Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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The art of standing in disagreement and being okay.

I struggle with disagreement. Struggle to hold space for all points of view to coexist on one common ground of possibility. To stand in openness and acknowledge, “I hear your position. This is my position.” And be okay with speaking my truth even when someone else is telling me their truth is the real truth.

Deep within my lizard brain, the little child within hears disagreement as criticism. And criticism means I’ve done something wrong. I’ve been bad. I don’t belong. I am the unwanted.

In that place, I smile with my mouth only and go quiet.

I don’t want to make waves. To be ‘the bad girl’.

I am learning.

Learning that it’s not ‘bad’ to hold a different point of view.

That it’s okay to hold my truth in equal light to someone else’s. That my point of view is relevant too. We all have the right to our own truth, our own beliefs and way of seeing the world.

It isn’t, I am wrong. You are right.

It’s that your position is valid. My position is valid. And just because there’s uncommon ground between us, it doesn’t mean one of us has to let go of our truth. It just means this place of disagreement is an opportunity to learn more about the differences between us and be okay in that space.

I am learning.

I am learning that the little child within is sometimes scared when the adult me finds herself in disagreement.

I’m learning to tell her, it’s okay. We’re okay. We don’t always have to agree. We do always need to be patient and kind. We are responsible in how we turn up. And when I turn up in grace, pay attention, speak my truth and stay unattached to the outcome, the little child within is not afraid.

I am learning to recognize myself in flight, because when I feel unsure, when I feel like I’m being attacked, I am a master of flight. And while flight is beautiful when it’s an eagle soaring on high, it’s not so comfortable for we earth-bound humans.

Flight means I’m running away. It means I am afraid to speak my truth. That I am letting go of my voice.

I am learning to ground myself in my truth where I create space for all the colours of the rainbow to shine bright, even when it’s not my kind of art.

The art is in learning to always be me, in every kind of way, in every kind of place.

I am learning that whether we agree or disagree, as long as I am patient and kind, as long as I do not let fear drive me into taking flight, I am okay with me.

There is an art to standing in disagreement without letting fear drive me away from being true to myself. That art comes alive when I am patient and kind with everyone, including myself. In that place, I can see the brilliant hues of truth shimmering in every point of view and be okay with the multi-faceted perspectives of everything and everyone.

What about you?

Are you comfortable with disagreement? Are you able to stand in your truth and allow others room to stand in theirs without feeling the need to make one right, the other wrong?

Where do you go in disagreement? How do you stand strong in your truth, giving voice to what you see while leaving room for other voices to be heard freely?

 

 


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No matter the seas, flow back to where it begins, Love.

One advantage of getting married in your sixties is there’s no parent or parent-in-law creating havoc with their insistence you do it this way or that. There’s no one insisting you invite great aunt Betsy whom you haven’t seen in a gazillion years or that cousin who farts at the dinner table and never eats with his mouth closed.

The guest list is ours to create. So are all the decisions.

Perhaps that is the issue.

We have no one else to blame or judge or complain about. We’re on our own and with less than three months to the big day, there are still a lot of decisions to be made, together. Ah yes, together.

Perhaps that is the challenge. Our intent is to make the decisions together and sometimes, we don’t agree.

Disagreement does not equal rejection.

Tell that to two people embroiled in a disagreement about the ritual they are creating to symbolize their two families coming together. While we both agree on the ritual we’ve created, we didn’t quite agree on how the ritual would unfold.

“I don’t think we should direct it so precisely,” C.C. said.

“I think we must,” I replied.

And the gloves came off.

Now, there is nothing pretty nor inspiring about two mature adults arguing about something that is really not all that important. Either way works. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Fortunately, C.C. is a man of deep heart. He knew when to walk away from the conversation and come back when the waters were less turbulent.

And he did. And the seas calmed.

It did get me thinking though about my victim’s voice.

There is a tape, a litany of sorts, that fires in my head almost instantaneously when in a heated conversation. “I should have known better.”

I don’t initially hear it. It is an auto-response that leaps into the fray whenever I am telling myself the story about how I am being attacked, discouraged, frightened… It has nothing to do with the other person or what is being said, or even what is happening in the here and now. It is always about the there and then, something deeply seated in my psyche’s memory bank of the past that is triggered by present experiences. And it is always from the position of my victim’s voice. My place of, “See I told you so. You can’t trust anyone, or anything. Not even the universe.”

My victim’s voice leads me quite quickly, (can you spell lightning-speed?) to that place where all I really want to do is run away, hit eject, blow everything up and ditch it all to go sail around the world, alone, thank you very much.

The advantage from where I sit today is, I recognize my victim’s voice. She can still create havoc but it is not as long-lived, nor as destructive as it was in the past. Today, when she fires up her tale of woe is me, I am better able to turn her off, to redirect her thinking to what is true and real and loving and caring in front of me. My victim’s voice would have me believe the lie, I don’t deserve happiness, joy, love, or even to shine. The truth is. I do.

We are less than three months away from the wedding. Over the weekend we picked out our wedding bands, bought the fabric to line the tent and I spent some time creating examples of centrepieces for the tables.

We also weathered a storm and though the seas got wild and choppy for a bit, we weathered the storm and are now sailing on calm waters again.  The skies are clear and while there’s still lots to do between now and April 25th, we’ve got our boat loaded with what matters most in calm and choppy seas; compassion for one another, a deep understanding of who we are, individually and together, and a willingness to always flow back to where it all begins, and ends, Love.