I am a lover of words. I think that is pretty obvious given that I write this blog and have poetry pouring out of my orifices day after day, but did you know that I considered studying linguistics for a while too?
To be honest, I still consider that a possibility, especially since I plan to be a lifelong student. I just can’t help but become enchanted, or perhaps horrified, by the endless combinations and subsequent meanings that can be derived from the little squiggly marks we call letters.
I feel that this infatuation has allowed me to have good critical thinking skills, maintain cognitive dissonance during conversation and study, as well as helped me to develop my writing abilities into what they are today: potent meaning injections.
I have to take a step back though and realize, not everyone has these skills. Furthermore, people who do, don’t always use them in a positive way.
Hindsight Revealing Foresight
Thinking back on the triggered emotions I experienced this weekend, I have gotten more curious about this linguistic phenomenon of intent vs interpretation. I have been told that my interpretation of the intent of that conversation was fallible and that my defenses were in fact out of line (granted, only by the person responsible for said intent).
Yet, reading and rereading the messages I still come back to the same trigger – and I get angry. It’s a series of questions, which could have easily come from a neutral space, but they are not questions of neutrality.
For example, I could ask: “can you tell me more about your plans?” from a place of perfect neutrality, but if it becomes: “don’t you think that your plans are a bit short-sighted?” it has lost that common ground. It is not in fact a question anymore but an assertion of bias.
These are the types of questions I was asked, one after the next. There was no true curiosity, no nuetrality, only blatantly hurtful accusations dressed up in masks of curiosity, poorly punctuated by question marks instead of exclamation points… But, due to my sense of linguistic meaning, I saw it all for exactly what it was right from the start.
I have been told I blew things out of proportion, that I created all the drama myself and that all this person did was “ask a question” (diminishing the number of ‘questions’ they actually asked – another slippery linguistic tool for manipulating context). I have been told that I am at fault and I should be sorry – but I am not sorry, not even in the slightest.
My ability to read between the lines and pick up on the embedded accusations within the “questions” I was being asked isn’t something I ever need to or will be sorry for. I am not playing those games.
It was very clear that the intent of those ‘questions’ was to undermine my self-sovereignty, create doubt and insecurities about my plans, as well as assert inappropriate influence into a situation this person didn’t have any true authority in. Perhaps they had intended to just ask questions, but they ended up communicating a lot more.
For these reasons, despite their expectations that being offended by my taking offense would somehow make me the instigator, I have not backed down from asserting my rightful dominion and authority. Yes, my response was much more direct, blunt and cutting – but again, I am not playing games.
Holding Space for Growth
At a different time in my life, I would have folded. The little bit of doubt would have been all I needed to take on all the blame for myself and seek this person’s forgiveness.
At other times in my life, I would have just given in to avoid the conflict. I would have backed away carefully and then proceeded to walk on eggshells with this person just to maintain “peace.”
But I am neither of those women anymore.
Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, I desire peace. No, I am not blameless or perfect… But I will not tolerate being spoken to as though I am a degenerate who must offer justifications for their choices to an ignorant judge who is more concerned with manipulatively undermining me than understanding me.
So, despite those other Mayry’s and their lingering discomfort with the situation, I am choosing to stand my ground. I will not apologize or accept blame for the hurtful opinions of this other person, no matter how intentional or unintentional their manipulation may have been.
To be honest, I’m not doing this for myself alone either. I am willing to be the discomfort in their life too. Growth is painful and without others responding authentically to our actions we have no feedback on which to make improvements.
Accepting the Rejection
I cannot control whether or not this person is ever willing to examine their intentions unbiasedly. I cannot influence them to think better of me or less of my blatant defenses without tiptoeing into the seduction of manipulation myself. And that’s just how it is.
I asserted my boundaries and that was taken to be offensive because they were attempting to cross them. Had they not crossed the line, they wouldn’t have needed to be punted back over it.
This is not a popular opinion to have in this world of ever evolving “PC” politically correct values, but yes, I am saying I am content being rejected for having asserted my self-sovereignty. No, I don’t need everyone to like me or agree with me to be happy, but I do need to maintain my own boundaries and self-respect to be happy, healthy and continue healing.
The fact that this person assumed they had the right and the capability to derail me with their poison tipped “questions” speaks volumes of the toxic life I am trying to crawl up out of. Perhaps in the future, further distanced from the fresh wounds of being the scapegoat in my codependent-emmeshed family for the past 5 years, I will have more grace to give… But here and now, I am still authentically raw and therefore equally volatile.
Peaking Behind the Vail of Enlightenment
How could I say such things? As a yogi, Reiki practitioner, Oracle, regular meditator and shamanic initiate aren’t I supposed to be enlightened or something? Aren’t I supposed to be “better” than this?
I feel this situation illustrates the issue of spiritual bypassing quite well because it is an example of alignment with the uncomfortable and more commonly rejected Truth. Enlightenment is only one step along the journey of existing, and to get there, it requires all other dingy and dirty steps to be taken as well.
Rejecting our authentic experiences, regardless of the intentions, will always lead us further away from awareness. We are not here to live by a code or set of rules that, at the very most we could only pretend to measure up to. No, that paradigm never leads to Truth because its very foundation is built in the denial of reality for the sake of an ideal.
Ideally, I could respond to even biased questions from a loved one with measured grace and understanding. Ideally, my loved ones would ask questions from a place of true neutrality. Ideally, reality would cease to exist as we know it, everyone could ride unicorns in meadows of light and there would be no injustice in the world…
Yet, here I am – smack dab in the middle of reality where assumptions and accusations hurt, no matter how they are communicated. Stuck in the mire of a still healing heart and its over active defenses. Existing as a human and not even trying to pretend that I am a saint.
And it is here, in all these imperfections, that I am again enveloped by grace. This is my enlightenment, not the dissolution of my authentic and painful experiences, but in the acceptance and integration of them.
So here I am today in all my glorious imperfections, enjoying every bit of the beauty as well as the blunders. This, to me, is already the sublime nirvana everyone seeks. I’m not waiting for anyone’s permission to live my dusty, dingy and enlightened life.