This issue of the Fulcrum is a reply to a question from Liesje from the Netherlands. To make it relevant to the readers, the question has been re-framed while keeping to its original wording because it included a part that makes specific reference to a client engagement that we are currently in the process of.
The question is: I would be grateful to read about ways to keep being neutral even when triggered to maximum to fight back.
This is a great question, relevant to any person who is struggling with the need to make wise choices and responses to the ongoing onslaught of experiences of daily living.
Please note that this is a super-condensed Fulcrum, dipping our toes in a big and important aspect of personal development that challenges all of us on a daily basis.
Before proceeding to tackle the question, we need to address the all-important question: What do I want? Do I want to grow as a human person, to experience the thrilling potential of the human possibility and my possibility therein? (Perhaps re-read: One of the Toughest Questions) Because developing neutrality lives at the heart of human development, and for many reasons.
In its developmental context, neutrality is the developing ability to not become involved to the point of being coloured, side-tracked, influenced, distracted, or biased by feelings, persuasions, and experiences that are being processed by one’s human system at any given point in time, where the context of self-awareness is created by one’s purpose in life. The higher the purpose, the greater the depth and scope of self-awareness..
The human system is a processing machine, at many levels, from the tangible to the intangible; from the physical to the energetic. It processes physical foods – air, water, solids – impressions, energies and energetic essences. (An energetic essence is a contained energetic form of a specific nature) We live in a body, but we are not the body. We have a consciousness-enabling brain, but we are not the brain. We are both an engaged participant as well as being a conscious point of surveillance with the power of making wise choices between what we want and what we do not want to get involved in and engage with.
The human is an evolutionary building site in progress. We and the system we occupy are both evolving, a tiny little step at a time. Being incomplete, with the gift of choice, can lead to being lucidly focused and purpose-driven, or to confusion, conflict, and dispersion, depending on how well informed a person is regarding the human opportunity.
In being an open-ended processing machine we process a huge range of thoughts, experiences, persuasions, feelings, and emotions. Human process is a living theatre of perceptions and feelings at many levels, making it quite easy for the person to get caught up in… anything that passes through its process at any given point in time, even incidentally and accidentally so.
To bring this close to home, lets focus on what Liesje’s question highlights: I would be grateful to read about ways to keep being neutral even when triggered to maximum to fight back. Can you recognise “triggered to maximum” in some context, such as anger, gain and loss, jealousy, being hurt, being criticised for no good reason, witnessing something distressing, experiencing an emotional implosion, experiencing fear, stress, and anxiety, experiencing inner volatility, experiencing today’s weather, experiencing an overwhelming like or dislike about something, experiencing self-judgement or judgement upon others… Oh, this can go on and on, because being a processing machine there is so much we experience. Perhaps write down everything you experience in one day. It is quite mind-boggling, isn’t it?
Let us focus on anger, which is one of many kinds of emotions that the human system processes. Experiencing anger is quite natural, but here is the big point: Why would you want to be caught up in anger? It is one thing to experience it, but a whole other thing to jump into the sea of anger to the point of being consumed by it.
In my consultancy work, I often encounter a situation where people give their best and more to deliver an outcome and end up not being properly appreciated or being downright criticised for something that was not to the liking of HQ. How does one handle such situation without becoming emotionally loaded to the point of mental immobility? It is easy to say: “Practice neutrality”. Not so easy to do it. So it is a journey, where it is important to reconnect to the reason why: Practicing neutrality helps to stay connected to the greater truths in play, think one’s way forward with clarity, and produce constructive responses.
There is a higher dimension to developing neutrality in the context of the human opportunity, but we shall leave this for another time.
At this point the following thought may be arising in you: “But after all, I am a feeling human being. I cannot just be neutral and not express my feelings” Great point. Being neutral does not mean not relating to and expressing one’s feelings. It means not being subject to and hijacked by one’s feelings, from the intoxication of success to the misery of incompetence, yours or others’.
Especially if you have a clear purpose in your life, where you know where you are not going – having a purpose is as much as knowing what one will not do and where one will not go as it is about knowing where to go and what to do – why would you want to get emotionally and mentally involved in anything that either your system and various biases or other people’s systems and various biases happen to be processing?
So, again, the ability to be neutral does not mean being cold and clinical. Developing neutrality makies it possible to perceive greater portions of the truth, stay intact, not get side-tracked or entangled in all manner of mental and emotional swamps and cross currents, and make wise choices, demonstrating maturity, intactness and integrity. Note that not responding is at times the best, most impactful form of response.
A ‘backbone’ task towards developing neutrality is practicing not personalising and being unattached to what the processing machine that you are happens to be processing, while time and again returning to the key question: What does the situation I find myself in call for?
Working with qualities is a great way forward: Which quality fits here and now? Might it be patience? Wisdom? Forgiveness? Understanding? Persistence? Compassion? Kindness? Mental toughness? Resolve? (Working with the Connection Cards can help here)
Train yourself to take nothing personally or too personally, appreciating that being sensitive, feeling beings on a journey through life, we are not perfect and cannot just waive the ‘neutrality magic wand’ to be completely neutral in all and every situation. But being aware and training ourselves can go a long way to achieving increasing measures of neutrality, to deepen and expand our perception capacity and response-ability, thereby gaining greater access to the gradient of natural elevation that is an integral part of the human makeup and possibility.
Living in times of change, developing neutrality is always work in progress for us all. Ushering oneself to instances of feeling neutrality and responding from that place in ourselves are a fresh breath of renewal, creating a little more space for the shining bight light of the future to appear through.
Hopefully, this helps a little bit.
With best wishes,
World Copyright 2021© David Gommé
3 thoughts on “The Journey to Neutrality”
Thank you, David,
this is very clear and helpful,
Excellent David, thank you. I find empathy to be my greatest helper with my challenges with other people and keeping my neutrality. If we simply take the time to walk in the other’s shoes, see things from the other’s perspective(s), then our judgement will invariably soften and open.
Many thanks for your insightful and helpful writing.
Your works offer an Island of sanity for us.
With much gratitude