I've been talking to some friends, and I realize that I'm often just 'working it out' in my posts, my classes and my videos. They each offer a unique and excellent environment to pose questions, explore options and ultimately, arrive at some level of discernment. At least, that's been my experience.
Therefore, I work to straddle a thin line between 'look at me, look at me' and the vulnerability that comes with talking about fears, about shortcomings, aspirations, failures, and the like. I'm committed to providing safe space for students and my clients to be able to get to the truth, to explore their truth in that, and to begin to fashion change. If I wasn't doing that work for myself, with myself, I'd be a hypocrite. And, to be clear and also remind myself.... hypocrisy is my trigger - internal and external.
When I am in doubt, when I'm not feeling the connection to self and Self, when I'm vulnerable, my own internal self-defeating mantra is 'hypocrite'. I think we all have one - a great teacher of mine likened it to being in a car and having a 'younger drunk version of herself' in the backseat screaming 'fraud'. Not all the time, but we all can question our worth, or our ability to do what we say and intend.
I found the 'backseat of the car' metaphor very informative and I could personalize it - I liken mine to having twin brothers who look remarkably like Wayne and Garth in my backseat, stoned out of their minds, screaming "Hypocrite! Hypocrite! Will you do the Fandango!!" Yes, there are thunderbolts and lightening, very very frightening... ok, I digress.
Topic for today, I'll put it simply, because it is already hard enough. When you are upset, not clear, disconnected, or even pissed off - who are you talking to?? Yup, that is the question.
Are you talking to yourself, over and over, institutionalizing and justifying your anger, your righteousness and your indignation - and separation? Are you talking to all of your friends, getting sympathy, validation and again separation? Are you talking to anyone except the other person - anyone else as long as it isn't 'them'...
Put it simply, how about we talk to the person, not about the person? I can tell you, I used to work for Whole Foods and I managed stores - that meant I had sometimes over 150 Team Members, and I really believed in an open door and in being available for them. In the course of anything, shit happens, folks disagree, feeling are hurt, etc.
I was happy to help and listen, but it had to be about helping correct the situation, not just help them feel better. So, I would practice a great technique. "Rama" would come to me and say "Sita" did this, or "Sita" did that, and it made me feel this way or that way or it was unfair or fill in the blanks. Because this could simply spiral out of control, everyone got the 'vent' or 'let it go' session, but if they couldn't let it go and had to keep telling me about "Sita", I would stop the conversation really politely and say "Let's get Sita in here and talk with her, not about her".
Sadly, 75% of the time, that wasn't an option folks wanted - you know, most folks want to bitch and moan, but not be accountable. And, what folks are willing to say in the absence of folks is dramatically different than what they would say to a person. In the 25% realm, it was always a benefit to put two people together and witness them so they could work it out. More often than not, is was acknowledged as petty and meaningless and just an error of communication or understanding. In almost every case I remember, it brought connection and healed separation.
I offer you this - if you've got something going on with someone and it's upsetting you - talk to that person, not about that person. Everyone else only increases separation or validates sides. Own it, be respectful, speak your truth - but talk to them, not about them.
Humbly offered, it's worked well for me this week - give thanks and praise!