Saturday, June 8

Serenity, Dignity and Joy When Expressing Our Voice 6/8/13

   Good evening,

As children, it was easy having our feelings and opinions minimized and invalidated. That's too bad and emotionally scarring.  Being not heard and not knowing empathy easily
damages our self-esteem.

      On top of that, being criticized for voicing different opinions----especially towards authority figures----was disciplined.  This cultural emotional coercion.  We'll revisit these issues, in a minute.


 Taking Care of Me

    It's the weekend.  I rode my bike for a little over an hour tonight, after sunset.  Was that great.  The shore of the island town in which I live---Alameda---was silent, the waves were not crashing.  Very odd.  The water came in ripples, its surface at Crab Cove had the spread-out layering like the frosting of a midnight blue colored cake.

      I was happy moving at full speed, on two wheels.  The 20+ lbs. of books I usually carry wasn't on my rack, I wasn't going to see clients.  After 12 miles, I poured it on,  cycling up to 27 mph, for the last mile-and-a-half.

      It felt good, dealing with life's frustrations with a vigorous expression of energy.  The wind caressed my face. Feeling my legs driving me forward, as I passed five marinas discharged plenty of stress.  I'll sleep well tonight.

    The innkeeper is taking a weekend break from his writing routine by bumping up the following.  I wrote this in April, 2011.  Let me know what you think.

My Gratitudes for Today:
1.  I wrote a letter to a friend I've known since twelve.  A disappointment needed proces-sing.  Expressing concerns in a caring manner is best.

     Non-violent communication (NVC) helps.  For more about this subject, you can read here.  I get better results when I express needs without using the five forms of Life Alienating Communication: blame, shame, fear, guilt or judgment.  My relationships improve, too, using NVC.

     The letter worked: my friend responded immediately.  I did something, I expressed my disappointment.

      It's encouraging knowing life improves, when we take care of our needs. However, it requires we stand in our power, recovery and integrity. For more about how we can grow in our wholeness, read here (the second half of this post).. We don't need to stay stuck when life presents unwanted circumstances.

      It's important realizing it's my responsibility dealing with life's disappointments.  I'm setting myself up for resentment if I expect others to rescue me.

     I'm not a child, I'm an adult; I'm responsible for effecting the outcomes I want to see. I am the only person on earth that can make taking care of my needs my number one responsibility.

     One key point, however.  It's best seeking God's will for my life. In addition, I ask Him for the power to carry it out.  So, if things don't go my way, I don't get angry.

     Asking God to do what I want is asking him to perform my will, not His.  I turned my will and life over to Him decades ago. Doing so has made my life more serene, I'm a happy camper.

      Here's an important tip. If I'm still disturbed by a person or circumstance, then I haven't turned that person or situation over to God. I'm still at square one.

2.  I'm encouraged, seeing new legacies taking root in my life by taking different, constructive actions.

     Knowing how to express our needs and be respectful towards others at the same time is a difficult skill. Usually---and unfortunately---it is not taught to children. And, it isn't only our family's fault that we haven't learned how to expresses our values while still being kind and courteous towards others. Churches and schools contribute to our social ineptness, too, as kids.

Unhealthy Principles Taught As a Child:
    a. To unquestioningly obey others.
    b. Expressing my opinion was not allowed, I was a child.
    c. To not speak, unless spoken to.
    d. Others know my needs better than me. Trust others and defer to their opinion, even if I was uncomfortable or disagreed with the views presented.
    e. Ignore my feelings. Comply, even if it doesn't feel right, because I was supposed to.
    f. Disagreeing, was disrespectful, especially if the other person was an authority figure.
    g. Passivity was encouraged.

     I was to open my mind and allow information and values to be poured into my mind, without challenging them.  The problem was that I was strong-willed.  The above values were unpalatable.  Boy, am I glad I held onto my dignity and self-esteem by swimming against the current created by childhood authority figures.

     As a youth, I disagreed with parental and authority figures----usually teachers.  I held my values.  As a result I was a happier, less timid, more driven person, even though these authority figures tried to beat my independent self out of me.

3.  Am I glad, I don't live in a one-down position with others.  Communicating in a way that allows me to meet my needs, while being respectful towards others makes me contented, and more fulfilled, and I maintain my dignity.  I enjoy improved, balanced relationships.

      I see more clearly.  Less frustrated, I am.

Expressing Our Voice

      I'm thankful for the dignity provided when exercising my voice.  No, I'm not referring to my vocal chords, but feeling at home with myself, where I express my values, likes and dislikes. If we want to be happy, we need to be adults.  Adults disagree with  others.  That's normal.

      I'm increasingly able to risk the disapproval of others when I'm clear about my boundaries and the fact that my worth is not based upon what others think of me.  (Courage to Change, p 118, 217)

      Others can think and feel however they please.  But, I'm happy when my behavior is congruent with my internal clock, worldview and voice.  I do rattle others, though.  In a quiet manner, however. Those who know me personally can attest I'm soft-spoken, but tenacious.  I didn't say vicious----I'm not interested in harming anyone.

How About You?
1.  What do you think prevents many from expressing their views?
2.  What allows you to overcome any negative conditioning you experienced as a child? 


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this chilly, windy somewhat overcast Sunday afternoon, I am grateful for;

1. The chance to host and get to know the grandson (and girlfriend) of my wife's Polish Godmother, as they visit the SF/Bay Area on their way to summer jobs at Yellowstone National Park.

2. A great burger and meaningful fellowship with friends at our annual Day of All True Things church BBQ/Picnic, just a stones throw from our home at Lake Chabot Park.

3. Meeting this afternoon with friends for rich music and passionate prayer at an elder's home in the Berkeley hills.

4. Delightful estate-sale finds; an oil painting and brass wind chime that brought a smile to my wife and joy to her heart!

Pablo said...

How did you survive your busy weekend? What did you enjoy most about your Polish guests? Have you been riding your bike any?

Was there anything you purchased at the sale?

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

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.