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A Friend is Someone Who is Good at Not Getting Along With You

The character of a team is revealed not by how much affection its members display during times of agreement, but by how well its members learn to communicate and coexist during moments of dispute.

Getting along when we agree is evidence neither of compatibility nor camaraderie. Getting along when we agree is just a part of what it means to agree.

Even rivals appear to be allies when they advocate the same point of view.

Disagreement, far from being a threat to genuine friendship, is the very thing that makes it possible to distinguish enemies from friends.

Without the capacity for conflict, there can be no basis for chemistry.

Transcending the dimension of disagreement

From defending positions to embracing possibilities

There is a level of thought and conversation that exists beyond the dimension of disagreement.

At this level, conversations are vibrational rather than verbal. It’s no longer just a matter of listening to what each other says, but of artfully rendezvousing with the spirit of every person. The positions we tend to argue over are often just indirect ways of expressing sentiments like “I love you”, “I want to share with you”, “I want to create with you”, “I want to delight in the pleasures of life with you”, “I need to know I belong”, “I want to remember that I am beautiful.”

As we look beyond words, towards our more fundamental desire to connect energetically, we gain access to higher perspectives that dissolve defensiveness and enable us to relate to the seemingly unrelatable. From this more expanded level of awareness, we can swing open new vistas of opportunity for creativity and collaboration.

Opening the mind to enter the heart

To get there, we must open our mind to possibilities within dialogue that don’t require the negation of another person’s point of view.

Below, I’ve listed 5 questions that have been very useful in helping me move beyond my need to be right.  After testing them out on myself, I’m now sharing them with you. 

1) What if I accepted each instance of being challenged or misunderstood as an opportunity to deepen my understanding of communication and my embodiment of compassion?
2) What if  I experimented with responding to others in ways that don’t require me to be right and them to be wrong?
3) What if I spent more time exploring the results of  engaging my dissenters & critics in a playful lighthearted manner?
4) What if I chose to see arguments as dances instead of battles; where the goal was not to defeat an opponent or enemy, but to figure out a way to synchronize with my partner’s contrasting style through the use of creative moves and clever maneuvers?
5) What if I listened, at least every once in awhile, to a point of view I disagreed with and commented ONLY on the aspects I AGREED with and left everything else out?

Within the past month, I have observed a much calmer and lighter disposition in myself as a result of quietly reflecting on these questions.

It’s still a learning process for me, but I am thoroughly enjoying the options that are opening up for me as I make “being right” less and less of a priority in my life.

Dancing in the open fields of possibility

In the words of the poet Rumi, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

Our positions are like points in space. The field, Rumi speaks of, is the space itself which gives meaning and context to all positions and points. This space, or field of awareness, is the Source of true wisdom, peace, and contenment. It is also where life and laughter is born.

We don’t access this field by arguing and analyzing. We must learn to descend into our hearts and adopt a more intuitve mode of knowing. As we spend more time in this field, we develop a vibrational vocabulary. And we find ourselves communing with all of life’s diversities and discrepancies in the language of love.

I’m on my way to this field right now. I hope to see you there too. Maybe we’ll create some fun games to play or perhaps we could just dance together. Either way….


T.K. Coleman

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