This is one of my favorite peace principles. Once I had this insight, “You can’t build peace while your heart is at war,” I saw immediately that it applied to every relationship, every conflict, from the bedroom to the board room to the United Nations.
Listening to the TV, I am aware that most people seem to believe that peace comes from “winning,” conquering – but that is just a cease-fire unless some significant work happens to repair and disarm the hearts of those involved. And I fully understand that disarming the heart is not an easy process when you feel your vital interests are under attack. You are hard-wired to fight back or run away.
The hard wiring worked better when it was tigers chasing you though, than your spouse not doing his or her share of something, . The question to ask yourself is…what do I really want and will lashing out get me what I really want? If it’s long-term peace you want, you will have to disarm your heart, soften around the issue and your judgments of the other party and use some of the other peace practices, say active listening, negotiation, appreciation, forgiveness, etc., to work out a solution that seems fair to both parties rather than just lashing out.
We have demonstrated that in international relations, it is possible to be very wary of another party in some ways and yet approach them openheartedly, asking their cooperation to solve a problem of mutual concern – such Russia and the US truly cooperating to deal with nuclear proliferation… It must be thus in the bedroom.
It is possible to not get your way and still have won. My father was my shining example. My mother was very difficult to be around..depressed, alcoholic, nervous , prone to sensory overload and temper flares. At their 50th anniversary, I took my dad aside and asked him HOW he had done this – gotten to 50 years with her, that is. His answer was “patience and tolerance;” that is to say, he kept his big heart soft. Thank you dad for being such an incredible role model. He truly loved my mother and was determined that this marriage would work and it did..
It isn’t really that hard to step into the other person’s shoes like my dad did once you have decided that softening your heart is no threat to you. Each of us, like my mother, is carrying a load of history and so much else is yet to be healed in us. A little kindness and understanding goes a long way towards making things work.
What say you? Have you had relationships where you were armored and relationships where you were not? How did it work when you dropped your armor?
I LOVE the Light in YOU