So much of our communication as a culture is for the purpose of releasing pain. Judging, gossiping, analyzing, predicting, venting. explaining, rationalizing. All for these happen for the sole purpose of releasing pain, or of being seen, of being understood, of seeking to make ourselves feel better, of restoring internal equilibrium. (All of these are impulses of the unhealed pain.)
On the healing path, we learn that no one is entitled to our attention. No one. Not my child, my spouse, my siblings, my parents, my boss, my employee, my friends, my neighbors. If someone is not in a peaceful state of mind the communication is an extension of, a release of, a perpetuation of, a recycling of, their internal pain. (Or mine, when I am the one doing it.)
This is why we feel barfed on.
There is another way.
The greatest gift we can give another is to not be available for their pain, because that forces them to look at it, to see it, to take responsibility for it...and perhaps even to heal it.
Instead of being available to receive it (even when that only takes the form of listening), we can trust them to handle it, and make ourselves unavailable.
We can disengage, silently honor their pain, honor their path, and trust them to handle it.
(And, when this happens to us, we can honor our pain, honor our path, and trust ourselves to handle it.)
We can clean our own pain, and the underlying wound that gave it a home in the first place, it changes everything about how we perceive the behavior of another.
It takes discipline to practice this, until it doesn't. Until the cost of exchanging pain with another becomes too much to bear, and we choose to instead take complete responsibility for our pain, and only our pain. (There's plenty, trust me.)
And, this slows the roll of life considerably. It may take a day to have a conversation, but when (if!) it happens it is clean.
If this resonates, here is an opportunity:
1. External practice: "I am no longer available to receive the pain of another." Until it has been cleaned by the owner, cleaned of the internal wound that allowed the pain to find a home in the first place, it is not yet a conversation that is ready to be had. Simply honor their path, and be unavailable. "My energy is cycling, and I am feeling stirred. This is not yet a conversation that is ready to be had."
2. External practice: Accept the invitation to witness, to honor, another's pain, provided they do not speak. Silently witness another witnessing their pain.
3. Internal practice: When and where I give my attention to another, when it is not consistent with my deepest truth, is a place where I am out of integrity with myself. Where I am trading the peace of another for my own. Looking at why I would do so, shows me where I am not yet free. We learned to do this, and we can unlearn it. The Peace Power Path is one way to heal the learned/acquired energy of going against our wholeness.
4. Internal practice: When the energy and pain are cycling, and the coping techniques are activated, choose to take complete responsibility for my pain. The Peace Power Path is one way of doing so.
Norma Van Horn