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Posted by Jason Fonceca on Jun 16, 2010 in Artists, Awareness, Confidence, Featured, Inspirations, Life Coaching, Relationships, Relationships, Self-Improvement, Success-Consciousness, Thought-Management | 9 comments
Chances are you’ve been defensive without even knowing it. Chances are you don’t know how badly this is killing your success, stopping your connections and holding you back from elevating yourself.
"Oh I have to protect myself."
"Well if I don’t have my guard up, I could get hurt."
"I dunno, I just close up or shut down."
"I need to shield myself from their energy."
"I guess I’ve always put up walls."
Can you hear the message behind all these words? I’m scared, I’m insecure, I’m un-confident and I’m so fucking defensive.
t’s all DEFENSIVENESS. It’s guarding and protecting, and for most people, at most times, it’s a weak-ass choice.
So cut it out.
Why does it suck? Well here’s 7 things that are a direct result of being defensive.
From A Course In Miracles: "Who would defend himself? Who? Unless he thought he was being attacked, that the attack was real, and that his own closed-up defense could save himself? This is the idiocy of defense; it gives power to the illusions, and then tries to handle them as if they;re real. No one is attacking you. They really aren`t. They`re just scared and lashing out. They are like whipped dogs, oversensitive and scared. Defensiveness adds illusions to illusions, and makes correction super-tricky. Any time you attempt to plan the future, focus on the past, or organize the present as you wish — you are being scared and defensive."
At points in my life, I’ve hung with the shittiest clients, the most soul-sucking people, (suicidal, depressed, insecure) whatever, and I’ll do it for the right amount of time. I do it with love, and I fear nothing about them. I am an open book to them. I am not guarding my resources, hoarding my time or money. I am not scared of what might happen. I simply believe in them, and see them as a success.
And so far, that attitude has never let me down. I apply it to close acquaintances too, I embrace their repetitive cycles of worry, fretting, and negativity for as long as feels appropriate, I don’t ever, ever, EVER worry they’re going to affect me, influence me, or bring me down. (Note: I’m definitely ready to Draw A Line or Take A Stand if it feels like it’s gone too far.)
From Goethe: "Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself;
he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him."
From Jesus: "You have heard, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and takes your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." —Matthew 5:38-42, NIV
I have done all that and more, personally.
I have given years of time, love, patience, energy, resources, skills, coaching and uplifting to people I believe in for free. I’ve created thousands of artworks, expecting nothing in return.
This is the ultimate attitude of abundance. Abundance of health, wealth, and spirit. Someone truly abundant in these things feels free to perform everything Jesus suggested. Someone who is defensive will have difficulty and resistance to these ideas, arguing and justifying reasons they should not give. If the deepest joy and grandest thing you can do is to refuse or reject someone – then do it, but do it consciously, knowing full well it’s the best thing for all.
From Osho: "If you are really vulnerable, nothing is negative for you – because the negative is your interpretation. Nothing is harmful to you – because the harmful is your interpretation. If you are really open, then nothing can harm you, nothing can be felt as harmful. You feel something is negative and something is harmful because you resist, because you are against it, because there is no acceptance of it. This has to be deeply understood.
The enemy exists there because you are protecting yourself against him. The enemy is there because you are not open. If you are open, then the whole existence is friendly; it cannot be otherwise. Really, you will not even feel it as friendly – it is simply friendly. There is no feeling even that it is friendly, because that feeling can exist only with the contrary feeling of enmity."
What Osho is saying may seem a bit tricky, but it’s spot on. What he`s saying is when you are confident and trusting of yourself and your success-driven life, temporary defeat and enemies are just blips. They are not negative or harmful. They are just failed experiments that you learned from and kept on towards success. There is no defensiveness, only an open and vulnerable heart
I see my relationships with everyone, but I label none ‘friend’ nor ‘enemy’. The temptation to label friend and enemy, higher and lower, weaker and stronger, is huge for many people. It’s fine, but not a super-successful mindet.
Defensiveness is the unconscious, knee-jerk effort to avoid change (or new ideas) – minds like to stay the same by default. When a person is at peace with life and death, when they are at peace with their moments on earth, and conscious of their deepest joy and purpose, then they acknowledge when their time has come and nothing is a threat to them. You either live and keep doing good things, or you die and move on, but there is no room for defensiveness in a present, conscious, aware person who understands life.
From Osho: "A master and teacher will not be able to function if you are not surrendered. You will not open up, and you will not allow him passage, you will protect yourself even against him, you will be defensive even against him, you will keep a distance, you will not allow him too close an approach to you. Weaklings can never surrender, remember. Weaklings continuously go on fighting. They are afraid of their weakness; they know that they are weak. They cannot afford surrender – only very strong people can. This is my experience here. Whenever a strong person comes to me he is always ready to take a jump, and whenever a weak coward comes he talks and thinks and broods and finds rationalizations and explanations. And you can always find explanations, mind is very fertile for that. For lies, the mind is very fertile; for truth it is impotent."
How many people in your life are going to trash-talk you, try to poke holes in you, or distance themselves from you? It doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is how you handle whoever comes your way. If you see their defensiveness you can bristle in response, or soften with a laugh, a smile, and a pat on their head. You can set them straight with love, or panic and go off the rails. Be strong, be surrendered.
If there is some idea or feeling you feel you need to protect yourself from, you are telling the world that this is something you are not harmonized with.
What sounds better to you?
"The beautiful girl is at peace with everything and everyone. She may choose to be (or be away from) anyone at a given time — out of love — knowing consciously with love in her heart, that it’s the best move for all involved."
"The closed-up girl felt hurt by something she didn’t fully understand or investigate, and so she reacted defensively."
I know which sounds best to me Choose defensiveness or choose open-ness, your call.
Dealing with a defensive person? Don’t argue, they’ll probably be very emotional. Don’t resist their views, that’s what they want to defend against anyway.
So there are a bunch of amazing methods to help things go smooth if you happen to be with someone who is defensive. The funny thing is, a defensive person is NOT extending you any or all of the above mentioned courtesies, so be ready to show extra love and ready for what may seem like a challenge. Or be ready to leave.
*List inspired by http://eqi.org/
This whole thing was originally inspired by Erin Pavlina’s article on Guarding Your Vibration, but it got me thinking so much about ‘guarding’ of any kind, that I just ran with it. It applies to vibration too, the whole high-vibration / low-vibration thing is really just ‘friend’ / ‘enemy’ in disguise.
Don’t be defensive, be open. If you’re one of the people that defensiveness feels fantastic for, more power to ya, guard away, lol.
Any experiences with defensiveness? Share in the comments!