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Sun, July 21

Turn around an argument by diffusing your own ego

Marta Adelsman, Psy.D.

Marta Adelsman, Psy.D.

My muscles clenched in fight mode as I glanced over at my husband, Steve, sitting in the driver’s seat.

We had begun a drive north to Flagstaff, and I could feel the burning hot anger as it coursed through my insides.

I felt shocked at how our seemingly innocent conversation, with lightning speed, had flared into a full-blown argument. While I wanted to spew hot-lava words, I knew from past experience they would escalate the disagreement. Steve and I would both end up feeling miserable.

Therefore, I chose to hold myself still.

In that stillness, I listened inwardly to the discomfort of emotion burning my insides. Every instinct in me wanted to resist it. Instead, I let myself fully feel its discomfort, becoming intimate with my emotion.

Not more than a minute had passed before something shifted.

It was like a fuzzy picture coming into sharp focus. I saw how the anger had nothing to do with Steve. Other people don’t cause my reaction. My own thoughts do. I felt them now in my body as angry and defensive emotion. With the awareness that the emotion was nothing more than energy in my body, my story that Steve had caused the anger disappeared. Being with the purity of the emotional energy had felt painful, yet clean.

With new clarity, I opened my eyes. “All that’s going on is that the ego over here wants to make me right and you wrong,” I said.

In the midst of this conversation, a deep truth dawned on me. When we become still – when we drop resistance to painful emotions and welcome them – we open to messages from our higher Self. Unhampered by the mind’s noise, we can hear Wisdom when she speaks, and she makes the ego’s shenanigans transparent.

When I put the ego on audio and having told on it, my anger and defensiveness instantly vanished. The ego cannot remain active in the light of our conscious awareness. I could imagine the ego spitting the words, “Curses! Foiled again!” as it fled until its next opportunity.

I felt no trace of the fury that had engulfed me just seconds before. In two more sentences, Steve and I put the conversation to rest.

The ego feeds off our drama; therefore, it cooks up plenty of it. When we refuse to feed it, it weakens, and we free ourselves from the pain of conversations-gone-wrong.

Dr. Marta can be reached for comment or for coaching appointments at drmartacoach@gmail.com or 928-451-9482.

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