Focus not on the people, but on the issue, in any conflict.
In response to my blogpost yesterday, a reader reached out and said he didn’t quite understand how you can be untouched and unmoved while fighting the good fight, when being in battle. Let me elaborate.
In any situation, where there is a conflict, we often get to focus on the person involved than on the issue. First, let’s recognize that being in conflict really means there exist two opposing points of view to an issue. Second, when you look at the person with whom you have a conflict, you tend to bring a lot of emotion and drama into play: “How dare he or she do this to me?…I will teach her or him a lesson.” The other person too is experiencing you and these emotions similarly. So, in effect, the conflict now has only escalated. As the desire to avenge the other gets stronger and deep-rooted, the issue is always side-stepped or left unresolved. And in this process of dealing with a conflict, a lot of trauma is experienced by both parties – anger, grief, hatred, fear, insecurity, anxiety, jealousy. All these are debilitating emotions and they pin you down, hold you hostage. If they are around where’s the question of being at peace with yourself, where’s the opportunity to be happy?
Take, for instance, a broken marriage between a couple. The issue is that they don’t relate to each other. So they must separate. But the divorce proceedings turn messy because invariably they stop focusing on the separation and keep thinking of what each one did – or is doing – to the other. Or consider a situation when two business partners spar. Logically, they too must separate. And do what’s best for the business. But instead when they focus on each other, the business suffers, even as the two of them go through intense suffering owing to the conflict.
It is unlikely you can have a conflict-free Life. But each conflict can be resolved faster and with zero trauma or suffering if the issue – and not the people involved – is focused on. This is what I mean when I say choose to be unmoved or untouched by the fight you are involved in. At a spiritual level, it also means that you elevate the battle to a clinical, detached, plane – which is, you do what you have to do to make your point, stake your claim, but emotionally remain detached from the people involved and the outcome.
I have been through both experiences. I have lived a Life fighting pitched battles, steeped in anger and grief. And I have suffered intensely in those times. Then, when I learnt the art of being unmoved and untouched by training my mind by observing daily mouna (silence) sessions, I found myself stronger to battle situations. Because, I am now preserving myself; I am conserving my energy. Remember: lasting the course when in battle is as critical as winning it is. So, despite the chaos that conflict situations often throw up, my inner peace brings to play great focus and resilience. No matter what or who I have to face, my equanimity – my unmoved, untouched state – helps me immensely. And, let me tell you, I am lovin’ it, and myself, this way!
- We may do some things. And we may not do several others.
- Whatever be the course our lives take, based on decisions and choices we make, people will have opinions. They may cast aspersions on you. They may demand explanations. Or simply provoke you wantonly.
- Wherever you see no value being added with your expressing yourself, and of course when you think your speaking (up) will only confound the situation, it is best to remain silent.
- No matter what people say, remember, at the end of the day you have a job to do, a Life to live. And if you can avoid potential, wasteful conflicts by choosing to be silent, why not go about your Life and business silently?