The Art of Delightful Debate

 

The one person I would go to, no matter what was going on in my life, was my sister…who just passed away this January. No matter what the problem was she would listen intently…and then remind me to laugh at myself. She would tell me to give myself 15 minutes to freak out…cry, scream, yell, stomp…do whatever I wanted in that 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes was over, we would look at options and solutions.

  That was a very important lesson, because often times we will be upset about a situation or circumstance and we will internalize it; not giving ourselves the opportunity to let it out. This frustration that we would carry around with us becomes something dark, and can prohibit us from being loving towards others. Anger doesn’t want to be bottled up…it wants to be released; unfortunately what tends to happen is that we will turn our frustration, angst and disgust onto unsuspecting bystanders. We will answer people sharply, or snap at our children or spouse, and they will never have seen it coming. And this is all because we didn’t know how to or chose not to release this negativity.

  When I feel this way…I love to write, because in my writing I can see the anger, and by the end of the blog or letter…I can find a loving peaceful way to resolve the issue within myself. If only we could always proof read what we say to others, prior to engaging in the battle of tongues. If we had a transcript of what we said and what others said to us, we would, perhaps, be able to see where one or the other crossed the line. And we could make note of what was really meant and what was a defensive mechanism kicking in.

  Often we don’t realize that our mouths can be more brutal than our fists. We can heal from a bump or bruise, but the words and tones that we leave others with, can be emotionally scarring. I know that I have gotten into a heated discussion or debate with some one I loved before, and the words they said to me would still linger. In my mind, I could not reconcile what was said out of hurt and anger…and what was truth. This becomes a problem because often when discussions become heated, we lash out at the people we are speaking to, without realizing that we are being malicious. I wonder if we could preview the conversation before actually saying it, what would we change?

  I am now calling this the “Art of Delightful Debate”. Why delightful? Well that is fairly simple, we can disagree and not be rude or angry. If we listen carefully to what is being relayed to us, we can see another’s point more readily. However if we are so busy thinking of a rebuttal that could match them…or put them in their appropriate place…we miss the communication. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to be patient, because we often make assumptions about what is going to be said; but impatience can often be detrimental to the message. And even worse than interrupting the speaker is to, pretend to pay attention, or roll your eyes or cross your arms across your chest. All of these actions send very clear messages to the speaker…what you are saying is not important to me, so could you just be quiet? Often it isn’t quite so nicely put, either.

  When I was a young girl I can remember being talked to by an older family member, after they got done speaking they said, do you understand what I just said? Of course, I said yes, not expecting the earth shattering response that would follow. “So if you understood what I said…tell me what I said”. All I could offer was a deer in the head light look, and I can assure you that had I really listened…it would have been a much better day for me. Lol.

  Communication is very important, everything communicates. Animals communicate, even trees and plants communicate, and you only have to pay attention to what they are saying. For instance when a leaf of a plant or tree is turned upside down, it means that is going to rain. If a plants leaves or blooms are sagging…it means they need water. Animals have very heightened senses. An animal senses danger or threat of danger, right away; and unlike humans, an animal does not talk themselves out of being cautious. A wolf doesn’t sense that something is coming and then say….it’s probably just the wind. No, a wolf will leave, or prepare to fight…we, as human beings have the same senses…but we do not listen to ourselves.

  We are highly evolved beings with various means of communication at our disposal, yet we rarely listen to our inner voice. It is often that inner voice that will tell us what to do…even though we may not listen. It is that very voice…that seems to come from nowhere…that is watching out for us. I have always believed that my inner voice is the voice of our creator, guiding me down my path. Showing me the way to whatever destination which is meant for me; all I ever had to do was listen.

  What is the message in all of this? Be respectful in conversations; give to others what you want in return.

 We all want our voices to be heard…it just isn’t always necessary to yell. Sometimes it is those who speak the softest that have the more attentive audience. Often snappy responses are intended to offend the other person, and they just make us appear to be immature or irrational.

  Just listen to what is being communicated and your Art of Delightful Debate…will always be productive.

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