Sometimes a disagreement turns into something like a fight. Fighting is a part of everyone’s life – whether we’re a witness or a participant. How many of us have been taught to fight fairly? How many of us have ever seen it? Did your parents fight fairly? Did their parents? Sometimes I fight with myself, sometimes with a family member, or a friend. I know how to fight fairly, honestly and lovingly–truly, I do. I know because I remember when I didn’t. I know that feeling in my gut when I’ve said or heard something hurtful or blaming.
In his book IRON JOHN, the wonderful poet Robert Bly writes, “A good fight gets things clear and I think women long to fight and be with men who know how to fight well. When both use their weapons unconsciously or without naming them, both man and woman stumble into battle, and when it is over the two interior children can be badly wounded. The adult warrior inside both men and women, when trained, can receive a blow without sulking or collapsing, knows how to fight for limited goals, keeps the rules of combat in mind, and in general is able to keep the fighting clean and to establish limits.”
I agree with the teaching in A Course In Miracles: “Anger is never justified.” And still, anger happens. Upsets occur. Being able to handle these outburts and challenges with love, compassion and forgiveness is what I’m interested in. I’ve learned that stuffing my feelings to avoid having an upset doesn’t work either. As part of my practice of nonviolence, today, I look at how I respond when the possibility of a fight arises. I set my intention that if I get pulled into a fight, I focus on how can I choose love and BE the peace I’d like to see in the world. If there is anger, I can explore it – not judge it – with love and compassion. I am learning to express how I feel without the energy of violence and a desire to wound.
It used to be so hard to practice this way. Now, it is easy most of the time. I’m grateful that it gets easier and easier. My practice is so very important – I heal and the whole world heals with me. How wonderful.
I AM a place for Peace, no matter what.
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