A Bite of Wisdom

"Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always."
Rilke

Monday, August 11, 2008

Defense is the first act of war......

This quote, by Byron Katie, one of my teachers hit me square between the eyebrows. Guilty as charged. My mind flooded with all the times I felt the need to defend or protect myself, and see that the simple act of defending myself escalated things disproportionately. I stand in humility and openness and forgiveness for myself...tears fill my eyes. I am willing to see, to look closely at this in my life; to see that it is caused by me putting labels on places and people as good or bad, nice or mean. My imagination rewinds back to some of my earliest memories of times I felt the need to defend myself. It's human nature, and absolutely necessary at times, but also, there were times when my reaction was more knee-jerk and stronger and perhaps even completely unnecessary. I am learning to give people permission to think poorly of me without rushing to fix their opinion, or change my behavior.

So, I ask the question tonight...can I receive whatever comes toward me with equanimity and let it sit and settle in before moving my mouth or my heart? Can I be quiet and still enough as life comes around and toward me to see and hear the truth? I want to be able to listen so deeply that what I hear is the message between the words, or see the truth of the heart of the person before I act.

4 comments:

Dhrumil said...

Wonderful quote!

I was hearing this today.

benoit said...

"Defense is the first act of war."

Well no, actually defense is the second act of war. The first act of war is "why?".

"Why did you do xyz?"

The moment you defend, you become involved in the war already going on in someone else's head.

icephoenix said...

*ponders*
"Why" is a marvelous question. Regardless of how it was asked, it is how we interpret the way it was asked or the question itself when the "defense" arises that we end up in war. :)

Eric said...

Because, the defense is so often the inappropriate response, to what was not...
It is an excedingly clever statement, though "nature cares less."
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