Friday, May 24

Expressing My Voice, Doing So Respectfully ..........5/24/13

Where we'll be tonight. The Laurel Court Restaurant at the Fairmont
 Hotel in SF, listening to Eric Shifrin play jazz on the piano. 
       Good evening everyone,

What a day, but good!  It is heartening when witnessing my personal growth.  Old habits die hard, true, but:
"It is never too late to do what is right."            Charles Swindoll 
    I faced a problem this week, resulting in
disappointment.  Years ago, my tendency would have been to pout, become depressed and passive.  Not so, now.  I addressed the issue, expressing my unhappiness.

    A good friend said he was unable to attend my birthday party on Saturday because he needed to tend to his dog.  I mentioned my discomfort with how our relationship had devolved, that once, we were best of friends, it appeared that was not the case, now.

    I wrote a letter,  informing him it was my issue, dealing with the disap-pointment.  I expressed my concern, that we saw each other once, last year.   I let him know that was not much of a friendship.  My letter continued: 
     I understand life evolves.  I see that this may have happened between us, too.  Processing your decisions and priorities, I will need to do.  They are perfectly understandable.  However, I am not in agreement with them.  Please note, I did not say you were wrong.
     It could be that our friendship has passed the expiration date.  I'm not saying it has.  But it's clear that I am not much of a priority.  I accept that----the world certainly does not revolve around me.
     Would it be possible for you to make more of an effort in being a friend?  If not, we may need to see that what we once shared is no longer the case.  
    Well, wouldn't you know?  He changed his mind about attending, coming from Brentwood, seventy miles away.   He also wrote back, offering several dates over the next few months when we can get together.  Wow.  And double wow.

What I Was Reminded: 
1.  The possible joy there may be, when expressing my voice.  I'm thankful for the benefit of adhering to my principles while at the same time being kind towards others, even when disagreeing.

      If I say something, there is a chance for solving the problem.  Not saying anything, provides no opportunity for it being resolved.  Stewing over a problem only makes me irritated and frustrated.
"There is a price that is too high to pay for peace. One can not pay the price of self-respect."  Woodrow Wilson 

2.  The value of making a request.

      I didn't tell my friend to do anything.  What he chose to do was up to him.  Mind you, this fellow is a vice-president of a major corporation.  He's not accustomed to resistance from others, or often asked to reconsider a decision.

     We've known each other for more than 30 years.  This was the first time in our relationship that he's changed his mind, after making a decision.  He wrote me earlier this week. He told me he was not joining Saturday's event.

3.  My circumstances had not changed, I've changed.

      That made the positive outcome possible.  For the longest time I've taught and counseled others that recovery is summed up in five words from Tradition 11 in any recovery program: "placing principles above our personality."  Lately, I've reduced recovery, or personal growth, to two words: "emotional maturity."

       It is humbling, admitting that most of my problems are a result of areas where I need to grow.


      That's hard on my pride, but easier on my sanity and serenity.  As I clean my side of the street, I find my world improves with each additional day.  That's a good deal.

 4. The results are usually better when I'm not petulant when receiving bad news.  With my friend, I did not use guilt, anger or shame when writing him.  Instead, I applied the characterological growth I've developed over the past ten years.   Respecting his right to choose while expressing my perspective, including disappointment, was my response.

      The result, my friend will be by my side on Saturday.  We'll celebrate my birthday, and one of my favorite moments in life:  hearing Eric Shifrin play jazz at the Laurel Court Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

5.  The positive outcome of a potential problem was a result of staying in the solution.  I allowed my adult self to take charge, when the reactive child within me was slugged with disturbing and saddening news.

     My response to my friend reflected the healing, grace and growth I've experienced the past twelve years; I applied healthy principles to maintain my serenity.  Presence of mind, I had, voicing my concerns, stating what troubled me.

6.  The value of leaving the outcome in God's hands.   Results exceeding my expectations.  And for that, I have an Attitude of Gratitude.

How About You? 
What is an area where your Higher Power is encouraging you to speak up, rather than be passive?


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Sunday night of Memorial Day Weekend, I am grateful for;

1. All the women and men, like my Dad, Uncles, brother and more, who served, and those who serve now in the U.S. Armed Forces, and especially for all of those who gave their lives defending the freedoms we hold dear and often take for granted.

2. Being invited to a dear friends exceptional and memorable birthday gathering last night!

3. The joy of watching Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake in "Trouble With the Curve" this evening.

4. That my "secret technique" ribs turned out well again tonight.

5. That I can "let go" of my misplaced/lost Ray Ban sunglasses. If the lost and found at the Fairmont Hotel has them, it will be a surprise blessing; a bonus!

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

What did you like best about the celebration? Please let us in on your secret technique, you've mentioned it a few times.

A curious innkeeper

Quotes from the Posts

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From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

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From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
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From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.