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  • Today I put into effect my learning of 'bowing out gracefully'. I learnt of this 'phenomena' a while ago, but perhaps my ego did not allow me to put it into action as often as I probably should have. In retrospect, I look back and I can recognise so many times I should have have just bowed out gracefully, from an argument, an impending one, from a group or forum.

    For me it had to do with the stubbornness of 'sticking with it', the feeling that somehow if I bowed out I would be failing at establishing 'I'm right'. I even had the best arguments as to why my point is better than the other. I realise though, that bowing out is also an option. It is not a cowards way out. It has been, also, less frustrating and a more relaxing option. Which is why, again, I often felt as if taking that option was a wrong one, one which meant I wasn't doing my bit. I have realised that doing my bit, though, can mean stepping out of the argument.

    Sheikh Nazim taught that arguing is just pandering to your ego; as is anger; as is shouting. Taking these things out of life, is and has been so beneficial, I couldn't even begin to explain. So I will assume that taking myself out of a pointless discussion and a forum of angry people, may be a positive move as well. By not insisting on my viewpoint, however right I may think it may be, I am not falling into a pit of not doing my bit. For the lesson is to change myself. I know I can't change others, and working on changing myself means changes come into being in other situations; not necessarily the one that was the catalyst of the change.

    And the ego cries out, 'but what about in THIS situation, in this you've been the loser, in this YOU backed down, in this YOU were right but didn't have the courage, the strength to prevail'. And I listen to its ramblings, understanding a little bit more; accepting a bit more; waking up a bit more. And I look at myself and am momentarily ashamed at my ego's ramblings, and wonder how many other times I fell for the same egoistic impulses disguised as 'the right thing to do'.

    I have learnt to listen more. For sure I haven't perfected it, and I doubt I can. I have learnt to try and not be ashamed of learning things about myself, even as admitting to them makes me feel vulnerable. By putting these changes into being, My relationships with others have improved and my ability to deal with others has improved positively. And I have learnt that the so-called 'small changes' I have attempted to make in myself are the ones that have created the the biggest changes in my life and helped me with the biggest challenges.
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