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Reflection: Fade to Black

   When we're in the pit of despair, it's easy to choose the less effective path, or sway our decisions to give us temporary relief. We might want to give in to someone, give up what we've asserted, or revert whatever we've caused. It's easy to do -- just go backwards. However, what are we doing to ourselves? Prolonging pain? Betraying ourselves? 

Everyone comes with their truth -- as dark or enlightened as it might be. It's easy to define what we want or believe UNTIL it fronts up against someone else's truth. Suddenly it's a battle of wills, or a stalemate until someone gives in. And then there's the situation where neither give in, because both sides have their supporters and nothing gives.

I've spent the day realising this. There was no right or wrong in the situation I'm in. Neither side wanted to put down their weapons and civil conversation wasn't going to change it either. So how can we make peace with someone when it seems like both parties have lost? What can we tell ourselves when we can't rejoice nor admit defeat? How do we rate ourselves and what we did?

I reflected on how I would determine my future actions and what I take from this. Gestalt therapy teaches us that we need to assimilate with our experiences, decide what meaning we are going to take from it, then use those in further battles. I devised a questionaire for myself:

1. Did I act irrationally at any point? No.
2. Did I attack or name-call anyone? Not the person I was trying to compromise with.
3. Did I add additional drama to the situation? No, I tried to stop others dramatising.
4. Was I honest at all points, sharing whatever details I had at the time? Yes.
5. Did I use "I statements" and share my truth effectively? Yes.
6. Did I give the other person time to address their emotions? Yes.
7. Could I have done anything differently that might have improved the situation? Been assertive sooner.
8. Was this something I could have given in to make the other person happy? No.
9. What would I do differently next time? Run sooner!

As I think of the situation, I recognise I should have left sooner. Nobody had a right to put me down or attack me, and I shouldn't have towed the line, no matter how much I wanted to keep other people happy. I betrayed myself. Pain was prolonged for all parties. Had I stepped away sooner, it would have been difficult, but there might have been peace sooner. Instead, I stayed too long, let emotions get heightened, and the person I cared about most only blames me for being so injured. If I'd left sooner they would have gotten less attached.

I also found myself repeating my wants and needs regularly. The receivers either weren't wanting to listen or were incapable. In either case, it was a waste of time and breath. When people don't want to listen, they rarely change their stance. They are going to listen to themselves because they feel they are the right. They're prone to misrepresenting truths in the effort to be righteous and their needs to be paramount to goal setting.

In future, I pull the plug quicker. Fade to black; movie over. I'm not going to wait for the happy ending that was never produced.

God Vs. Him
Horrified on Halloween