I understand that warriors and chiefs of native tribes used to bury their weapons outside the area where they gathered to discuss terms of engagement or a potential settlement of a dispute. You’ve probably heard the phrase “burying the hatchet” which was a way of ritually celebrating a newfound peace. Recently I decided to do some intense personal work and found it to be a very good practice to consider the “weapons” I have in my mind’s arsenal, and ritually bury them so I the work I was about to do could be free from my own, self-limiting attack.
Being a competitive gymnast many years ago, I learned how to be very disciplined and self-motivated. Today that discipline is used to drive myself hard in my business and to be tough on myself when things don’t go quite right. This is one of the weapons I chose to bury. I wondered what the deeply reflective time might be like if I didn’t have the sword of being tough on myself at the ready?
What I found was a way of being vulnerable that allowed for much greater compassion for myself—who I am, who I am choosing to become and who I’ve been. Without my usual inner voice pushing for more, I had time to listen for the marginalized voices of tenderness and patience. Those voices clearly needed some room to speak their truth and allowed me to see myself differently—more genuine and more open to self-forgiveness.
The cool thing is that greater compassion for myself opened me up to a much broader, interconnectedness with others with less judgment, fewer assumptions and more deep connection. Apparent separations between loved ones and myself became meaningless since they were already in my heart space. What becomes possible from being patient and forgiving with others and myself is intriguing!
I decided not go back and dig up that weapon. For now, the land can keep it safe for me until I decide that it can be useful and used more skillfully.
What weapons are you willing to bury and what might be the impact on those around you?