Many years ago as a young adult I was in an awkward position between two friends.
In Year of Inquiry today, I suddenly was reminded of this situation.
It’s funny how that happens when other people are doing The Work and bam….
….the same situation appears like a vision, to be questioned and understood and resolved in your own past life.
So back then, one close girlfriend of mine told me that a guy we both knew, who I had been friends with since childhood, was a jerk.
I knew both of them pretty dang well. (I still know them both).
They didn’t know each other well at all.
The friend of mine since grade school was, according to my girlfriend, not leaving her alone. He wanted to date her. He was calling, stopping by her job, seeking her out to sit near her when we were all together at the same weekly event.
In a heated moment, she told him to quit and that he should chill out.
He got very hurt.
Great, I thought.
Two friends of mine hate each other. What a drag.
I’d prefer to be left out, and not to have known this information at all.
That was my reaction.
I felt anxious and conflicted. I wanted them to get along. Bummer.
Here were some of my thoughts:
- he should stop acting so needy and grabby
- she should stop acting to controlling, bossy, and judgmental
- he should be more sensitive to women
- she should be more sensitive to men
- because of their stupid reactivity, now I have to deal with maneuvering around their crap so they don’t get more triggered
- I can’t invite them both to the same event anymore
It all came crashing back in an instant.
I didn’t even spend THAT much time with either one of these people, and yet a storm of thoughts hit the fan.
They should NOT have conflict.
Now, I can do The Work since I know how to question stressful thinking, and see what’s up for ME in this situation.
Have you ever had two people fighting, arguing, like vinegar and oil?
Maybe two employees, two people you know who are dating or getting divorced, your mom and dad, your kids.
They should deal with the conflict much better….they shouldn’t fight.
Is it true?
Yes. What a pain in the ass.
What good does this do for anyone?
But can I absolutely know that they shouldn’t have conflict, or that this is a problem?
Well, no. I have no idea what this thing is between them.
It’s also their business.
People do have conflict in the world, I notice. They get all upset. They react. I react to them reacting, when I believe reaction shouldn’t happen.
How do I react when I believe two people I care about shouldn’t have conflict?
The blast of judgments is intense in my mind.
Rather intriguing really. What do I care? I enjoy when people love each other but it’s a little weird to be so opposed to them not loving each other.
How do I treat them when I believe they shouldn’t have conflict? Or they should get along?
I actually start to rip both of them apart in my own mind. So now there is not only those two having their thing against each other, but I’m angry and finding major fault with them both.
I say things like “she’s always been like this” or “he’s such a dunce, he should have been more cool.”
I figure out what they both should be doing, and notice what they both are doing wrong.
So who would I be without this belief that those two people over there should get along, and it appears they aren’t?
What if I just got here from another planet and I had no idea what “getting along” was supposed to look like, and no belief that people should like each other, who don’t?
Wow, this is a very old thought. How strange to be without it.
You mean we can just let everyone hate each other when they do? I mean, shouldn’t we try to like everyone, help everyone get along, make peace, be as joyful as a spring daisy poking through a field of snow?
I realize, I’m believing it’s soooooo terrible to not get along, I hardly allow conflict to occur in my presence without dashing away like a bolt of lightening.
I realize, I don’t even let myself dislike people, when I do. And I certainly don’t let my friends dislike each other, or they become NOT my friends.
Who would I be without all these thoughts that people MUST GET ALONG?
Relaxed, even in the presence of conflict. Open. Willing to be present when things are a little toppled over between others.
Not adding to the pile of conflict.
Without the belief that people should be close, or friends, or loving….
….when they aren’t….
….I stay present rather than running away, or feeling enraged.
I’m not afraid of this conflict.
In fact, I even feel more confident. Here to serve, if it’s called for, and here to listen or be quiet, if it’s called for.
Turning the thoughts around: they SHOULD have conflict.
Well, they do. That’s the reality of it.
I shouldn’t have conflict with their conflict. I shouldn’t have conflict with conflict, even within myself.
Yes, this is true.
- I should stop acting so needy and grabby for reality to be different (especially when it comes to others in conflict)
- I should stop acting so controlling, bossy, and judgmental when it comes to these two friends (or to myself)
- I should be more sensitive to him, to myself, to her, to women
- because of my stupid reactivity, I have to deal with maneuvering around their crap so I don’t get more triggered
- I can invite them both over at the same time
- Good news
Wow, good news you say? Really?
How could it be a good thing these people rub each other the wrong way, for my own growth and enlightenment
It shows me what is not necessary for peace.
Peace can even happen right in the middle of war.
Amazing, but I can see how that’s true.
“When the will to power is in charge, the higher the ideals, the lower the results. Try to make people happy, and you lay the groundwork for misery. Try to make people moral, and you lay the groundwork for vice….Thus the Master is content to serve as an example and not to impose her will. She is pointed, but doesn’t pierce….”
~ Tao Te Ching #58
Much Love, Grace