Wednesday, May 8

Standing In Power, Recovery and Integrity. Not Affected When Criticized 5/8/13

"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help."
Abraham Lincoln
Gratitudes for Wednesday
1.  Someone judged me tonight, after I attended an Al-Anon Family group meeting.  I love it, when that happens.  Really.

      It's not supposed to occur there. Those gatherings are to be a safe place, free from criticism. Then again, the person giving me feedback is new to the program.  She said I was edgy.   Maybe this critic was referring to the edge of my Mohawk haircut.

What Was My Mood?

        I'm kidding, about the hairdo, not about her comments.  I was anything but on edge.  Was I in a great mood tonight?  Yes.  Was I enthusiastic, like a Giants baseball fan, about to see a game at the beautiful AT&T Park, where they play?  Indeed.  Was I energetic?  True, also.   I was on a high from
cycling the shore and lagoons of the lovely island city of Alameda with a friend, earlier in the day. That's how I felt during the meeting.

     Why am I thankful about her criticism?  Because her unasked for comments allowed me to carefully contemplate my composure and emotional maturity while she corrected me.  I told her I was not in agreement.  It was wonderful noticing I did not let this woman determine my moods or affect how I perceive myself. 

      It is liberating not being externally referented.  Life is more navigable when are responsive to, but  do not feel responsible for the feelings/perceptions of others.  Only we know what's going on inside ourselves, don't you think?  (You probably noticed I was making an externally referented related joke about needing your validation, in the last phrase of the previous sentence.)
     "What could I have said differently, so that I would not be edgy?  I asked.
     "It wasn't anything you said, it was your tone."
       Wow. I didn't know she was a mind reader and interpreter of tones.

        It's amazing she was certain she knew my mood.  This individual was sincere, but sincerely mistaken.

        It would have been better if my critic had connected with me, finding out what was alive within me, before correct-ing.  I let her know that perception isn't necessarily reality.  I also calmly let her know that I never gave her permission to judge me.

       I appreciate my growing awareness about this person and her values.  I was also happy that while she spoke I valued myself for the person I am, not how I'm perceived by others.  I love the growing peace and self-esteem I have when I'm internally referented.

2.  I rode my bike today, at length, this afternoon.  It was fabulous, matching the weather.  Better, I cycled with a female friend.  She's hardy----let me tell you.  We went for 13.5 miles.

     Returning to her place, we shared a dinner she cooked.  A more terrific afternoon and early evening could not have been had.  I'm thankful for my friend's hospitality, kindness, sense of humor and the variety of experiences we shared today.

     Afterwards, I rode five more miles.  As I write this entry, I'm energized, upbeat and happy, the result of today's beautiful ride and the friendship I enjoyed with those at the meeting and my cycling buddy.

3. I saw someone special tonight, when I met with friends.  It was terrific being with her.  It was the first time she joined the gathering. She felt welcomed and enjoyed the warmth she felt from everyone. It's a good thing she wasn't criticized.  I am glad she had a wonderful time, it was nice connecting with her in a different way.

4.  Tonight, the group did something new----we read from, From Survival to Recovery.  Heart-felt, open discussion followed.  I always appreciate the growth, empathy and warmth and vitality this group offers.  I'm thrilled the gathering remains dynamic.  It is not ossifying.
How About You? 
What is a fine how-do-you-do that you've received from someone, lately?  I just told you the one I received from a self-appointed judge of my moods.

A Happy Innkeeper


Syd said...

It's interesting when others take my inventory. I don't have to accept their view, but I do have to look at myself and my part.

From Survival to Recovery is a good book. I enjoyed reading it in the group.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

Last Friday I had a Michelin 3 Star chef question why I'd sent him fish he did not order. It was delightful to explain to him that the fish I'd sent was not the one he thought it was, but actually one he DID order. I did it gently and with dignity, so he would not be embarrassed. He later offered a muted apology!

On this cool Thursday evening, I am grateful;

1. My two favorite Idol's are coming back next Wednesday for the Grande Finale?

2. My son showed me how to burn four of my favorite albums from I-Tunes to CD's (ancient, I know...) so I can listen while on the road for work.

3. Medical concerns about my wife's health, and mine, were laid to rest yesterday. We learned her "plumbing is nearly picture-perfect," if you know what I mean. For a cancer survivor, this was good news indeed! We celebrated by buying a strawberry cheesecake (her favorite) for the family to enjoy.

4. Had pancakes at a diner with two new, delightful colleagues to our company.

Pablo said...

Hi Syd,

Thanks for dropping by. I'm tardy replying, I know. I appreciate your insights. They always provide helpful feedback.

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

It sounds like a win-win situation with the chef. You stood for the truth while being gracious, as you explained "your truth."

I was happy hearing your wife is in good health, when I read your post, days ago.

I look forward to reading your future gratitudes. You are an example of consistency and positivity, even when you are stressed. Thank you, for your example!

Quotes from the Posts

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

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
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.