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Old 01-14-2011, 01:28 PM   #51
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,183
Re: Is there another solution?

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Allot of people have a similar and common view point of my ego that day. I know where they are coming from. I expected more of those opinions. These opinions are inline with how my Mother sees such situations. She would say to me as a kid if I got in some kind of dispute, "you didn't hold your temp (refering to ego), you didn't walk away then you are equally in the wrong!" Both me and my brother would both be punished even though my brother was picking on me. My mother's view is pretty universal. As common as that view is, it isn't always a healthy solution to see things that way.
I understand what you're saying. I used to struggle a lot, too, in situations where I felt the other party was "more wrong"...and when I say "struggle", I mean it was impossible for me to get past this. I still struggle with it, a lot, but a friend once told me something that helped me see my way past this. This was years ago, and I'm still learning this lesson.

She was listening to me vent about...jeez, I don't even remember what it was about, but it was one of these unfair situations where I felt the other party was "more wrong". I knew that my friend thought I was being wrong-headed about that, so I expected her to disagree with me. To my surprise, she agreed that the other person was "more wrong", with no equivocation. Then she gently pointed out that while that was true, it wasn't relevant, because it wasn't the real source of my feeling upset.

I find it very telling that today, thinking back on that moment, I can't even remember what I was upset about originally. All that I can remember is the emotional distress that I had built up in myself over being the more wronged party. It was no longer about the harm that had been done to me, and all about...what? that the two of us weren't equally harmed?

There is such a thing as blaming the victim. When a person is hurt and we blame them for crying out, that's blaming the victim. But I feel that I now have a sense of the difference between blaming the victim, and recognizing when a person who's been hurt has gotten into a pattern of intensifying their hurt rather than dealing with it or letting it rest. Looking back, I can see plenty of pity parties that I threw for myself over the years. Each one had its origin in a real hurt that was done to me...but I don't remember having any fun at those parties.

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Was I equally in the wrong. I will say that proportionally the Adam Henry sensei's was 90 % in the wrong, and the much of the blame rests on him. My mother would not agree with me. She has the popular view that ego is bad. I can't see that being very realistic. Having an ego is good too. Being completely ego-less like a Buddhist monk isn't functional 100% in the world most of us live in. Being egoless works well if you live in a Buddhist monastery where that view is cultured like a pearl. Outside of that work it doesn't work like that. Ego has a function, both positive and negative. For some reason society treats Ego as a bad thing.
I have a question for you: all those times when your mother tried to tell you to let go of the need to figure out what percentage of the blame rests where, why do you think she did it? Do you think she did it because she hated you and liked your brother more? Do you think she did it because she wanted to beat you down and crush your will?

Or do you think that perhaps she was trying to help you?

The books never balance. Your mother understood that, is my guess. The books never balance, and if you get stuck on that and spend your energy trying to make them balance, all you'll get is a headache and a heartache. You've written pages in this thread arguing about how you were in the right. For all you know, the other sensei could do the same. If we heard his side of the story, it might sound equally compelling. But even if that's not the case, you have no means of extracting the sort of "justice" you are going after. I asked you before: you said you wanted respect. Do you feel that you got respect as a result of your actions? You are still not happy and at rest about the situation. You seem to want unconditional validation. Will that really help you?

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
In my situation, I was being insulted, and mocked, based on a sensei's arrogance and feeling he had to dominate me. My ego kicked in as it should as a safe guarding mechanism for self-protection. Without that ego doing its job, I would be nothing but a punching bag. I would have no self-esteem, or confidence without ego. I would be reduced to the status of a batter wife syndrome mentality. My self-esteem and confidence crushed, subordinate to Adam Henry sensei's abuse, i.e. his bitch. My ego needed to be in place to prevent that. I need to show him I wasn't his bitch.
No. You may not yet know how it is possible to maintain one's self-esteem and confidence without being at the mercy of your "ego kicking in" when it's poked. You may believe that there is only one possible response to a perceived attempt to dominate you. This is not so, but to see the other options, you have to be able to trust that you can let the story line go, let the drama drop, not play the game -- and still not be harmed. Right now, you don't believe that, you don't trust that. I don't blame you. I've been in a very survival-minded place where there was only one possible response to a perceived threat. The only way to find other responses is to get to a place where you know that you don't have to come out with guns a-blazin' in order to not be harmed. There are ways to move in this direction, and if you'd like, I'd be happy to point you at some things that have helped me a lot. I hope also that you will trust me when I say that it's a better place to be.

By the way -- and I regret to bring this up -- I've wanted to say this for several of your posts now, and I've sat on my hands, and I'm not going to do it any more. As a woman, I find your use of the term "bitch" insulting and offensive. I know that it's become commonplace in the culture to use this term in this way; still, it is a sexist usage that perpetuates sexist attitudes that are harmful to women. If you don't want to do this, please consider choosing another word (and if you have trouble finding one, that might be cause for reflection about the harm that has already been done in our society by the pervasive use of this term).