Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fighting Reality

You may have read or heard of the work of Byron Katie in her book Loving What Is. In it she talks about how we fight the reality of certain situations when all the evidence in front of our eyes is to the opposite.

I saw a huge example of this happening this week when a friend called to ask for help as an old partner had come back into her life and was refusing to leave her house. Not only refusing to leave but also refusing to accept that a long-standing relationship was over. We went along to help mediate the situation and it was painful to watch someone in such distress as they fought with reality. He stood there and kept repeating what he wanted to believe rather than what was the truth, and I saw that he thought if he said it often enough it would become true. It was such a stark illustration of how powerful our minds can be when we get hold of an idea. Just a as dog worries at a bone our minds tussle with a thought and cannot accept what is happening in plain sight.

What was challenging in this situation was that however the facts were presented, whatever way we tried to help him see that what he wanted was simply not going happen his mind would not let him hear it. He was deaf to what was obvious to others around him. It was like he was fighting blindfolded, his thoughts blinding him to what was true. It gave me a great insight into how intractable we can be as human beings. I saw how strong our ability is to fight with the reality of a situation and how negative an effect that can have on our lives.

By creating this fight sure, we cause problems for others like my friend, but even more we create problems and negativity for ourselves. The pain is ours, the stress and anxiety is ours, and the fear and anger is all ours. And, we have created it through our refusal to accept what is.

It was real reminder to be vigilant for where I fight reality, to watch out for those times that I am shouting NO at something that simply is. Instead I want to be more open to working with reality rather than fighting it.

Yesterday I had one of those days that I might have fought with in the past, hassly stuff like cars breaking down and not having the right papers in the car. In the past I would have had a right old rant, instead, we took deep breaths, worked with what was happening and in the end it all turned out well and really easily. A good start to a new resolution.

Have you had situations recently where you’ve been fighting with what is? Can you see a way you could stop resisting and start working with rather than against? Please do share your experiences with others; it is hearing how others handle these kinds of situations that we all learn.

If this message has sparked your interest and made you think then please feel free to leave a comment, the more the merrier. If you would like to be informed when a new blog is posted please sign up for the blog alert by clicking the link (above to the right) or emailing me at with Alert in the subject line.

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Blogger said...

We waste time, energy, effort on fighting. We fight, fight and fight. We spend unconsciously more time on fighting than surrendering. Fighting gets us nowhere.

This afternoon I had been thrown a crisis with my son. I got myself into such a state, finding myself with my back against the wall.

I was saying those words to a
friend, when I saw a squirrel, my mind stopped. What was this squirrel doing here? It is unusual to see a squirrel on the Costa del Sol. This created in my mind a positive action. Three minutes later I rang my Son and he told me that all was ok.

When animals, insects or birds appear in an unusual place, there is always a reason.

As soon as I got home, got out my book on how animals speak. I looked up the squirrel. These words appeared before me. "Are you at this moment running to and fro and not accomplishing anything?" My issue with my Son was about running around for his gain.

When we fight, breathe in, relax and look around you. Maybe something or somebody is saying something we are not aware of.

11:06 AM  
Blogger elisa said...

This week blog strikes a huge cord in me. Can’t really talk about any specific experience because there are too many.

I have been there and I know how painful and useless it is. But even more painful is to see somebody we care about go through a lot of pain and distress in such fight.

Looking for the lesson/s in there, for me, first comes the futility of it, as it really only makes things more difficult. When I chose to go with the flow of what is, everything seems to sort itself more easily in the end. Solutions jump out at me and I don’t take things as personally. That saves a lot of unnecessary pain.

Second is that you can’t do it for another. You can only witness what is happening with/for them. Accepting this simple fact can help to be there for the person, the best I can, without making their painful fight my own or dumping on them my own struggles. And maybe even humbly offering them a glimpse of a different possibility of being, a less painful one and a little more response-able one.

The last few blog entries have touched me very personally, although I have not commented a lot as I felt unable to find words to express all the thoughts, feelings and insights they sparked. It is great to have this resource available at this stage in my journey.

2:27 AM  

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