Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Fight FOR

Fell asleep on the sofa last night, TV blaring, fireplace roaring, Christmas tree glowing. Woke this morning to a television evangelist preaching, and some things she said took root in my heart

Have to admit that my first response to ANY TV preacher is to turn them off. Can't say exactly why, but this morning I listened a moment before grabbing the remote. What I heard invited me to listen longer.

This woman's point was that any fight worth having is a fight FOR something, not a fight WITH someone or something. She pointed out that anytime you're fighting for your pride, you've already lost. How many times have I fought til I was exhausted just so the person I believed was wrong wouldn't be allowed to believe he or she was right? Couldn't begin to count. One of the preacher's points was that if you approach a situation with humility, the other person (the one in the wrong, you believe) thinks they've won. Her question was: So What?

In recent years as I've learned more about Buddhism and more about living in true peace, there have been so many, many situations where I've asked myself whether I'm practicing peace or being a doormat, so many situations where I've wondered if by refusing to fight over things that don't matter I'm simply giving in to people with louder voices and stronger opinions. After hearing this woman, my question to myself is: So What?

What a step forward it would be in my life if I could fight FOR others who can't fight for themselves: the homeless, the hungry, battered women, people living with disease of all sorts. Those are fights worth having. Fighting with my sister (and business partner) over how much more orange (her favorite color and my least) into the decor of the salon isn't just a waste of energy, it's stupid. I can't get past my emotional response to orange as representing anger. It makes me uncomfortable and I want her to respect my feelings as I try to respect hers. She wants me to finally "get" that orange is beautiful. So what?

She can fill the place with orange poinsettias next Christmas, too. Only next year, rather than seeing them as an act of agression on her part, I hope to notice their presence and ask myself, So What? I'm beginning to see that living in peace is much better than being right, and when that means letting another person believe they're right, it's a price worth paying.

Gotta go get ready. Running payroll today, always a good time. Not really. At least not for this non-numbers person, but it has to be done so I'd better get to it.

Blessings Be.


Mystic Wing said...

I really, really liked this one.

Ego to me seems like a sand castle that we're constantly trying to repair and solidify with more sand and water. It's such a relief to let go of that energy and let sand be sand.

It's really impossible to be insulted or hurt by others when you're no longer defending a castle of sand.

Great post. Merry Christmas, sis.

Marilyn said...

It's like that old saying..."Would you rather be right or happy?" I've often thought of that in argumentative moments...'cause fighting WITH/against people NEVER brings happiness, at least not in my experience. But fighting FOR what we believe in? Now THAT's something I can get passionate about. Good post.

Amber said...

Good message. These are the kinds of messages that really help a person live more fully, instead of all the "fire/brimstone" you get sometimes. My church is lke this, and I'm always thankful to have a chance to think deeper.

...This is such a good lesson to master. I often ask my clients this question when I was counseling..."This and that and this and that!!"..."So? But So what?" this is SUCH a simple idea...But it is so hard to get it! For me, too. But when you can really get it, it is SO powerful and freeing. So what? And? Is it the end of life, whatever issue it is? Is it WORTH our valuable energy? Hmm... good to think of things this way.


JessPDX said...

Thank you for that post, good timing. I just had a fight with my grandmother about my uncle and how he never makes any effort to connect with me. Its the same fight we've been having for years, me wanting her to see my perspective, her just not getting it and wanting to defend him (he never got along with mother, so...). Anyway, am I happier or more peaceful for engaging in this? No... Is she likely to get it any more than she did 5 years ago? No... Maybe we can just relax and have a nice visit.

Remiman said...

Getting it is easy.
Doing it takes diligent practice and reflective meditation.... to remind us.
Thanks for reminding me.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Let's let "So what?" and "Who cares?" be our mantras for 2007!