Chris Cirak Q&A

My partner has different political views than me. What to do?

Politics is an area of high contention. When someone carries political views other than your own, it’s easy to feel triggered.

That’s because political views are all about judgment. You are judging one view to be better, or more right, or more moral, than the other. Anyone who holds a different view is wrong, clearly. No wonder the nature of politics is one of heated debate.

Taking a stand based on judgment comes with a need to have everyone around you agree with you. If they don’t, you become defensive. You counter-argue. Your sense of being right is being put in question, and you feel emboldened to admonish others for thinking differently. You don’t just feel you are right and that you deserve to win. You feel they are wrong and they deserve to lose.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it’s political views or your stamp collection. Whenever you are driven by judgment to invest yourself in something, you clash with those who invest themselves differently. If your motivations are based on judgment, there is no limit to the ways you can clash with someone because everything and everyone is constantly changing.

Connecting with people over judgments you have in common is a popular form of bonding. Someone liking the same sports team as you is already enough to feel like they’re your bro. But bonding over common judgments is a fickle structure, as everything you do based on judgment is. It can quickly turn into a source of intense friction, especially when it comes to family members and intimate relationships, situations you are invested in and can’t just walk away from. Even when you agree on things, the threat of one person changing their perspective looms large. The world is constantly bombarding you with images of who you should be. There is absolutely no guarantee the person you wake up next to tomorrow is the same person you went to bed with last night.

This does not mean meaningful relationships with people who vote differently are not possible. Far from it. It’s only when you base your relationships on judgment that you feel like your relationship is walking on thin ice. If all you connect over is the alignment of your views and opinions, aka judgments, then you’re constantly fearing to fall through.

But when you take direction from the reality in front of you, you cease to judge others for their judgments. You are 100% focused on being you. With your judgments out of the way, you experience the other person in a whole new light. You’re not constantly tracking what they say or do, comparing it to what you think they should be saying or doing. Your relationship ceases to be conditional. They don’t need to have certain views for you to love them. You don’t love them for their views, anyway. You love them for their heart and the way your energies sync up. Your judgments are getting in the way of giving and receiving love.

As always, the work begins and ends with yourself. The more clearly you see the situation, the clearer the action is you take. Experience life without judging it, and you can trust it to tell you who and what is right for you.

 

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