Being Aware is A Conscious Choice
What is the root of misunderstandings and conflict? Being aware that engaging in division means we are making a choice and often it is unconscious. So, is it simply people taking sides—whether it’s a marriage, kids and parents, a business partnership, a boss and employees, or countries with disparate agendas—or deep unresolved hurt?
Does it stem from people being so rooted in our beliefs that we don’t truly listen to someone else because we are convinced we are right? Maybe we just learned to debate in school and get a rush from winning arguments? We learn early on in life that we must avoid being losers.
Carl Jung reminds us that being aware of the stories we were fed helps us peel the layers of conditioning:
“It is a most painful procedure to tear off those veils, but each step forward in development means just that, the tearing off of a new veil. We are like onions with many skins, and we have to peel ourselves again and again in order to get at the real core.”
On a recent trip, the ridesharing driver got into a deep conversation with me and started asking me a lot of questions. I told him that because I did not know him, I could not offer him advice but could listen and ask questions.
When I got to my destination and was about to step out of his car, he wanted to talk about one more thing. He turned to me and shared that he was having problems with his wife—they were arguing all the time, and he needed to be right because it was culturally known that he was the man of the house. That’s simply how it’s done in his world.
When he was done sharing, I asked him, “Why did you marry her?” He looked at me, puzzled, and said, “Because I love her.” I said, “Exactly. So, do you want to come home every night and have an argument and go to bed hurt, or have love in your life? What’s the cost of being right to you and the person you love?”
Healing Cultural Trauma
When you’re a warrior of anything, you accept sides and that you’re fighting for or against something or someone. In the emerging world, there’s wholeness and harmony. When we’re fighting or warring, no one wins. Our opportunity is to stop warring within ourselves and each other.
Is it not time to take a step back and become aware of how we got here? It will require a closer look at situations and being truthful with ourselves about what we want to get out of them. So, you won, now what? Was it worth the struggle? What does being right provide you with? What does it cost you? How can you shift, if that is what you choose to do? Is there someone around you who can give you feedback and thoughts that could help you, or do you need to spend time on your own reflecting on your own belief system?
We’ve been taught that sensitivity and emotions are the enemy of success. How did we get to a place where we’re so jaded that our humanity is buried deeply under insensitivity and ruthless ambition? How did we get to a place where our core foundation is based on survival?
Being aware means tapping into our ability to imagine a healthy way of communicating, with radical honesty, that includes everyone, with compassion for our needs.