For today’s post, the question is: How quick are you to judge?
Yesterday, I had a conversation that caused me to question my own open-mindedness. I have always prided myself in being able to see the other side of an argument.
On issues that I’ve strongly held beliefs, I thought I always acknowledged and accepted the other side’s right to feel differently. You know, the ole “agree to disagree” thing.
A friend of mine suggested that there are those who prefer an ‘open’ arrangement as opposed to a more traditional monogamist relationship. Apparently there are those who live healthy, balanced, loving relationships with multiple partners.
I am not here to argue the merits of that, but I was SHOCKED by my strong visceral reaction to this revelation. My stomach tightened, and I became very quiet (a most unusual state for me).
I was really disturbed. I thought of the proverb, “death and destruction are never satisfied, and neither is human desire”. I projected what I thought my life would be if I indulged my every desire or need. A disaster.
In that moment I was closed to the notion that if something didn’t work for me — how could it be good and beneficial for another? For some reason my lifestyle and world outlook were threatened.
Why? My friend wasn’t trying to recruit me!!
When we are faced with such a situation, it’s helpful to reflect on why we may be triggered or threatened. Are we reacting to cultural, religious or childhood teachings?
Lessons that we learned a long time ago, outlooks that we’ve never taken the time to examine? Have we been taught to judge or dismiss those who are different than us?
In that moment, we can remind ourselves that we’re all seeking freedom and love and that there are many roads to this destination. Someone who chooses a different route is not cause for concern or judgment.
Freedom and love can be hard to find and keep, and we can always celebrate those who get there, by any path.
Stress Release Tip
When we believe our way of thinking or lifestyle is under attack, our bodies can go through radical transformations. Our stomach becomes upset, the jaw and shoulders become tense, and our breathing short and labored. It’s stress! Time to reset and get a reality check. You are not being physically threatened. This is not a fight or flight moment. Breath in and out. Allow your body to calm down. Your thinking becomes more clear and logical. Think long and hard about what has just been said, breathe, do not react, and calmly assert, “I say dear chap, that is a most interesting opinion…”
Some difference in opinions are minor and easily overlooked. I like blue, you like red…and the world turns. But there are others that can make your blood boil. Political, religious, or cultural differences can cause many heated debates. In those moments of disagreement and, perhaps, simmering rage, remember how boring things would be if we all were the same. Remember, despite appearances and talk show banter, we have so much more in common with each other than we realize.
Quote From Jon
“The ability to observe without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
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