The other day I was having a drink with a good friend of mine and he began to relate his impression of one of the political candidates in the upcoming election. To say that his view was completely at odds with my own is to put it mildly. What was really interesting though was that I noticed the initial feeling that got triggered by his words. The feeling that came up was anger, or more like an extreme irritation and it was completely reactive. The thoughts that immediately popped up were your garden variety of “How could you be so stupid?, “Can’t you see how you’re being manipulated?”, “My God, you’re talking about a candidate for the top office …”
And then a miracle happened!
I let it go.
I don’t like to blow my own horn … at least when I can find willing participants to do that for me, but since no-one was there to observe this as the breakthrough that it was, permit me to congratulate myself.
This was one helluva breakthrough. I was able to grant another person’s completely different point-of-view as valid. Every fiber of my reactive human self wanted to reach over and shake this other person to get them to see what I saw, because my point-of-view is – doncha know – the right one. Sigh, if only the world recognized this; that I have the right take on the situation, and if you could only see from my point of view you would get how silly yours is. Wouldn’t the world just work, wouldn’t the world be a nice place if everyone got that I have it right, that I have the exclusive front and center seat to the truth?
And I let it go.
In fact, I was so amazed at this that I could hear the voice in my head switch from “This guy’s an idiot,” to “Did you just let that go?” “Wow! You might really be able to leave the temple soon, Grasshopper!”
Thoughts that show that I still have a ways to go – God, please don’t let transformation mean no sense of humor – but thoughts that acknowledged a breakthrough albeit in a non-transformed way.
This is not the first time I’ve been able to grant another’s being even though it opposed some view that I had, but sadly enough it is not yet my default setting. I’m getting there though. After all, it’s a practice.