By Diane Abdo, Psy.D.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”
Have you ever felt so strongly about something…so very certain that what you were thinking or believing was true…right…just? And, could it be that, in the interest of helping others by offering your “truth”, you could have forgotten to listen?
In the passion to communicate a deeply felt belief, you may not hear or you may overlook the importance of conversational clarity during the exchange. Then, in speaking your “truth”, you may not realize the difference between your “truth” and being “right”.
In that moment when the need to be heard is intensified by the need to be right, we need a bridge. Bridges are not one-way structures. Rather, they are safe passage from separate places.
In the communication process, hearing is as important as feeling or speaking. Sometimes, imposing your “truth”, or needing to be “right, can interfere with the message being heard or understood.
In this way, and often despite the best intentions, the conversation injures others. Often this non-hearing behavior is offered in an attempt to protect feelings, to the point where being right, wrongs.
All too often, in our minds, the need to be right justifies the license taken to protect one’s rightness by making the other wrong. The more wrong the other person, the more right we are (at least in our minds). Negative and dishonest methods of influencing others become standard practice and are viewed as valid means of protecting “rightness”. Civility and respect are replaced by anger and injustice.
It seems to me that, in Rumi’s “field”, souls meet and can harmoniously co-exist and respect each soul’s journey. I wonder what meeting in Rumi’s field could inspire within all of us. Standing in that field relies upon the willingness to trust stepping away from egotism and judgmentalism and stepping into willing open-heartedness and willing lovingness.
What do you imagine happens when all voices have a safe place to be heard? Let’s feel that for a moment…
I imagine that anticipating feeling heard, instead of fought or made wrong, reduces or eliminates the need for defensiveness as a necessary protection. Perhaps a willingness to hear another’s different views could develop, even if the other’s views are opposite the listener’s. When we remove judgmentalism from our list of skills for navigating through life, we are left with a greater sense of internal peace. From this peacefulness, it is much easier to listen and hear.
The idea is to stretch and reach for understanding. This approach breeds sensitivity, respect and trust, which transform into compromise, balance and resolution.
In a more personal way, most know or can feel the emotional impact of your voice being heard, understood, unheard, dismissed or diminished. What happens in families or relationships in which each voice or perspective is not heard or is not safe to be known? Let’s feel that for a moment…
One possibility is emotional withdrawal and the development of an inner world that is vulnerable to fear, isolation, misperception, confusion and anger. In my 30 years of practice as a psychologist, I have witnessed that the dynamic between people of dismissal and neglect most often leads to emotional pain and misdirection of that pain.
So, how are your “bridging skills”? Are you willing to meet in the field between wrongdoing and right-doing? When you cross that bridge, can you be peacefully and non-judgmentally on your soul’s journey? Will you be able to arrive in the field without the part of you that is dominated and influenced by your perspective or ego?
If you are willing to walk into Rumi’s field, consider that the passion that creates a bridge between two points is far more empowering than passion that creates alienation or a wall. Alienation is painful and destructive and does not inspire the willingness to hear.
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Bridges to the “field” are built as we willingly understand others…not with force; but rather, with kindness, open-heartedness and non-judgmentalism. Choose words that inspire understanding and communication. A loving heart heals beyond the world of opinions.
Practice going into the field. It’s good for the soul.
Dr. Abdo wants you to connect with your inner peace to experience and develop the sense of empowerment that is rooted in this awareness. Dr. Abdo believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, an individual can actively participate in the course of his or her journey freed of unseen and potentially defeating influences. She approaches her efforts to help others grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously and proactively involved in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.
For more information contact Dr. Abdo at (561) 393-5363.
Dr. Abdo strives to help you connect with your inner peace and develop the empowerment that is rooted in your unique awareness. She believes that, with personal knowledge and enhanced life skills, you can proactively participate in the course of your journey. Dr. Abdo approaches her efforts to help you grow with the deep belief that we must be consciously engaged in the dance steps of our lives to reach our goals and actualize our dreams.