My mother always said, “bobar shotru nei” (A person who cannot speak has no enemy). What she meant to say was that often we create enemies through our words and therefore if we can stay silent we can avoid a lot of clashes.
During a fight when we are angry we often say words that are hurtful but we don’t really mean them, we say them just to get a superiority in the fight. We often start a fight and after a while realize that not everything that we are saying is right, but we have large egos and most of us won’t stop and say “sorry” because that would hurt our ego. However, a wise person would have the courage to stop and admit their mistake. A foolish person would be unable to utter the golden “sorry” and hold on to the grudge while a wise person would say ‘sorry’ and move ahead in life.
There are few people who love to fight. Especially those who grew up watching their parents fight on a regular basis unknowingly imbibe the tendency to fight over trivial issues with their partners. Those who were brought up by abusive parents become an abusive parent in their own life. However, with little mindfulness, these can be avoided. This is called the “art/practice of the pause”.
When you find yourself in a situation where you are fighting, instead of trying to prove yourself right and the other person wrong and awful, just take a pause, step back, think about the situation, analyse and see if the issue is serious or trivial, let the other person vent out, do not take his/her words literally because at that moment the person is not speaking but his anger and ego is speaking. Let the heat pass and then start the conversation again.
Those who love to fight and flare up about trivial issues are slaves of their anger and ego. They are also unwise and ignorant. Those who are wise and positive souls they would never waste their time fighting and screaming at others over trivial things. Wise people value their peace of mind and they try to utilize their time doing positive and creative things instead of losing their mind on who is going to take out the trash can.
The power of silence and pause is enormous. There was a time in my life when I used to take fights very seriously. I used to cry over words that were hurled at me during fights. I used to keep those words in my heart for long and suffer the pain. To me winning in a fight was more important than winning in life. Now, I do exactly the opposite, I do not try to win a fight, rather I try to lose a fight and win in life. I have started valuing my peace of mind more than a winner’s badge over a trivial fight on who is right or wrong. This is a short life why waste it fighting over trivial unimportant things rather I should cherish the beauty of life every single moment. When I grow old I would want to have happy memories from my life.
I have learned to let go anger, thanks to my Buddhist practice, I have become calmer. I try to avoid negative and toxic situations as much as possible. However, let me confess there are times when I do lose my mind. I then regret not practicing the ‘pause’. Buddhism says that there are 10 worlds that represent 10 life states that a human being can be in a given point of time. The 10 worlds are Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity, Heaven, Learning, Realisation, Bodhisattva, Buddhahood. These are ordered from the least desirable to the most desirable. The first four are referred to as the Four Evil Paths (Not only Buddhism but every single religion believes anger as a vice).
The world of anger is characterized by one’s strong attachment to the idea of one’s own superiority, stemming from ego and excessive pride. These people need to suppress everyone at any cost; this often prevents them from revealing their own true self. These people are winning battles but losing the war. In order to deal with them, it is important not to fight back but to stay calm and practice the pause. Let them say whatever they want to because what they say won’t change your reality.
Not only during a fight but whenever you face a problem try pausing for a while and see the difference. Take a pause, be quiet, sit back and relax, and with a cup of coffee enjoy the drama called life.