Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When Scary You

There are times when others behave or speak in ways that are out of our comfort zone; in ways that we don't ordinarily think about or observe, and we may feel frightened or threatened. 
Remembering that it is someone who, them self, is feeling frightened and acting out that anxious mind isn't always the first thing we think about.
It is likely, after all, that when we are uncomfortable, threatened-- feeling small to your big, the first response is to lash out, to even up the situation. So we become loud, stubborn, overbearing, competitive.

And meeting others on level ground
can be initially difficult when what we most want is to beat and retreat. However standing and announcing that they are scary right now may be just one way to break thorough to a truth that is otherwise hard to know.
 Dealing with others on a level playing field transforms you and the interaction into something less intimidating and more manageable.
You are now much more an equal; think about it-- people who aren't feeling bigger or smaller in comparison to others rarely are antagonistic. That is a spiritual truth all can ponder.  

Feeling frightened or seeming scary isn't just limited to yelling, belligerence or overtly acting out; silence, other non-communication or when the person is speaking calmly, but not making a whole lot of sense, is admittedly scary too.

Regardless of the form of "scary" which you may perceive, meeting others on level ground makes all the difference in a relationship with others. What is this meeting on level ground about? Zen teacher, Diane Rizzetto writes that it is about measures of self worth. She notes that many of us, many times place people below or above ourselves. We move about our daily life with a sometimes unconscious "measure stick."

Like Thomas Merton noted, we categorize
and classify others, and sometimes dismiss them. Dag Hammarskjold observes that by avoiding those occasions of comparison, we are more humble, not better nor worse than any other. We then meet as equal, equally human. Some use these measures to avoid uncomfortable feelings they have; though we are neither better nor worse as human beings, we often have the impulse to place personal responsibility elsewhere, to fault find; looking at our self with the mind of not better nor worse can over time lead to a greater self acceptance and feeling for others because in relationships, we don't need to convert others or clone our self. It's one step off the spinning wheel of suffering.

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