and the flow of energy will continue. That makes me smile!
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog


Beth Chapman said...

Like the flower that reaches for the sun through concrete, neither pushing nor pulling, flowing with what it has - its energy and roots.

You are to be applauded on many levels (and are) but the biggest smile is this strength from one with 'southern' DNA.

A beautiful addition to the stackable energy. Honored you could build from my tiny pebble.

Heather Conroy said...

Wow! I love being older and wiser. Beth's post really resonated with you and I can see why. Good choices you made here and what a shining light to others you must be. Your best self inspired and flowing with positive energy!

Healing Morning said...

Bethie, I still love the southern DNA comment!

Heather, I love being older & wiser too. It's just so much easier to not wind yourself into a tight knot of reactionary angst! Breathing, moving forward, interacting with others and seeing their unique beauty is so much lighter and joyful an experience. Thank you for your comment!

~ Dawn