Mind Hell: Chewing on that Conversation
You’re talking with your boss or colleague and have a disagreement.
Or you’re talking with your partner or spouse and have a disagreement.
You are trying to resolve this disagreement but it seems this conversation snowballs and there’s more “dis” and less agree.
You shake your head like, “I cannot believe they’re not understanding what I’m saying.”
And they are thinking exactly the same thing about you, as they shake their head.
You get angry or upset with this person.
And they with you.
Your boss or colleague says basically,
“This is the way it is.”
Your partner or spouse (or you) say,
“You’re just being stubborn. This conversation is over.”
Or some other flair you have for creating a unique dramatic effect.
The fact is this “disagreement” is like some Charlie Brown black cloud of negative energy suspended in time.
This disagreement is still there in your mind.
It’s in the stairwell on a cigarette break.
And here’s how this happens and a little review of the anatomy of a disagreement for any new fans:
If you break apart the word “disagree,” it breaks in two.
“Dis” is a prefix that means: to remove.
Like the word “discover.”
When someone discovers something, they in effect have “removed” the “cover” and voila! They have dis-covered something.
They have removed the cover and “discovered” some new dinosaur fossils in Argentina or China.
Agree means: “to be fitting, pleasing, or in harmony.”
The weather agrees with you. Your shoes agree with you. You agree that last night’s dinner at your favorite restaurant was fantastic.
So, let’s see what happens when these two get married.
Dis + Agree.
We have now joined in merry matrimony ‘till death do they part’ the anatomy of a disagreement.
You have removed what is fitting, pleasing, and in harmony.
Okay. Now let’s go back before the disagreement. Hit Rewind on your Mind Remote. You’re in the living room or in your bosses office and you’re in a conversation.
The conversation is going along in agreement. You don’t have to be doing back-handsprings, but you are in accord. The levee hasn’t broken yet, in the words of Led Zeppelin.
But then somewhere along in this convo, it begins to feel like dis came through the back door. The conversation starts to make you feel uncomfortable.
Harmony is going out of this conversation like a slow bad leak in your bike tire.
And Agree feels like she just up and went to the powder room without a word.
So you and Marianne or you and Charlie CEO are trying to keep things “fitting, pleasing and in harmony” when Harmony and Agree are as gone as Gone With The Wind.
How’s that workin’ out for you?
It’s like when you bought those expensive shoes because you just had to have them.
But the only pair they had was a half size too small.
The shoes look fab. You look fab. But damn if these gorgeous shoes are just a wee bit too tight.
So dis- enters. You have a dis + agreement with the shoes you bought.
Or, something does not feel pleasing.
Like when you take a bite into that expensive medium rare steak you ordered and while you’re chewing you realize, “Hey wait a dang second. This is not medium rare.”
You have now entered in a bit of our friend “dis-” right at that exact moment.
You are, while you are chewing, going out of agreement.
It’s not the end of the world by any means.
But every time Dis- gets into things it begins to stack up.
How many times have you disagreed with someone or something at work and you just walk away mumbling under your breath?
And when your steak is not right and your waitress has attitude, you’ve got Double Barrel Dis + Agree right there.
Next time your wife suggests that restaurant for dinner out because the Tiramisu was to die for, what do you say?
You give her your Double Barrel Dis + Agree.
Ever see a married couple kinda become disagreeable as their daily diet of “married couple banter?”
Whether it’s new shoes, a steak, or your neighbors playing their music too loud, prior to any upset or anything, there were just shoe’s, a steak to be ordered, and a quiet neighbor next door.
So, now you and your boss or spouse have this dis + agreement.
And since the disagreement is about something said, the conversation is suspended in Mind Hell.
Where you chew on what they said the rest of the day.
Or, you hit the Rewind Button in Mind Hell, and go over what you said and what they said, and you still can’t believe they are being so stubborn.
So, like the kids game of Hide-n-Seek, where is this disagreement now?
What do you mean where?
I mean where is it?
“Well, it’s with them!” “It’s with my boss” “It’s with my wife!” “It’s with my stubborn husband.”
No, I’m sorry to inform you that is not where it is.
Once you dis + agree you in essence have removed the harmony.
The disharmony now resides inside you.
This “dis” character seems to go around removing things when he should mind his own business.
Dis + harmony = removed harmony.
So now you’ve removed the agreement.
And you’ve removed the harmony.
Damn. It’s moving day at the Johnson’s.
Now you’re carrying around disharmony and disagreement inside your friggin’ head.
It’s the weirdest thing ever if you think about it.
Why in the world would you want to carry around the things you removed the harmony from?
“It’s not me that’s being stubborn and obstinate, it’s my husband!”
“If my wife would just stop trying to be right and think her viewpoint is the only viewpoint, we would get along fine”
That’s a boatload of disharmony you’re carrying around.
Even if the other person is a total lunatic, you still have the disharmony in your mind.
Right now, think of a lingering disagreement you have with someone.
You’re the Landlord of that Disharmony.
And what do you do with this dis + harmony?
You go home and tell your tale of woe to your wife or husband about this ogre boss or colleague of yours.
You know why?
Because you are trying to remove the dis + harmony from your Mind Hell.
You’re hoping to let your mind monkeys out of your mind hell zoo.
You’re thinking, “If I can just tell another person this, the dis + harmony will go away.”
Not even when you invite Kendall Jackson or Jim Beam to help you.
You can go out for drinks and tell your friends about the disharmony with your boss.
You yak up a storm about how bad your boss is in an attempt to expunge the Dis- part.
You think you’re making ground because your buddies are all noddin’ and shit.
Thing is, they’ve got dis + harmony about boss man too.
After a few drinks and all your yakking you drive home doing what?
You’re still chewing on this bad bubblegum in Mind Hell all the way home.
Damn those monkeys.
Where is the disagreement again?
It’s inside you.
And yes, it’s inside them, too.
Which is why it’s like some Arctic Freeze between you two.
Your communication with your colleague, boss, or partner is never quite the same.
Your affinity with your spouse has changed ever-so-slightly.
Hell, you might sleep on the sofa with your dis + harmony.
Because you know, you’re right, right?
There is nothing right about being in disharmony and then misassigning the disharmony to the other person.
In fact the more you assign it to another, the worse it gets.
Because the original conversation had two participants.
You both shook hands at center court.
You both said “I do” in front of your minister.
But before we go any further, did you know that “Dis-” has a big sister?
Yes. He. Does.
And she was here before “Dis + Agree.”
Big sis’s name is Conversation.
And she’s a Latin beauty, let me tell you.
Her name comes from Latin, Conversari which means: “to live, dwell, keep company with.”
So when a conversation or conversari starts, you are in essence living with or keeping company with each other for that specific moment in time.
Conversation = Together.
You know, like the Rumba.
But what happens is somewhere, one or both of you while being in deep conversari, disagree on a point. This happens quite often with couples that get into heated conversari.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with “Dis” joining this conversation.
We’re not living in some unrealistic Utopian world where everyone has to blissfully agree with everything.
But if you allow Dis + Agree to run the tables or when Dis insists on being a single fixed viewpoint, he can be extremely disruptive, and the harmony in the conversari begins to decline rapidly.
Do you see this?
And when agree is getting further and further apart, Big Sis Conversari with all her Latin beauty, whose sole purpose is to keep things together, picks up her Louis Vuitton, and leaves.
Dis- removed the harmony.
And Conversari just up and left.
And that left the conversation in limbo, you know what I mean, Vern?
Enter Mind Hell.
Where you chew on what they said the rest of the day.
And if you take a look right now, at any disagreement you have had with someone that never got resolved, no matter how big or small, you will immediately see that that conversation is still sitting there.
Go ahead. Take a look.
It will come to you almost immediately because it floats in time.
See, you can be out of harmony and still give your husband a kiss on the cheek as he leaves for work.
You can still go through your morning meetings with your boss and colleagues, but that little bit of dis + agree is there in the background having a smoke break with the other monkeys in your mind.
But leaving Dis + Agree as the last standing soldier, you have in essence left the battle in your mind.
And the only reason Mind Hell is hell at all, is because it has become your proverbial garage where you leave all your big and small boxes of Disagree.
“When was the last time you and Ellen spoke with each other?”
(Pause. Like long pause).
“Ummmm...geez...probably last year at Michael’s soccer game.”
“You guys still not talking because of what happened with her kid and yours at that game?”
“Oh, hey, I have a call coming in. Talk to you later, Jack.”
Yeah. That’s the big box buried in the back of your mind-garage next to the smaller box labeled “tiffs with my ex.”
But here’s the magic in all of this:
You are in charge of both Dis + Agree and Conversari.
To get back in harmony you gotta put your Gandhi robe on, though.
You can take off the Gandhi robe at the weekend barbecue.
Basically you gotta get brother and sis to play nice.
And since you are responsible for both Dis- and Conversari, and because you were joined at the hip at the start of the conversation, you can decide to go to your boss, colleague, or spouse and mend the “dis.”
You change your mind and decide your purpose is going to be re-establishing better and improved conversari = keep company with.
You can actually take that stagnant Arctic Frozen conversari that’s been taking up residence in your head, and decide that piece of bad bubblegum has been chewed on long enough.
You can decide to be the one to take that old conversation and breathe some new life into it. You know, find out where it went bad.
And when you find that exact point, you will see where the party ended.
You will see that before that point you were fine, but after that point you were not.
Ask any woman who has bought expensive heels but knew they were too tight while wearing them at a mixer.
After awhile at the meet and greet, her dis+ agree is “I can’t wait to get home and take these off.”
You can pretend and go along for so long with tight shoes or disagreements but somewhere, dis- has to go home.
You have to show up and put some agree there.
This doesn’t mean you have to agree with their idea and start eating wheat grass or vote Democrat.
But it does mean you can find a mutual point of a + gree which means to add some harmony and accord.
And I assure you, the other person will respect you.
They might even be a bit embarrassed because they know they should have come to you the same.
That’s okay, because when you get back into harmony, you won’t have to chew on that stale piece of mind hell bubble gum anymore.
And you won’t need to go home and dump it on someone else.
And hey, as you leave for work, instead of a peck on the cheek as you are going out the door, you might get one of those earth shattering kisses like when you first met.
I mean getting in harmony has an upside.
And if that Latin beauty named Conversari is not taken, count me in on that earth shattering thing.
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