A recent posting by über blogger Leo Babauta entitled “The Way to Be” was insightful in how he described ‘melting’ as a way to be with someone challenging our balance and centering. Most notable in his description of ‘melting’ is the imagery of blending with the other – not looking to change or alter the other – but rather to simply blend, accept and become one with the other.
Although Leo’s treatise is not rooted in aikido, his presentation of melting is a metaphor worth considering when engaging an opponent or Uke.
The Way to Be
By Leo Babauta
Last night I received a phone call from a loved one, someone who I love deeply but have struggled with internally because I’ve been worried about his health.
I want to help him, because I feel I’m losing him.
I want to show him my habit method, so he can give up smoking and drinking and eating unhealthy foods, can take up exercise and meditation, and all of a sudden be transformed into a healthy person again.
And of course, I can’t. I want to control something that scares me, but I can’t. I’m not in control of the universe (haven’t been offered the job yet), and I’m not in control of anyone else. I want to help, but can’t.
So I melted.
Not melted as in “had a meltdown”, which sounds wonderful if you like melted foods but actually isn’t. I melted as in I stopped trying to control, stopped trying to change him, and instead softened and accepted him for who he is.
And guess what? Who he is? It’s wonderful. Who he is — it’s super awesome mad wonderful. He’s funny and loving and wise and passionate and crazy and thoughtful and philosophical and did I mention crazy?
I melted, and accepted, and only then could I actually enjoy his presence instead of worrying about losing him or changing him.
And this, as I’ve learned, is the best way to be.
We can stop trying to change people, and just melt into their presence, just notice who they really are, just appreciate it. We can stop complaining about our life circumstances, about our losses, about how the world is, and just melt into it.
Just accept. Just notice. Just appreciate.
This is the way to be.