Have you ever been confronted with an angry challenger? How do you react? If you are not completely triggered then you might respond professionally. You might also meet the energy of the challenger. They are angry and you respond angrily. Or they are mocking and you mock back. And what is happening internally? For so many of us, a seed gets planted which matures into a weed called, “they are the enemy.”
I was reading a post on Lessons from the world of Aikido. In lesson # 6, I found the following:
“Those who may challenge us are not the enemy. The only real enemy is inside
us... the real enemies are fear, self-doubt, anger, confusion, and jealousy and
other emotions inside us that can disturb the flow.”
Speaking of flow, this started a whole flow of thoughts in me that I wanted to share with you. Warning—these are not quick fixes. These thoughts challenge you to do deep inner work. It is the only way.
Thought 1: A Core Belief of mine (won’t you join me?) is: There is a divine spirit within each of us. We have the capacity to connect to a sacred spirit within ourselves and seek it out in others. Our spirit links us inextricably to powerful inner resources and to each other. It is too easy for that which is threatened in us to dehumanize the messenger. And yet, no matter what is coming at us, it is coming from a fellow human being.
Thought 2: This reminded me of Havi’s great ‘alignment’ exercise. It is all about how you move yourself toward finding common ground with the other person.
Thought 3: It can be hard to find common ground when we are upset. A process CRR Global calls the ‘partner as truth teller’ might help. We start by assuming that the quality we are confronted with (e.g. anger, harshness, judgment, etc.) actually lives in us too. We marginalize it in ourselves and don’t want to see it in others. How are we also angry (or judgmental, or harsh)? And then, although we know all the ways in which this quality troubles us, what is the essence of the quality? (Perhaps it is power or clarity or even faith.) If the essence energy lived in us, what could that look like?
You are not really the enemy and neither is the person confronting you. But if you are going to lead, you are going to want to become very familiar with all the parts of yourself that is quick to jump to that label.
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