By Alecia Rice
Q: I have friends that I constantly disagree with lately. They just want to argue, which makes me want to argue in return. I don’t want to lose these friendships, but under the circumstances, I’m not sure how to proceed. How can I nurture a better way?
— Feeling Argumentative
A: Dear Feeling Argumentative,
Higher consciousness beckons us towards empathy, to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes so that we may try to understand where they might be coming from. I believe that the current chaos is leading us to evolve the way we communicate with one another, by developing our empathy muscle, which bridges the ego/mind duality with the heart. Sometimes these disagreements trigger us because our ego needs to be right, so that we automatically assume the other viewpoint is wrong. So, why would we want to bridge with something that is wrong?
“Pick a team” is the battle cry. As most of us have seen, it doesn’t matter what issue we research, there are always two sides to the story. We can easily find some viewpoint that reinforces our sense of being “right.” Our typical habit is to label things right or wrong, but we can often be right and wrong at the same time. Sitting in this understanding helps us mend our hearts, judgments and projections.
As conscious beings, we’re called to pull ourselves up above the muck of duality into a higher perspective of discernment. This isn’t easy, as it requires us to hover above the magnetic “us vs them” trenches to forge alternative paths through discourse, all the while serving as role models paving the way towards unity. Phew! Big job!
We’re called “Lightworkers” for a reason. It is with conscious intention that we point ourselves towards higher resonance. Although, generally, the higher road isn’t the easiest path to take. Many are driven by fears of what our future will be if the nightmare scenarios that the media, politicians, and other bad actors have painted for us about how the intentions of “the other side” will play out. If we’re to co-create a more enlightened world moving forward, we must manage our energy around these fears and become the way-showers of another way. Not doing so leads us further into the riptide of tumultuous emotional waters that we’re already treading.
If we detach ourselves from the emotion of fear while still acting on what we care about, there’s no reason to fight with anyone. Once we set this intention, it’s easier to detach from our opinion and hear someone out without being triggered to argue with them. When we allow them respectful space to have their opinion, this is where we manifest the third path where the magic happens.
Few positive paths come from us berating others, making them wrong. Our ascension goal is to calmly listen with presence without the monkey-mind chattering away, trying to defend itself in response to what they’re saying. Instead of trying to convince someone to change their mind, empathy requires us to ask questions to try to better understand, which in turn neutralizes judgment. This opens the doors of respect so that we can find some common ground from which we can begin to dialogue with one another. Change starts here.
Rarely do we bear witness to others modeling compassionate disagreement; something that the collective would deeply benefit from. “Compassionate disagreement” means that we stand in a respectful space honoring the fact that two seemingly opposing things can be true at the same time. In this space, we manage our energy by being patient, active listeners who, instead of being threatened by an opposing opinion, allow the other a safe, uncharged environment in which to share their viewpoint. Doing so honors each person’s perspective by attempting to understand why another might have such a different belief. Even if both people walk away standing with their original belief system, the goodwill that’s nurtured reinforces positive things in the relationship, instead of breaking down into angry words that probably shouldn’t be spoken, often accompanied by judgmental projections of negativity.
I lovingly challenge each of you to show up to practice sowing goodwill back into the world. From where I sit, the world could use a lot more respect and appreciation of the fact that all paths lead to the same place. Some are merely longer and fraught with more difficulty. Our collective choice.
Alecia Rice is a Spiritual Alchemist and a personal advisor for those ready to unravel their issues with conscious choices. She offers grounded perspectives for energy management and sage insights in columns, videos, and podcasts. Visit www.AskAlecia.com for more information. Submit personal questions and quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org.