I asked my son to “tell me about class today,” and he immediately discerned that his teacher must have called me.
“What did she say?”
“Just tell me about class,” I responded.
“What did she say?” he repeated.
“I just want you to tell me about class.”
“Tell me what she said, first.”
“I’m asking YOU to tell me about class,” I reasserted.
And on we went, in this circular pattern, each of us holding firm in our position of wanting the other to elaborate first.
After several go-rounds of this, it would have been comical if it were not for tension mounting within me. I decided to be mindful of the tension instead of ignoring it, as I have done in the past. So I paused our conversation (as it were) and shifted my focus to what I was feeling. What was the tension saying?
Two things came forward: I felt disrespected, as I had (have?) a belief that my son should defer to me, since I am the parent; and, I felt the positionality of my ego. That is, I was aware that ego was in full swing, wanting to be “right.” It is right for him to answer me first because I asked him first... and I am the parent!
Of course, I gave up the notion of right and wrong a long while ago. One of my overarching intentions is to live beyond judgment, judgment being a byproduct of a right-wrong duality. That said, I am a multi-layered person. So, alas, some aspect of me—the ego—likes to be right.
Here is where the rubber meets the road:
When we are in the trenches, are we willing to transcend ego positionality to live into our higher and broader intentions?
In this instance, my willingness to attune to my overarching intentions led me into a broader perspective. Consciously choosing, or perhaps asking is a better word, to see the situation through a kinder, gentler lens, I immediately saw the silliness of my son and me each bearing down into our positions. Our individual and collective stubbornness made me laugh out loud.
Now, I felt lighter, as if I had been lifted into another sphere of thinking. From this higher altitude, words tumbled effortlessly out of my mouth. “Your teacher said that the class came in yelling at her today,” I shared.
Poof! Not only had the tension in my body evaporated, which was the real win, my son immediately began sharing about what had happened in class.
It was as if willingness begot willingness; as if inviting peace within invited peace without.
Is there a situation or person in your life with which/with whom you find yourself holding onto a position? What is possible if you let go first?
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
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