Why and how is it that we come to accept abusive and consequential behavior as normal in our relationships with others? Why and how is it that we have turned discussions and disagreements that could have been solved commonsensically and practically, into battles where we wage wars with each other through our words?
Throughout my life and especially during my childhood and teenage years I lived in a culture where it was normal to have hefty discussions and arguments. I remember sitting at house-meetings at the commune where I grew up where we would have these war-like arguments that to me felt like a battle for life and death. Through my discussions and arguments with other people I built and developed what I call a ‘battle’ character, in essence to survive in the ‘war of words’. It is interesting now that I look back at it to see how I was completely consumed with fear and petrification in those moments and yet I came to accept it as completely normal to ‘battle’ each other in discussions.
When I have discussions now with my partner, I’ve found that I often enter into this ‘battle’ character and had it not been for my partner pointing out that there are other, more supportive ways to communicate, I would have continued to think and believe that ‘battling’ is normal in discussions and arguments. My partner has often said to me that I sound very angry and it has often surprised me, because I do not feel particularly angry inside. It is more a way of communicating that I have learned growing up; if you want to have any chance at surviving in the ‘war of words’ you best suit up and get your battle-gear ready.
So as we were discussing this tendency and how it reveals itself in a difference in my voice tonality and the way I carry my body, I could see how I, when there is an argument/disagreement, literally start preparing myself for ’battle’. I put on my virtual helmet and armor and I grab my virtual sword and then I start fencing my opponent through words. Previously in my life this was the standard way of having arguments and disagreements with other people, but when you’re suddenly standing in front of an opponent who is gently asking you to stop and consider your words, it becomes obvious how unnecessary it actually is to approach discussions and disagreements and arguments as ‘battles’.
I’ve spent years perfecting the ‘art of war’ as battling with my body and my words in discussions with others, but I have not until now cared for or considered what effect it had on my physical body as well as on others. I believed that it was entirely normal and necessary to be able to battle others through words and that I would risk being squashed if I didn’t – and all the while it took a great toll on my physical body that I didn’t even notice, where I didn’t realize that to battle others, I was battling and defeating myself.
So I will here walk a self-forgiveness process to lay down my armor, my shield and my sword so that I can be here and participate in discussions and disagreements from a starting-point of common sense and stability, realizing that it isn’t necessary to battle one another simply because that is how I was taught growing up by observing my environment and then integrating myself into it.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to step into arguments and disagreements from a starting-point of subconsciously and unconsciously thinking and believing that I am going into battle, where I, in a matter of a few seconds equip myself with a ‘virtual armor’ through which I prepare myself to battle my opponent
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a virtual armor for myself where I harden my body preparing it for battle, where I tense my muscles and place all my focus of awareness and attention in my face, eyes, mouth, head and shoulders as though in that moment I only exist in those few places in my body, sharpening them as much as I possibly can, but without actually being more physically aware or attentive
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to sharpen and harden my eyes and my mouth and jaw and head especially when going into arguments and disagreements so as to present myself as stoic, strong, undefeatable to my opponent, so that they may be threatened by me and back down, so as to assert my authority over them and so as to boost myself because I actually come from a starting-point of fear and petrification towards arguments and disagreements
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deliberately change and raise my voice tonality and the volume/depth of my voice so that I can literally use my voice as a weapon through which I attempt to dominate, convince and overpower the other person, ultimately so as to not risk going into a battle and losing but rather defeating them in having them stand down before the battle has even begun
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, when I am in the battle character, experience and perceive myself consciously as strong and fierce and fearless and powerful and superior, where underneath it all and within my starting-point I am shaking in my pants in fear and petrification
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel proud of myself of how I am able to carry myself in arguments and disagreements i.e. how I am able to battle other people with my words, stemming from memories of being overtly scared of entering into arguments and disagreements, avoiding them like the pest and then looking up to women whom I saw as strong and scary and fierce and then making the decision within myself to become like them within myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, when I was in arguments and disagreements as a child and teenager, where I feared my opponent, especially other women, believe that I am inferior and that there is something wrong with me, that I am weak because I fear them and having conflicts with them, and that they then are strong and superior and within this look up to the expression of being fierce, sharp and authoritative, ranging on brutal in arguments and disagreements
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to condition myself to believe and accept that being brutal, fierce, sharp and overpowering towards others in disagreements and arguments is positive because I judged myself for fearing and being petrified towards having disagreements and arguments with others and within that concluded that if I were to have the same expression of fierceness I would be strong – not realizing that this is not real strength or power but in fact is abusive and bullying
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel petrified and anxious towards arguments and disagreements with people whom I perceive as being stronger than me due to how they carry and express themselves in the discussion, where the subject or topic of discussion becomes entirely irrelevant because the ‘battle’ becomes about who is stronger and can evoke fear in the other and make the other pull back and stand down
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to condition myself to believe that arguments and disagreements is about winning over the other person and that winning is all that matters, instead of actually focus on the topic at hand and looking at what is best for all in the situation
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel strong, powerful, invincible and superior when another backs down or stands down in an argument where I experience myself as a winner without even considering that winning the argument or the disagreement may not in fact be based on what is best for all but on evoking fear and petrification in another, making them feel inferior, weak and start doubting themselves simply because of how I present myself as being threatening towards them
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to react to my partner speaking calmly with a soft voice when we have arguments and disagreements because he is not following what I’ve come to believe is the ‘norm’ of an argument and a disagreement and so because he doesn’t participate in the battle that I perceive the argument and disagreement to be, I can no longer battle him to win
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to resist letting go of and giving up my battle character, because I fear that if I were to do that, I would automatically lose and be squashed in arguments and disagreements, revealing the fact that underneath the battle character I am actually still existing in fear and petrification – when in fact disagreements shouldn’t be about winning but about assessing what is best for all in a particular situation
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that battling another is the only tool I have to effectively direct an argument or disagreement to what I see is best for all/commonsensical in the moment, when in fact the manifestation of the battle itself is not best for all or commonsensical and as such by accepting and allowing myself to go into the battle character, I negate any commonsense I might have seen, I make the discussion personal, competitive, ego-based and nullify any commonsense perspective I may have seen
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize, consider and accept that it is possible to have disagreements with others without having to battle one another and where, if I don’t battle the other, it doesn’t mean that I automatically loose, because a disagreement is not about winning or losing, it is about finding a common ground to make decisions together based on what is best for all
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to make disagreements and arguments about me personally where I believed and experienced that if I lose the argument or disagreement it was the same as losing a part of myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create the belief that whatever perspective I come into a disagreement or argument with is automatically true or righteous simply because it is my perspective, thus coming from a starting-point of self-interest, where my focus is asserting myself – instead of actually looking at what is best for all and commonsense in the discussion
Self-Corrective and Self-Commitment Statements
When I hear my partner saying something that I do not agree with and I see myself tensing up immediately within my body as an indication that I am preparing myself for battle, I stop and I breathe. I realize that I have integrated a ‘battle’ character into and as myself that I have accepted to be ‘who I am’ and activate as soon as a disagreement or argument emerges in my reality and that I therefore have to stop myself at a physical level because this character functions through my physical gestures and voice tonality.
As such I also realize that I have a gift in having these physical indicators that show me that I’ve gone into the battle character, when my eyes, face, jaw, head and mouth hardens and become stiff and all my attention goes to this part of my body and when the pitch of my voice becomes sharp, harsh and I speak very fast.
I commit myself to stop accepting myself as a soldier going into battle when I am having disagreements with other people.
I commit myself to stop fearing and being petrified towards having disagreements with other people.
I realize that I do not need to battle other people with my words and gestures when I disagree with them, because there is actually not anything that is physically threatening me by someone disagreeing with me.
I commit myself to stop fearing that I will lose if I do not win the battle of words with someone whom I am in a disagreement with because I realize that a disagreement is not about who wins and who loses, as it is about what is best for all and commonsensical in the moment, which isn’t something personal.
I realize that I’ve made disagreements personal and that I have believed that I must fight for my perspective or argument, within and as taking it for granted that because it is mine, it is automatically true or righteous, instead of actually looking at the disagreement from the perspective of what is best for all, what is commonsensical and in which person’s perspective alignments can be made to align their perspective to what is best for all.
When and as I see that I am accepting and allowing myself to participate in a disagreement, discussion or argument where I see that my voice tonality is high pitches, sharp and I am speaking fast as an indication that I’ve stepped into the battle character, I stop and I breathe. I take a moment to re-stabilize myself here in my body and I change my voice tonality back to my natural level and I soften my face, head, mouth, jaw and eyes and then I look at the different perspectives again in terms of seeing what is best for all and what is commonsensical in the situation.
I realize that there is no danger in ‘loosing’ arguments or disagreements and that if there is a true danger, then it is really not so much a matter of discussing the point as it is a matter of effectively directing the situation immediately in the moment. As such I realize that with most arguments and disagreements, there is actually room to breathe, step back and reconsider one’s own and the other person/people’s perspective
I commit myself to change my starting-point and approach to arguments and disagreements from fear, petrification and battle and competition to a practical assessment about what is best for all and what is commonsense in the situation. I commit myself to be open to the fact that the perspective I share and present might not be commonsensical and as such be open to reconsider my perspective and my starting-point in the situation without fearing to lose myself/my ground. I commit myself to, when I clearly see that what I present/share is in fact commonsensical and best for all, to assist and support those whom I discuss with, to see what I see – and even if they don’t, to not take it personally but to simply look at practical solutions and possible ways that I can implement what I see is best for all.
I realize that if I approach a discussion, a disagreement or an argument from a starting-point of battling or from a starting-point of fear of conflict where I take the argument or disagreement personally, making it about me winning so that I can have a superior experience of myself, I completely negate the actual point of commonsense and what is best for all that I initially saw, which completely nullifies what I saw, because I am not acting in accordance to what is best for all or what is commonsense in my approach to solving the situation. I am not standing as an example of what I see and I am not treating another as I would like to be treated – as such I commit myself to let go of the battle character and I commit myself to practice the point of speaking and communicating commonsensically as myself here, in stability, focusing on directing the situation and the disagreement to what is best for all.
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