Looking down the barrel of a gun
Yesterday presented me with an opportunity to test myself. A moment presented itself where I was faced with someone on the phone who was not pleased with me. This became apparent a few seconds into the phone call. I am familiar with the way this person uses voice tonality and hearing this version of this persons voice made me realize instantly that this was not a friendly phone call. And within that I was quick to discover the instant reactions starting to come up within me.
Now this moment presented a perfect opportunity to see if I was able to apply the points I have been working on in my DIP Lite. This has to do with my defensive patterns and reactiveness regarding communication with other people and being criticized. This was exactly what was taking place. This person called me and started making points immediately. I had no time to prepare or manipulate myself and it hit me in the face so to speak. That made this a great test for myself because this moment would show me if I was able to remain stable and let that other person express whatever it was that needed expressing without allowing myself to give into the reactions and energies coming up within me.
And this was fascinating because I’m aware of some principles when it comes to not speaking and listening but I am a perfect example of a person that never mastered that skill well. I am an amateur when it comes to this point. It was not a pleasant experience and some of the criticisms I had to take very seriously because they where valid points.
The cool thing though is that I became aware of this pattern between me and this person that was starting to manifest itself within me. Where I would normally allow myself to become intimidated and defensive instantly as a preprogrammed reaction when a person lowers his or her voice and starts speaking with this harsh authoritarian voice tonality.
In this case I was giving it my best effort to stay aware of myself and stopping myself from giving into these energies that started manifesting within me. Meanwhile I was listening to what this person was communicating. I noticed that with a bit of effort I was able to remain calm and in the moment. And for the first time I experienced this principle as this energy within me that I would normally use to feed the the beast by reacting and participating in these arguments and only make it worse. In this instance I wasn't allowing myself to go there and I willed myself to remain the listener. Within that I became aware that this other person slowed down a bit but not before repeating the points that had to be made 4 times and me having to confirm I understood the points 4 times.
I can imagine that his person expected me to react in my preprogrammed way because that’s what I would normally do in these situations. I would feel attacked and do my best to justify my standpoint and situation. But I didn’t freak out or became emotional. What I saw happening was about control and being in control. And I understand that these kind of phone calls are not peoples favourite to make. It must have been hard for this person to make this call as it was is hard for me sitting there listening to what was broad to the table. Its tough and the way this played out only made it harder. I know like no other that it’s much easier to be angry and frustrated because I sat there in that moment breathing, balancing my mind and not allowing that reactive, insecure and angry personality of myself to run free!
The more I listened the more explicit and personal the words that where used became. Until this person started judging me by saying that I didn’t know what I was doing and started to give me advice on what I should be doing. Somehow I was able to in that moment make the connection between these words and the point of me taking things personal and my patterns of reacting and defensiveness. I also realized that this was the point where it was not about practically communicating about something any more. I took another deep breath as I listened what was said realizing this was turning into a rant and I was not going to allow myself to go there as well.
This wasn't easy and it's not that I wasn't experiencing energies and thoughts coming up within me. Especially within the point where this person stated that I didn't know what I was doing, I felt this weird twist in my stomach and the instant reaction within me. So I checked myself and had to tell myself out loud to not take it personal and just breath. That was the moment where I almost started talking and justifying myself. I was primarily focussed on stopping, stopping, stopping and keeping my mouth shut.
It might seem like a simple thing to do. For me this is one of my bigger struggles in life. So this was a fascinating and very educative moment for me. Especially seeing myself observing myself in this moment where I was giving myself the opportunity to see how I existed as these reactions as long as I can remember. I saw this very clearly and because I was aware it was not that difficult to focus on myself while I was letting the other person rant about the dissatisfaction with me. It was really a matter of willpower, concentration and focus!
I was aware of the fact I took it all personal in the first place and that made this an excellent opportunity to test if I was able to keep myself stable within a real life situation of friction and conflict. It was a revealing experience seeing myself within this moment with another person and how screwed up communication can be. Within this playing out there was also this point of communicating via mail and phone. This person told me that if I have something to say I can be a man and make my point over the phone as well. True! Speaking however is a different ball game compared to having information written out. At this point I’m writing when it comes to communicating. I have experienced what speaking can do when it’s not on the mark, specific and defined. I want to make sure I can trace how and what I am communicating. The last thing I want is to make assumptions about things that where said or not said. A typical relationship point where the non verbal, unsaid and unwritten eventually starts screwing everything up.
I’m not at all satisfied with how this played out and I realize it’s all about finding common ground in communication. I also realize that there are a hell of a lot of loose ends for me to tie up within this point in relation to my awareness within and as communication with other people.
I have some events coming up where I will be part of a group for a few days. I’m going to use these as an opportunity to expand on this point and train myself to become more aware of how these things play out within me and between me and other people.
More to come