Wednesday, August 21

The Support of Balcony People, When In Crisis ..8/21/13

Two are better than one, for they have a rich reward
for their labor.  If one falls, he has another to lift him
up.  bout woe to him that is alone when he falls, for
he has not another to lift him up.  
       Receiving amazing---beyond belief---support infuses energy into this weary soul recovering from the demands of urban life.  As I type, a major, but scarey, area I am confronting.  Small, but significant victories, are popping up, in the process.  Little foxes of worry can ruin the
vineyard of life.  By exercising discipline---placing principles above my personality---these critters are being captured, returned to their natural habitat, which is far away from me.  I'm enjoying greater sanity; no longer am I being disturbed by vulpine terror.

The Antidote for Despair

      What has been the antidote, you ask?  Why, it's been loving letters from friends, receiving encouraging phone calls, getting empathy, not judgment from my supportive network.   I feel better, not worse, after spending time with dear ones.  When needed, they drop everything to be with me.  Those in the circle of my life create a bridge of hope, allowing me to cross a chasm of despair.

       Not operating alone is moving me forward.  Confronting the day's drama, one day at time (sometimes fifteen minutes at a time) has been my lot, the past two weeks.  My Balcony People are sticking with me.  Am I grateful.  They lift me up from the floor, after being sucker punched by the vicissitudes of life.  This wouldn't be the case if I lived in isolation.

       Learning from their experience, strength and hope, prodded by their smiles, wisdom and compassion provides the community required for any semblance of serenity.  They, my Balcony People, right now, are carrying me.  With the arms of their support holding me upright, I'm placing one stumbling foot in front of the other.  Sharing their experience, strength and hope has been a dawn star, guiding me through this dark night of my soul.  You can read here, for more information about this source of support.

My Gratitudes: 
1. I am fortunate to have Balcony People.
2. I'll meet with two consultants Saturday, part of my business team.  Our session will challenge me, increasing my competence.
3. I had a wonderful conversation with my youngest son.  Connecting with others who love me is an ointment that heals the emotional bruises I've accumulated the past few weeks.
Baby Steps
4. This week, I faced an unpleasant task I've been avoiding.

      That is a baby step.  Who am I kidding?  That was a gigantic step. I've learned I need to give myself proper credit when tackling a difficult task.

       While addressing daunting issues, I've taken care one of the most important persons in my life---me.  During this emotionally perilous time I took necessary steps to treat myself with compassion.

        This meant having my Quiet Time, eating healthy meals, exercising, and sleeping well.  Listening to favorite music, being with friends and making time for fun (even if I don't feel like it) were the order of the day.  Such action is vital, when facing distasteful circumstances.
5.  I visited with a friend.  He's directing work my way.  That is always a good thing.  Ya ay!

Preventing Disappointment: 
Using Character Discernment

     I recently got clarity regarding someone I thought was a friend.  I was wrong.  I'm thankful that my character discernment remains healthy.  My Pablo piper people picker is not broken.  Am I glad.

     I'm not interested in defensive hope.  It wastes time, creates misery and frustration, in relationships.  What I learned about this almost friend helps me make better use of time.  Reciprocity is one thing I look for in and count on in my relationships.  It wasn't there, with him.

      I've stated this before, one sign of an abusive relationship is a lack of mutuality, equality and reciprocity.  If a relationship does not have these qualities, we are being used, folks.

6.  I'm thankful for healthy relationships, the result of placing principles before my attachment with anyone.

Making Amends

      Today, I acknowledged areas where I offended someone.  The harm I caused wasn't deliberate, I was misunderstood.  Nonetheless, making amends is a practical way to restore a damaged relationship.  I want to be sensitive to his perception of reality.  Empathy does not mean agreement.

       How the offended person responds to my amends is not the issue.  I make them not for his sake, but mine.  They prevent the relationship from being weighed down by tension and hurt feelings.

       I learned plenty about unpleasantness, growing up.  I don't care to experience more of it in this relationship. I especially want to keep my life as emotionally clean as possible, while going through stress.
How About You? 
1. How have you received support this week?
2. Has there been an area in your life where you are experiencing more clarity?
3. Are there any amends you need to make? 


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I do feel fortunate to have support in my life from my love and my family. It's a nice feeling and one that I do not take for granted at all. Wonderful post Pablo my friend.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

Thank you for your post about Balcony People; insightful for us all, and timely for me!

My belated Tuesday evening gratitudes, shared this gray, overcast Wednesday morning are (retired early last night, totally spent);

1. That I could leave work early today; sick and return home to sleep, take medicine, and heal...

2. That co-workers, friends and family can be patient, kind, and extend grace to me when I'm not feeling well. I rarely get sick; a bit spoiled that way, and can get grumpy when I do!

3. That I can listen to my body telling me to stop, (get off the sometimes out-of-control hampster wheel of life) and do what I need to do to take proper care of myself, and not feel guilty about it.

4. For modern medicines such as Robitussin, Thera-flu, etc. I wonder how our ancestors coped without them?

5. That we have this wonderful, cozy Inn, with its ever gurgling pot of hot chicken soup for the soul, and fresh-baked sourdough french bread (with goats butter of course), to soothe the weary soul of each grateful sojourner.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Thursday night I am grateful...

1. That I can celebrate the life of my pastor with meaningful words, song, dance and hope, one year after his passing.

2. That I can say my no's as gently as I say my yes's; declining invitations to two separate meetings tonight, in order to stay home for some much needed, quiet healing time.

3. That two of my sons and a friend prepared a beautiful birthday dinner for my Polish wife of 31 years;(survivor of Communism, four sons, and me...!) on this her special day.

4. That its OK that I don't have a card or gift tonight, because, as she told me...all she wants for her birthday is my support, encouragement, compassion, empathy and love; in public and in private. I cleared the table and did the dishes for starters...(progress not perfection, eh?)

5. And...i forgot to mention earlier this week that I am grateful I could celebrate my 42nd Spiritual Birthday on Monday, August 19th. If you wonder what a Spiritual Birthday is, our Dear Innkeeper Pablo is more-than-qualified to tell you. In fact, the story behind his own Spiritual Birthday is a beautiful and fascinating one, which he may share with us all, one fine day...

Theresa Elander said...

Lots of good stuff for me in your post, Pablo. Especially the bits about defensive hope being wasted time. The need for reciprocity in healthy relationships. And, the value of down time.

So, how have I received support this week? I am getting big time support from Pablo this week. I am very very grateful.

Where have I experienced more clarity? In reading the book "Codependent No More," I am getting lots of Ah Has in the chapter "Undependence" around "unfinished business," etc.

Are there any amends that I need to make? I don't think so.

Carl H said...

On this Saturday night, I am grateful...

1. For the honor of being the M. C. and hearing candid, beautiful and moving testimonies this morning from Dr. Durst and Dr. Lowery at a monthly community of faith breakfast.

2. That though I had (yet again...) locked my keys in my van, AAA could (like Ironman with his jet-pack) arrive "a mere" 15 minutes after my call to let me back in! Guess its time to spring for another key!

3. That my (increasingly child-like) 89 year old Mom could let go of, or release her left-over meat loaf, mashed potatoes and zuchini (which she was tired of having anyway), so that I would have some lunch to eat with her, once I nuked her Stouffers Mac 'n Cheese and fried up a small Ham Steak!

4. That I can look after her in her twilight years, as I know it won't be long before I'm a child-like, grumpy, old-fart (even now, folks...) who doesn't want to share his left-overs! I hope this modeling for our four sons pays off later!

5. For some quality time with our second oldest son, Dan and his younger brother Vincent this evening.

6. That I'm rediscovering some old British Blues music like John Mayhall's bluesy/jazzy "Turning Point" album, recorded live at the Fillmore East in 1969 (with no drummer!) Please give it a listen if you can...

7. And, finally James Taylor's "That's Why I'm Here" album, with choral support from a host of greats. The title track has a moving verse about comic John Belushi's untimely drug overdose...

"John's gone found dead he dies high he's brown bread,
Later said to have drowned in his bed.

After the laughter the wave of the dread, it hits us like a ton of lead.

It seems learn not to burn means to turn on a dime, walk on if you're walking even if it's an uphill climb.

Try to remember that working's no crime.
Just don't let 'em take and waste your time..."

Powerful, in light of Taylor's own "uphill climb" out of heroin addiction!

8. Finally I'm grateful for our modern day troubadour's who sing their truth in lilting poetry; their experience, strength and hope, because it's for us all!

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.