29 December 2010

The Truth Is Not a Spear, Part One

How many times have we felt the need to jab our spear of truth at someone when we’ve felt threatened, or passionate about a situation? When faced with heated situations, or even those not heated, have you ever found yourself needing to pierce someone with that spear to hurt them as you’ve been hurt?

If you are like me and resonate with a Warrior spirit, you may find yourself feeling like you have to defend your perspective, whatever it may be, by being forceful with your words. If you feel threatened, you may feel like you need to yell, raise your voice or be cruel to establish your Warrior position. I know I have been guilty (and admittedly still catch myself doing it sometimes) of “rising up” on someone and stabbing them with my “truth”, my “truth” that says “you will NOT get the better of me.”

My God, aren’t you tired after something like this transpires? I know more often than not, I’m left feeling off balance, out of my heart zone and utterly exhausted, with nothing being accomplished. What a waste of energy! But how can we be more effective with defending our boundaries? Isn’t there a better way to deliver our truth without having to stab someone to death with our truth spears?

The answer is yes, but it’s not a simple process, especially for those of us who are Warriors at heart. Interestingly enough, a Warrior is most powerful when they are soft. The true power of a Warrior comes when a balance of honor, respect, integrity, presence and fair communication are present.

According to Angeles Arrien, author of “The Four Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Visionary, Teacher and Healer”, honor and respect are the most crucial. Arrien states, “Honor is the capacity to confer respect to another individual. We become honorable when our capacities for respect are expressed and strengthened. The term respect comes from the Latin word respicere, which means ‘the willingness to look again.’ The Warrior is willing to take a second look rather than remain stuck in a particular view of a situation or individual.” (Pp. 15-16)

Very simply put, this means that we have the courage to face ourselves and be accountable for what is out of balance, then fix it. Only then will we be truly comfortable in our own skin. Only then will we not feel the need to pick up a spear to have to defend ourselves with, because we will be able to appreciate the differences in ourselves, thus allowing us to appreciate the differences within others.

In order to extend respect to someone, we must be willing to “look again.” This creates a softening, a flexibility that will allow us to flow with the circumstance, rather than plant our feet in the ground, tensed up, spear in hand, primed for battle. Think of it this way: what is rigid will at some point break when enough pressure is applied. What is soft and yielding will sustain the flow and become one with it.

Which would you rather?

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