• Brenda Kress

Opposites Do Attract

Over the last month or so there have been so many topics that have wanted to come out on my blog. The Spirit might have been willing, but the flesh (my brain and typing fingers) wasn’t. I’d think about it, but that would be it.

Today I do want to share something that is having a profound impact on my thoughts, actions and relationships. I recently completed a four day course, The Path of Contemplative Dialogue. It was great, though my husband’s initial comment was, “You need to learn to talk? Really?”

The course was so much more than learning how to talk; it was about listening, the meaning of words, and that we each come with our own set of filters which impact how we send and receive information. This is probably a complete simplification of a complex topic, but you probably get the gist of it.

One of the topics was about recognizing the polarities in life. Up/down, bad/good, north/south, democrat/republican and so on. It is just a way of life in this world, but we have a choice in how these polarities affect us. Working with polarities is not always about trying to bring someone to my end of the pole, but to find a way to take the high emotions out of the differences and find some balance. I had a chance to test this today.

I have claimed the den area as mine and have decorated it to reflect my interests. On a table is a picture of Amma (amma.org), a crystal singing bowl, books on Mother Mary and Mother Teresa, a huge Angel tapestry on the wall, a bookcase filled with different versions of the Bible, books on spiritual thought and statues of monks from several different traditions. So, you get an idea about me. My world revolves around all things spiritual with no attachment to any one tradition or religious practice.

The living room is somewhat neutral territory and my husband has had more of a say in how it is set up. The furniture is all centered around at 42” screen TV with huge speakers and an Xbox connected. Paintings of Greece (his other country) hang from the wall – but nary an Angel is to be seen!

So, this morning I’m watching a DVD about Amma titled, She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands. It shows Amma giving Darshan (hugs) to adults, children and even animals. I was so touched that it brought tears to my eyes. Wanting to share this with Nick, I went into the front room where he was playing a game on the Xbox. This game was one of war with the purpose being to kill the enemy. Hmmm – you feel the difference in vibes?

My first reaction is disappointment that this moment will pass and he isn’t really interested in sharing it with me. I know he wants to tell me not to be so emotionally caught up in the “ministry” of others and I want to tell him that he is filling his world with violent thoughts. For a brief moment, I start to share all that I’m thinking about. But instead, I retreat to my sanctuary. Prior to taking this course on how to slow down and pay attention to things, I would try so hard to show Nick the error of his ways and how his world is so pessimistic. He would, in turn, tell me to take off my rose colored glasses and be realistic.

Using one of the tips I learned in Contemplative Dialogue, I took some time to focus not on our differences, but in the ways we support each other. I remembered how he bought me two toning bowls for my collection and how he hung my angel on the wall. He hasn’t complained once about me completely taking over this room and all the books, study binders and candles I have. As the den is a part of our kitchen area (more of a great room than a den) he would have every right to ask me to take my stuff into one of our spare rooms, but he doesn’t. Once I quit thinking in terms of right and wrong (with me being right, of course!), just that we’re different, the need to show Nick the “light” dissipated.

I am so happy that I took some time to think about all this versus getting upset because Zen doesn’t seem to be as important to him. I realize we each are navigating through this world together, but in our own ways. We have found a balance in our polarities and it is respect.

This afternoon we will watch the Super Bowl. He will cheer for the Packers and I will root for the Steelers. Ah, sweet, polarities!

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