Anger, Fear and Peace – Part 1Sarah Cavanagh
Today I saw two people arguing. Well, I say arguing. They were both extremely professional and it was more a case of having to be quietly assertive, each one getting their own point across, trapped in the deep habit of needing to ‘win’.
It made me think of all the times I have had to ‘win’. All the reasons why that might have been important. Continues to be important in some ways.
Perhaps a first understanding of how this ‘need to win’ works, is to watch how it shows itself, all the ways that it crops up. Sometimes it is clear, gross really. A fist fight, loud shouting, physical and verbal bullying, loud and clear. Other times it is subtle and hard to define. Undermining someone, dis-empowering, ignoring, or a look full of venom. Sometimes we just feel angry, hard-done-by, worried, anxious. A feeling that something has been taken away, but we’re not sure what.
So what is going on underneath all of these actions? They all come from the same place: fear.
Fear that I will be less if I let you be more.
Fear that if I don’t stand my ground you will think less of me and our relationship will never be the same.
Fear that I will lose face in front of others and they will no longer think me strong, or capable and they will never quite trust me again.
Fear that I will never be able to think of myself as strong or capable and I will never quite be confident in myself again.
Fear that I will not have my basic needs met; food, warmth, love.
Fear of not being in control and so having to do things that I know will push me out of a comfort zone and it will be hard, frightening, threatening to how I see myself.
In the way that we live our lives, in our families, work, friends, even within the natural environment, we work out our ‘pecking order’ and negotiate around it, on some deep level staying within a comfort zone that will allow us to ‘win’. Such is the default of the human soul. To seek peace.
In spirituality, there is a deeper understanding of who we are. That peace is inside of us already. A space, a part of us waiting to be tapped into. And that we do have the ability to easily connect with this peace.
Peace is not ‘out there’. I can spend my whole life negotiating and ‘winning’ but it will not bring me peace. It may bring some temporary comfort. Some relief. But the whole dynamic of interacting will start again and off I go again, bargaining, suppressing, pacifying others, thundering around … to find some control, namely peace.
For a meditator, knowing all of these layers of habits that circle inside and around us, we aim to see ourselves and others as so much more than the role we play in society, or the way we look, or present. I am more than just a mother. I am more than a husband. I am more than my work role.
There is a sense of each one of us as a human being first. We have played many roles, had many experiences, through different times with different human beings, in different places.
As a meditator, we learn to understand these dynamics. To sit quietly. To let go. To forgive. To forgive others. To forgive ourselves. And to say sorry, if that’s what it takes to be free from feelings of ‘needing to win’.
cont…Next weeks blog…