What Really Matters...
It’s been always the same, like a badly written story where one human being stands against another. Some use fists to defend their truths, others are sharp at tongue. Each is reluctant to give up.
But does it really matter?
It’s a fact that huge part of people living on this planet struggle to make their lives better. This is understandable. Each has their list of beliefs, deeply engraved on the innate side of their being. But for what I learned, if the life you have today is not yet the life of your dream then surely, the beliefs you’re guarding so much are not simply working for you.
For some reasons, it’s in us to feel like defending ourselves against people’s thoughts, people’s words, people’s actions, in other words against the world. In some cases, it’s what we need to do. If there is a bully, you kinda need to know how to defend yourself. Or if someone violates your human rights, or tries to hurt you, for example. But our defending instinct grew way bigger than that.
Today, people use defending instinct in almost every conversation they have.
I once heard a conversation between a couple of married people in a store. The wife was reaching for a big packet of white bread to add to already full cart. Her husband nicely assumed that, maybe they didn’t need to buy bread today since they already had plenty of frozen pizzas and pasta boxes in the cart. The wife turned on her defending instinct immediately. She demonstratively threw the packet of bread into the cart and acidly notified her husband that she was the one who cooked in their house and therefore she knew better what they need.
The notion of her husband could have saved some money in their family. But the wife chose to guard her belief that since she was the one who cooked, she was as well the one to decide here, even though her decision was not the wisest. Her defending instinct kicked in even though there was nothing really to defend. Her husband was not trying to take anything away from her. Besides, is not it too petty to ruin relationships and respect for your partner over a packet of white bread that more likely will be thrown out in a few days.
I can only imagine what this couple goes through every day, hitting the steel bars of defending instinct that seemingly is in charge of their lives.
You might think, the example is ridiculous, but unfortunately, these things happen every day. Moreover, the wrong use of defending instinct is one of the main reasons, why people break up, friendships end and personal growth stops.
Does it really matter to be always right, even if being right means to lose good relationships, respect, peace, happiness, money after all. Do you know how many people came to you with information that could have changed your life forever? But instead of listening and taking it, all we do is turning on our defending instinct as if our very lives depend on it.
But what we defend really? Ironically, we defend the beliefs that never work for us. Why? I guess, lack of awareness and openness is to blame.
If you see the world as a danger, obviously you will need your defending instinct, even in the most mundane things like deciding whether to buy a packet of bread today. But is the world really as dangerous as we believe? Or the other question, is our belief that world is dangerous makes us better?
I personally think, all it does is it emotionally cripples us, turning our hearts into impenetrable pack of ice, it makes us blinder to our feelings, and it definitely stops us from following the steps of personal evolution.
Now, does it really matter for you to be always right when the stakes are so high? Is it better to be right or happy?
Just recently, I’ve learned this trick which I use every time when I feel like unleashing my defending instinct in a wrong place and time. It’s simple and yet, it’s a trick.
Each time you feel like defending yourself and you are not sure if it’s the right place and time for you to do this, imagine that you’re tired. You’re so tired that you cannot even move your tongue. Watch the person you talk to, closely. Think, if it matters to be right more than being happy and complete and peaceful? Is what this person tells you can be of any use for you? Maybe, what this person has to tell is exactly what you need to make your life better.
No one can take anything from you unless it’s never been yours.
Trying to defend your beliefs is not always a rational thing to do. Those beliefs that make you a better person and help you move your life for the best, are not going anywhere. They are yours. And in most situations, those beliefs that are ours to the bones are not the same we feel like defending.