There are lots of seemingly little decisions in life that can end up making a big impact because they involve situations that will show up in your experience over and over again. One such decision is whether or not to engage in discussions regarding your choices and beliefs in life. These things are very personal and discussing them has the potential to create a strong emotional charge, both good and bad, depending on the person we are talking to.
One of my biggest personal development goals is creating a greater sense of peace in my life. There are lots of ways to accomplish this and one of the most effective is making a conscious effort to disengage from situations that are highly likely to create negative emotions. I do my best to abide by my policy of being happy to discuss my beliefs and choices with people who seem to have a genuine interest in hearing what I have to say, but avoiding situations that lead down the road of arguing, convincing, defending or proving something.
I engage in a lot of self-reflection and I can honestly say I have a fair degree of confidence in my beliefs and my choices. The things I believe are not things that were just handed down to me and I just blindly accepted as truth; my beliefs were formed from deep thought and personal experience. My choices were born of serious thought as to who I was, what I wanted, what I valued in life and I know they are right for me.
If someone else disagrees with my beliefs or thinks my choices are wrong, that is okay with me. It really does not bother me that much. If another person’s beliefs oppose mine or their life choices do not jibe with me, I do not feel the need to try to convince them of my point of view or argue. Live and let live. These sorts of things do not impact my day to day life and for that reason, paying them much mind is just silly and pointless.
Discussions about these deeply personal aspects of ourselves can go in lots of different directions and the motivations for starting them in the first place vary as well. Most of the time, it is fueled by something negative, such as wanting to prove the other person wrong or defending your beliefs and choices against criticism. If we are honest with ourselves, anytime we feel the need to do these things, we are trying to soothe that part of us that is maybe not so sure about what we believe or that we made the right choices. I think most of us hold some degree of insecurity about these types of things, it is only natural.
We always have that choice on how to respond to things, whether or not we will engage. While I am all for a discussion, I am not interested in engaging in ego-driven low-energy activities like fighting with other people about beliefs or defending the way I live my life. These things do not make me feel good. Making this choice can be difficult; you will feel something welling up inside you and you may feel like you will burst if you do not say something. But, if you can sit with it a bit, it will pass. Practice makes perfect….the natural inclination to argue and defend may still pop up, but it will be less intense and it will not last as long.
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