Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Push me, Pull you

Inspired by my dear friend, Beth Chapman's wonderfully thought provoking post, Saying Yes in her Hope's Breath blog, here I am a while later, with the thoughts a-whirling.  What is it that we do, that dance of aggression one moment, magnificent dismissal the next, yet another time rushing in with earnest enthusiasm, all with an eye towards creating an exchange of energy.  "I'm right, you're wrong."  "Don't do that, do THIS."  "That's nice, but let's change it."  Someone always wants and needs to be holding the upper hand.  That phrase, by the way, "getting the upper hand" is derived from...a GAME, people!

"Having the upper hand is one such expression which originated with the advent of the game of baseball. In order to determine which team would bat first, a player from each team would come forth. One player would hold the lower end of the bat and the player from the other team would place his hand above it. They would continue alternating hands this way until the last hand on the bat would be the upper hand and that team would get to bat first, having got the upper hand." The Tribune
How's that for being as triumphantly "right" as any euphemism can be?!  It is the epitome of "one-upping" and underscores how we so often look at life as a competition.  Personally, I have never been competitive with others.  In fact, I find it to be a very unpleasant situation to be in when another person practically sprouts fangs and salivates in delight at the opportunity to beat someone else down "in friendly competition".  There is nothing "friendly" about that "I win, so you must lose" mindset, and it doesn't foster anything positive that I have ever witnessed. 

As always, I take a bit of time to get to the point, and my point is, we're always in motion.  Saying "yes" or "no" to anything, any situation, anyone, causes a reaction.  Entropy ensues.  You don't stick a glass in mid-air, release it and walk away thinking it will hang suspended, do you?  Of course, not; you recognize the glass will fall, hit the ground and shatter, spilling contents, requiring cleaning of broken shards that might injure, messy liquids that can stain.  That is a very good analogy for our daily actions. 

Our "yes/no" responses to every moment cause such reactions....sometimes there are broken shards of ourselves to pick up, attempt to repair, or recognize that they are best left broken and discarded.  Other "yes/no" responses cause proverbial wounds and blood to spill and leave a stain or scar.  We tidy up as best we can, of course, neaten it up, slap on a bandage and keep moving forward.  Sometimes the wound heals in a practically invisible manner, other times there is a dramatic mark left behind to note the drama that occurred.

The "push me, pull you" part of life is what presents moments of discovery, wonder, beauty.  Recently, I was involved in a work-related drama that had been brewing for a couple of weeks.  My Higher Mind recognized this immediately and began to communicate warning signs via dreams and those "feelings" of intuition we all experience.  I'm happy to say that I recognized all of the above and kept mental note while also continuing to live my life. 

The situation came to an abrupt head with absolute boat loads of drama just dying to happen, to come crashing down and shatter and splash, cut, gouge and destroy.  Years ago, I would have gotten caught up in the drama, I would have allowed myself to get sucked into the negative pool, all with sincere intent to "fix" the whole mess.  I would have been affronted and determined to defend my reputation.  Fortunately, with age comes wisdom and a calmer approach. These days, and with this situation in particular, the absolutely wonderful part was that I simply didn't engage beyond the necessary interaction to put a swift end to said drama.  I was also given the gift of one friendly face in the whole bundle of personalities who embraced my own mindset of stepping back from the dramatic overtones and finding a rational solution to the situation.

Rather than falling into the typical, "Oh no, this is awful, the sky is falling, I must fix it!" mentality, and thus, driving myself into a frenzy of worrying and eventually making myself physically ill, I just recognized the drama for what it was.  An attempt to be the top hand on the baseball bat - a determination to win at all costs, regardless of the fallout or the possible victims.  There was definitely a negative result that I personally experienced, but it had already happened weeks ago and I had dealt with it, come to peace with and about it and had already moved on to newer, better, more positive endeavors.  The other actors in this particular drama were still stuck in the old energy, still very invested in playing the drama up to the highest levels possible.

The good news is, I weathered the storm as though it were less than a single raindrop on a sunny day.  I am still quite captured and captivated by the true simplicity of this whole thing.  "Push me, pull you" can become a person's singular identity if they choose it to be so.  A neverending saga of dramas, arguments, jockeying for power and position, always fighting to have the final word.  OR, "push me, pull you" can become a different dance of energy where you choose to flow in a form of cooperation that actually turns out to be a more true example of success.  Some might call it passive resistance, or if you want to be completely negative, call it passive aggressive behavior...that psychological darling of a catch-phrase. 

I choose to see it, claim it, identify it as STRENGTH.  Rather than engaging in a squabble full of needless drama, I chose to acknowledge the issues, state my opinions in a professional manner, stay cheerful and upbeat and refuse to be sucked into the morass of negativity.  To be honest, the reactions were borderline comical, and I do not say that in a snide manner.  I heard true perplexity in the voices of those I was speaking with as they grappled with someone who would not engage in their carefully crafted scenario.  I could see it clearly for what it was, yet I chose to hold on to the wonderful, positive energy that has been flowing around me and saturating my Life Path in the last several months.  Mark Twain, he of wry, understated humor, said it best, I think:

"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."
This is not to say I was laughing at these people.  It is to indicate that I chose to not be sucked into a needless tangle of negative energy when we were dealing with a moot point to begin with.  In light of this fact, the "push me, pull you" dance really couldn't take place, but as we all know, there are those souls who will determinedly create something tangible where it doesn't exist, just for the sake of stewing in that negativity.  I chose to flow with them, rather than push against or pull away from them.  This is key, my friends.  It is a sister to the analogy of when one door closes, another opens.  Think about it.  If that door is closed and locked and you don't have the key, you can rattle the door knob, push against it, kick the fool out of it and you'll never get it to open.  Isn't it easier to just turn away, glance about you and see that, oh, look there...an open doorway is steps away!?

I am not suggesting abandoning a situation and leaving loose ends that you are responsible for - I am saying to give a difficult situation a fair amount of attention while maintaining a cheerful mien, a positive focus on all the good things surrounding you.  Do this and you flow with the energy.  No struggle is necessary and no harm comes to anyone.  You flow in cooperation because you are maintaining focus on the lightness, the good, the positive, the purposeful.  As a result, the drama and negativity will part around you in a smooth flow of cooperation, parting as water does over an obstacle and flowing onward down the river.  The obstacle is left behind and the water goes rushing merrily onward.  That is what I experienced this week and it was glorious!

Yes, the situation was frustrating and annoying.  It was completely unnecessary, the way it was handled.  There was real opportunity for the whole thing to have lasting and negative fallout on me, personally, in my small town, had I chosen to engage and go in with guns blazing.  What defines us, in the end, is how we choose to react to a given set of circumstances.  I chose laughter.  I chose light.  I chose to flow with energy rather than push against, pull at, kick doors or stir up dissent. In southern terms, we call it "picking your battles" and that is most likely also a euphemism that is widespread.  Some things merit aggressive action; in my opinion, this was not one of those moments.

Perhaps I have strayed far and wide from my friend Beth's original blog post, and that is okay.  That's the beauty of blogging - we cause sparks of inspiration to flare brightly from one another.  In fact, when I think about it, it is another beautiful example of flowing with energy, grasping that spark of inspiration and moving it forward in perhaps a completely unexpected direction and application.  You will read this article and have your own thoughts, reactions and opinions and the flow of energy will continue.  That makes me smile!


  1. go with the flow has now, a whole new meaning - and not to engage with the negative, the closed doors, but to turn to the open door...the one you can flow into...wow - I' going to flow with that and see where that takes me! thankyou Dawn for all your thoughts -(and I liked the direction you went from Beth's YES and now your flow....love it!

  2. Well I wrote a nice comment & lost it...oh well. I say yes to taking the high road & trying to figure out a better way to resolve situations. But I'm also a very competitive person I've played sports most of my life & have been good at many. (BTW they came up with bottle caps to get the highest on the bat you can by grabbing the nub of the bat =D)

    In life I believe there's always a better way to find a solution that works for everyone. I look to find the love inside of each person involved regardless of what they are actually saying. By carrying this love for each person I am able to see beyond the argument & help everyone find a solution. Thanks for this great reminder.



  3. Marcella, thanks for taking time to read both Beth's and my post, and for being able to see the progression I was attempting to build. I wasn't sure if I had captured it correctly, but apparently, I hit the right note! It's cool, isn't it, when you stumble across a different way of approaching a given situation - that's exactly why I wrote this article. I discovered this immense freedom that is evoked when you choose NOT to dive into the drama pool. Thank you so much for "getting" my message!

    Bill, I wasn't talking about competition w/ games - that type of competition has its healthy aspects. I don't see that same energy existing in a business environment when a group of people choose to sacrifice someone simply for the pleasure of being destructive & triumphant. That's what I chose to disengage from and I was truly pleased with the result. It is an practice I will continue in the future. So, yep, I agree with taking the High Road! Thank you, my friend, for visiting today.

    ~ Dawn

  4. I really enjoyed this blog. It really hits home in my life quite a bit! You and I touched on it a bit last week after the summit. Picking and choosing your battles and not succumbing to the power of others back biting and manipulations truly is a life-long lesson of STRENGTH! Thank you for writing this! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  5. Like the flower that reaches for the sun through concrete, neither pushing nor pulling, flowing with what it has - its energy and roots-becoming neither the concrete nor the wall but supporting and gracing them all. You are to be applauded on many levels (and are) but the biggest smile is this strength from one with 'southern' DNA.

    A beautiful addition and kindling to stackable energy. Honored you could build from my tiny pebble. So glad to have another jewel to read.

  6. Danae, yep, I'm sure we'll have many of those "kitchen conversations" to come! Get people together w/ food & laughter and good conversation always follows. I'm glad it resonated w/ you! Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a wonderful comment!

    Beth, I smiled at the realization that this was, indeed, another example of Stackable Energy! LOVE that! And it wasn't even intentional - Ha! Glad you found my tag-team addition to be a graceful one to your post. :) And Woo Hoo for that southern DNA!!!!

    ~ Dawn

  7. I have learned to pick my battles too. I love your description of how you didn't get sucked in to the drama. Great post!!!

  8. VKT, this one seems to be sparking a common sentiment w/ a lot of people! I love when discussion gets rolling along in the Comments thread w/ my post or anyone elses. I'm glad you visited today & left me a comment. Now I need to track yours down and do some reading in return!

    ~ Dawn

  9. I've always tried my best to stay away from drama. It's really not worth it & an absolute waste of everyone's time. I'm glad you didn't let yourself get sucked into it. I really liked this quote of yours: "What defines us, in the end, is how we choose to react to a given set of circumstances." Great post Dawn! :)

  10. Excellent post that I think was necessary to write about, not only for yourself but for others, like me, who have been in the midst of drama/anger with my father. I had a good appointment with my trusted therapist yesterday and resolved so much! I have choices to make, for myself. And the wonderful thing is there is no guilt or drama in these choices. I will not and can not please everyone, but at times must do what is right for Janie. This post just brought that all together for me. I want peace in my life, not drama. Thanks friend.

  11. Came back to refuel for the day! Off to the corporate world of 'push me pull you'. But ha! I am armed with a sword of life. I am not a weeble! Tee hee!!!!

  12. Anahid, it's a neverending search for balance that we go through on a daily basis, isn't it! That sentence you quoted is one that I often stop and remind myself of; it gives me that moment to regroup, cool down and disengage. I think it's human nature to want to defend, or at least toss out a righteous opinion and that's simply not always the healthiest, or smartest choice - we do it anyway at times though! This particular moment in my life was a definite epiphany and I will use it as a yardstick for the future. I'm glad it resonated w/ you! Thanks for visiting today. :)

    Janie, same w/ you - I'm glad this was written at a perfect time to help add to your sense of peace with your own life circumstances. It's funny, isn't it, how others will sometimes write or talk about a topic that really strikes home w/ what we're currently experiencing? I interpret that as more than coincidence and I smile at the fact that my hand was guided in that manner. Your writing has done the same for me at times, my friend. Keep walking forward with that wonderful spirit of yours!

    Bethie, how nice that I was part of starting your day off with a spot of sparkly fuel! That gave me a great, big smile, and the Weeble mention made me laugh out loud. No, my dear, that DNA does not allow for Weebleness - you're riding the energy flow way up high! Thanks for stopping by to visit before heading off to the corporate world. :)

    ~ Dawn

  13. Your wisdom serves you well. I've been in this exact situation and handled it similarly. Many don't know what to do when you don't give into their little game!

    As a young woman I was extremely competitive in everything...I always had to be right no matter what the situation. This was my insecurity showing as well as the perfectionism that my mother pushed upon me. I seemed to gravitate to friends and co-workers that had a whirlwind of negativity swirling around them.

    I'm not sure what the defining moment was; but I decided one day that I had had enough negativity and craziness in my world. The transition lasted about eight years and was terribly painful at the time. The final step was the death of my mother who I had a love/hate relationship with (too many details to get into now). However, I can look back now and clearly see the path that I set into motion when I made the decision to change.

    My transformation is far from complete; however I'm certainly enjoying the journey much more than when I was caught in a chaotic world of negativity, pushing and despair.

    Thank you for this lovely post.


  14. Marie, wow...what a story to share. I am honored that you felt safe in revealing your own past, admitting to engaging in that type of energy. Honey, we've ALL done it at one time or another; the difference here is that you were honest enough to paint this picture of who you used to be. Interestingly, I would never have envisioned that type of personality trait in relation to the You that I now know. You are beautiful, positive, uplifting and all things encouraging!

    We're all a sum of our experiences, and I think where you are in your transformation is stunning in simplicity and warmth. Keep going, sister - I'll be right there on a similar path. Look for me - I'll be waving and smiling over to your right! You make a difference in my life...a very wonderful one.

    Much love to you, dear friend,

  15. Dawn, I can really relate to this so much, and it is so right on for me today, and actually was a topic I discussed in a meeting today. I expressed to them exactly what you shared here concerning drama.

    What I see personally, on a regular basis, is that if there is a problem, people tend to dramatize it and want to discuss it for hours on end. When we allow emotions to control a situation, nothing gets solved.

    So, when there is a problem, we need to look objectively at it, ask what the solution is, form a plan, and then follow up and reevaluate.
    That plan or formula can work in so many different circumstances with work or personal situations.

    Drama seems to only magnify or create problems. Either work to find the solution, or if it is a circumstance where nothing can fix, then you lift your head, know your in the right, and walk away.

    Made me smile when I read this tonight and think I just may print your url and pass it out. :) :)

  16. Bernadine, it is the most fascinating thing, isn't it, how God/Universe hands you the most appropriate reading, or music, or whatever communication to underscore something you've recently experienced! How cool that one of my articles happened to fall into alignment for you today!

    I'm not surprised that you're one of the ones who chooses to not engage in the drama, and sees that that does no one any favors. It sometimes takes a bit of work to reach that mindset, and a few hits and misses before you get the hang of it. Once you do, though, life just runs along so much more smoothly.

    I hope that if you do print the URL and hand it out, that everyone who visits finds something of value on my blog!

    As always, thanks for visiting.

    ~ Dawn

  17. I think you just explained all the issues of the world.

  18. I always find what I'm looking for in your posts, I have left you a lovely blog award pass by my blog to receive it :)

  19. Canyn, I loved your comment! It made me laugh and also blushed me a bit, and both are lovely to feel on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. I'm glad the article had merit for you, and hope you get a chance to visit my blog again in the future.

    AngelGuided, your own comment is another beautiful nod in Spirit - thank you so much for the kindness! Thanks also for the blog award; I will make my way over to your page later this evening to investigate. Blessings back to you!

    ~ Dawn