In a previous blog I wrote about words...but it came from a place of fear of what someone's words could do to me, and to caution against using words lightly, disguised as an invitation to live deeper than words.
I had a fear of the damage of words and also a knowledge of their uselessness as a form of communication....but the fear was strongest.
I recently had a 36 hour war of words with someone I love. Everything including the kitchen sink got accused and dismantled into a list of its shortcomings, failings as a kitchen sink, and betrayals for being a kitchen sink. The list however was not a nice neat excel document - it was a hurricane of abrasive kitchen sink cleaner and while rub it did....there came a point where what was exposed was the rawest most vulnerable heart of the hurricane, but there was only peace and quiet!
Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me. This adage has often perplexed me - particularly at a time of writing a previous blog on words. The contradiction of be careful with your words, be integrous with your words but hell words can't hurt, then, could not be reconciled.
What went down the drain in the war of words is the sensitivity to their punch. One might think that here I suit bruised to the bone because someone has accused me of so many things, but actually I am liberated.
Hour 1 - 10 of said kitchen sink war....throwing the dirty dishes around
I am not sure I heard everything, and at first I couldn't.
pain, anguish, distress, words cutting like paper and relentless. resistance is the primary feeling in my body as both mind and body contract away from the words trying to hide and squirm from them
Hour 11 - 20 of exposing the soft tissue of a kitchen sink...
pain, outrage, how dare she, a defensive stance is taken and that defensiveness might even look like an attack, and vows of disowning the kitchen sink are made. Avoidance and needing to get out of this quagmire of hateful hurtful things is primary and what you resist persists, so the more I avoid, the harder and faster the onslaught is.
Hour 21 - 30 of past the softtissue of a kitchen sink is iron...
and the tap of an equal and opposite onslaught opened to full blast and no holding back. Aaah, the freedom in speaking unedited thought. The luxury of saying what I think instead of couching between kindnesses to care for the other's ego. Ahimsa's warning to not cause violence to another gone and forgotten. This is a blameful reaction (karma's equal and opposite action sent right back), an attack because if you can so can I. In the thick of it, it is the ugliest moment as the heart that is as black as the night is exposed...
Hour 31 - 36 Metal is buffed and shining...
a mellifluous glow of realisation, that I am not harmed by another's words or intent to harm. I am also free because I got rid of my own thoughts that were harrassing me from within...just dying to get out and being suppressed by some spiritual idea that to speak might harm and therefore be the death of my good intent. The moment was a surrendering to what I found myself in, surrendering to ego, relaxing my spiritual vows of goodness to give free reign to thought...
better to let the thought go before it is an alien tree in my brain, but since that didn't happen, this was a delicious experience! If you can't let go of a thought, you can neither suppress it, for suppressing it will only let it haunt you...it felt great to express myself and my thoughts without a care to the other's level of hurt. I am sure some things I said cut deep, but I now also know this...the speaking of the thoughts was about me, not her, and so the purpose of the speaking was for my healing not for her hearing...
I have long had the philosophy that if you want to really understand somethings' affect on you, overdo it! I have practiced this with meat when trying to become a vegetarian, I have practiced this with sattvic diet of the most stringent kind when looking to understand foods' affect on my mind and emotions. The lessons are learnt in the all encompassing experience of one thing, almost done to extreme, as the lack of extreme dilutes the presence of knowledge. hmmm.
The words that still cut deep after 36 hours I realised were the ones that I had wounds about. The others I realised were necessary to be spoken as part of a cathartic process for the other.
The words that cut deep are my responsibility to heal. The words that didn't I cannot hold against anyone for speaking as they showed me that I am whole.
The words that cut deep show me that somewhere inside myself I have a belief system that is in conflict with what is being said, or they show me that I am trying to hide or pretend to myself about something.
If someone says to me 'you are a miser'. And I am but hate myself for it then the words will sting. If I am a miser but don't care, or if I am not, the comment will slip like water off a ducks back, as the comment is mirrored back to the speaker and a beautiful indication to me that the speaker has an issue with miserly behaviour on one level or another, and it is his not mine to deal with.
If someone says I am fat, and I take offense, then I have an issue with my body image. It is not they they are being cruel, it is that they are inviting me to become whole.
Imagine a society that could not take personal offense at everything...through a process of healing our words. Imagine a society that could speak freely, without having to tailor thoughts for fear of offence or causing pain..
To me it feels like a breath of fresh air!