These words have been coming up a lot in the last few weeks in many, many conversations with individuals from many backgrounds and ages. They have been lively conversations because the ‘norm’ and the ‘belief’ we have around these words are deeply, deeply imbedded within. Since I can only write about my experience here is where I stand in this moment.
Compromise is defined as:
a) Settlement of a dispute by concessions on each side
b) Something midway between between different things
c) To put (oneself or another person) in a dishonourable position
Settle For is described as: To accept or agree to in spite of dissatisfaction
How can anyone feel grounded and ‘good’ about themselsves when the actual meaning of the words are all about giving up something or some part of yourself. I know it has become part of the norm, I know it’s what we are taught from an early age as a way to fit in and get along, and I also know it’s killing us. It reeks of ‘being nice’, and of tolerating instead of accepting and honouring.
These words have become embedded as part of our every day language and we feel are a necessary part of our co-existing with each other. In my experience it is the fast track, or a slow movement to losing pieces of ourselves until we don’t recognize who we are any more. We believe this is what life is supposed to be. I know there is another way.
So how do we live without compromise or settling for? We own our choices. Yes, it is that easy, and yes it is that difficult. It requires that we go within and own the truth of our experience, that we reveal the hidden conversations going on inside. You know the ones I mean…the one that says “Okay I’ll do this and the next time he/she will do what I want.” Or “I’ll collect on this later…” Or “This means a lot to them so I’ll do it to make them feel good.” Yeah, those thoughts. Imagine if we were willing to bring them outside ourselves. It would move things in us, we would have to ‘feel’ what’s inside, and it has the potential to change how we engage our internal and external conversations with the people in our lives.
When we own the choice that we am making in the moment, trusting our internal compass, we cannot be victim to our life. Now, if you choose to BE victim then not owning your choice and making it about the other person is a brilliant strategy, however, they do not need to take that on. This is the dance that goes on, we express what is there, hoping the other person takes it on, or we take on what someone expresses and the dance of compromise, which leads to resentment and frustration and finger pointing begins.
The structure of our reality is set up to have us looking outside ourselves. We think, ‘I feel bad’ because someone has said or done something to us. We make up stories about what people are thinking about us, and what people are expecting from us. When we choose to look inside, to discover and own the truth that lies within life actually has a chance to become easier. Choosing what is meaningful is always healthier; not always easier. It doesn’t mean people will like the choices we make, it means we have the potential to live more meaningfully. It requires being awake to not only our thoughts but to every sensation in our body. It requires letting go of the story, of inviting curiosity, to discover something new.
Now, there is a catch to this new no compromise and settle for life…are you ready… you get to change your mind. This is not about an old paradigm that says once you make your bed you must lie in it. You see it’s only in making and owning the choice we make where space is created for new information to present. Once that happens the process gets to be engaged again and again.
When we remove compromise and settle for we invite discovery!
This is how I am choosing to live my life now. It is a powerful place to stand! I slip up sometimes, falling back into the default of looking outside myself or making up stories…I mean, I am human, and hey, sometimes stories are fun. It’s when the stories become my reality and I notice the feeling of constraint or binding I get to ask mySELF; “Am I owning my choices? And go from there.
Until the next time…
Stéphanie Nelson says
Love the post Lisa. In a compromise no one gets what they really want, and so they deny a piece of themselves. There are many definitions to the word compromise, when we think we are being ‘good, understanding or accommodating’ we are often placing ourselves in a vulnerable , event unethical position at least in our structure of reality. S