The Art of Lovingly DisengagingBy Dr. Margaret Paul
January 12, 2009
Discover the two choices you need to make to lovingly disengage in conflict and what the process of lovingly disengaging looks like.
What does it mean to lovingly disengage from conflict? How do you keep your heart open and lovingly disengage when someone close to you is saying things about you that aren't true, or saying things about others that aren't true, or saying things about themselves or about life that aren't true? How do you lovingly disengage when someone close to you is blaming you, complaining, withdrawing from you, resisting you, or attacking you? How do you lovingly disengage when someone close to you is behaving in a way that feels threatening to you - physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually?
There are two choices you need to make for you to be able to lovingly disengage.
- You need to 100% accept that you have no control over the other person - that you are not the cause of the other person's thoughts, feelings or behavior, and that there is nothing you can do about it.
For most people, this is extremely challenging to accept. Most people, when being treated badly by another person, say, "What did I do wrong?" This question comes from the belief that you cause others' behavior - and if you are the cause of it, then you are in control of it. When you fully accept that each of us feels and behaves the way we do entirely according to our own thoughts and beliefs, then you will not be asking "What did I do wrong?"
People who tend to be caretakers believe that if only they are loving enough, giving enough, kind enough, caring enough, open enough, and put themselves aside enough, they can have control over getting another person to change - a totally false belief.
As long as you believe that there is some way you can have control over another person's intent, you will likely stay engaged in situations that are not at all in your highest good.
- You need to be 100% willing to feel the painful feelings of loneliness, heartache and helplessness over others that occur when someone you care about disconnects from you. If you are not willing to learn to acknowledge, feel, lovingly nurture, and then release these painful feelings to Spirit, you will protect against them by engaging with the person who is disconnecting from you and who is not open to learning with you.
Once you 100% accept your lack of control and 100% accept the responsibility for nurturing your core painful feelings, then you can practice the art of disengaging.
The art of disengaging looks like this:
- If you have attempted to learn with this person and they are not open to learning, or you know from past experience that this person will not open, you say to yourself, "I have no control over this person. There is nothing I can say or do to change this person."
- You walk away, singing your "happy song" in your mind to keep from going into any blame or judgment. You offer a prayer, asking God to help this person come back into his or her "right mind."
- You tune into your feelings of loneliness, sorrow, heartache, and helplessness, acknowledging them, holding them in your heart and nurturing them for a few minutes, and then asking God to take them and replace them with peace and acceptance.
- You do an Inner Bonding process to see if there is anything else going on with your Inner Child, or if there is anything your Guidance wants to tell you.
- You do something you really love to do - walk in nature, read a book, listen to music, do something creative like draw, play an instrument or write, take a bath, talk with a friend (not about the other person), go on the Inner Bonding website, play with a pet, or whatever else feels loving and nurturing to you.
What you do not do is walk away in anger, blame or judgment, or ruminate about what you should say or what the other person is saying or doing. You do whatever you need to do to keep your heart open so that when the other person opens again, you have no residual resentment and are fully ready to re-engage.
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We draw people to us at our common level of woundedness and our common level of health. Therefore, if you want your relationships to change from conflicted or distant to loving and connected, be devoted to your own healing and become the kind of person you want to attract into your life.
By Dr. Margaret Paul