My first thought was, “No, I can’t be authentically angry and authentically fair at the same time.”
In our human world, I frequently experience a sudden shift from being fair and reasonable to feeling rage when a person on the other side of a transaction stops being fair and reasonable, blames, doesn’t listen, doesn’t respond, and tries to control, manipulate or dictate an outcome that is not mutually acceptable.
However, at a different level of consciousness, I think I can be both authentically angry and authentically fair.
On the human level, “fair and reasonable” assumes that the other and I have a mutual goal – working together to create a result that neither of us could create alone. We brainstorm and mastermind, throwing our thoughts out to each other and exchanging information about what we can do and what we can’t. We look for alternate ways of creating the result. Together, we make it happen. This happened for me recently with the help of almost 40 other people. It was both mind-boggling and humbling.
“Fair and reasonable” at the human level breaks down when the goals of the parties are no longer identical. The homeowner wants a beautiful, well-built home. The builder wants to pocket as much money as possible with as little expense as possible. If the original understanding was that the builder would construct a house in accordance with specific plans using specific materials, and the homeowner would make progress payments, when one of them does not do what they agreed to do, it’s very easy, on the human level, to shift from “fair and reasonable” to authentically angry.
“Authentically angry” is, of course, an emotion. “Fair and reasonable” is a function of the rational mind and normally involves committed action.
What does it mean to be “authentically angry”?
It does not mean lashing out with blame, criticism, and name-calling. Those are actions, not emotions, and often they’re done re-actively, not consciously. Experience tells me they are not useful.
It does, however, mean noticing and feeling my anger. Then I can decide what to do with it.
Usually, I have to shift from creative mode to assertive mode. While before I was working with another to create a mutually beneficial result, now I am taking unilateral action to create a mutually beneficial result. I am still being authentically fair and reasonable but I am using my authentic anger to change my own actions.
Change is never directed at the other. It is only directed at myself.
The mutually beneficial result may not feel mutually beneficial to either of us on a human level at the time, but from hindsight, it is always a karmic vehicle for bringing both of us into harmony on a more expanded spiritual level.
When I first moved to the part of the world where I am now living, I rented a home from a Long Island real estate investor. I told him I needed to stay in the rental until my own home was built. He agreed. I thought my lease protected me.
Two years later, someone else offered to pay him more money and give him a three year lease. He asked if I would match the offer. I said, “No. I couldn’t make that kind of commitment.” He sent me an eviction notice.
Fury does not adequately describe what I felt. I had always paid my rent on time and took good care of the place. Yet this man didn’t care. All he wanted was more money.
I spoke with several local officials and attorneys. They told me he had every legal right to evict me.
“What if I refuse to leave?” I asked.
“You’ll get a judgment against you,” they replied.
I had no legal support and no other worldly options. However, I had spiritual options. I left politely and quickly. I wanted my landlord to receive as little additional money from me as possible.
My landlord breached his agreement with me. At the human level, there was nothing fair and reasonable about this. But was there a spiritual benefit? Absolutely.
I had learned once again that I needed to be more selective in choosing the people to whom I gave my trust and my money. This man had helped me step into my own sharpened discernment, assertiveness and power.
And the spiritual, karmic benefit to him? My landlord’s wonderful new tenant breached his agreement with my landlord. The house has now been vacant for over a year.