Friday, September 6

Winning the Grand Prix: Standing Against Criticism, 9/6/13 (321)

 Having Our Voice

     You know how it feels being helpless, right?   I bet you've seen someone attacked. You feared being assaulted---physically, verbally or emotionally---if you intervened.  You were hesitant to rally on the victim's behalf.

     That's understandable.

      But, we miss the opportunity at winning the Grand Prix. Two years ago, I wrote in a newspaper, responding to an onslaught of criticism towards a writer I enjoy reading, Lowell Cohn.  He's a sportswriter who has scribed for more than thirty years.  In the Press Democrat I wrote it's best saying what we want.  This is better than complaining about what we don't have.  Here's an excerpt:
It amazes me how quickly we judge a person if that individual doesn't do what we want. We assign blame. Frequently, we consider them as bad. We assault their character.  In this case, many have vented their anger due to Lowell not covering regional subjects that the readers wanted accounted for.
It’s better staying in the solution.  Complaining about what troubles us only makes the things bothering us loom larger and more disturbing.  I grew up in San Jose, near Campbell; I've been a life-long Bay Area resident, living in the counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda. 
 It’s better if we could appreciate the uniqueness offered by each part of the San Francisco Bay Area, rather than denigrating one region, because we live in another.  Contentment doesn't require much.  The following gives perspective as to what contributes towards having greater joy:
'All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that complaining leads people to becoming unhappy.'
I don’t ask anyone to agree with me. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Making an Impact

       After submitting this response, in the Press Democrat, which covers the Santa Rosa area, the complaints stopped.  There were over 20 printed complaints from erstwhile fans of his before adding my two cents.

       I'm thankful for taking a stand in a world that considers it sophisticated to whine, complain, be sarcastic, or cynical. As David Foster Wallace said:
Irony and negativity can critique but it can’t nourish or redeem.
Being An Adult: Disagreeing, Agreeably 

      I'm grateful for having a different opinion than the critical tide that had Lowell Cohn awash in negativity.  I'm happier, still, that I had characterological strength. I voiced values different from the crush of readers pounding away at him.

      I stood in my power. This is a critical part of being an adult.  We can disagree, we can say our no as gently as our yes.

An Important Key
      Using non-violent communication (NVC, for more about this, please click here),  I expressed my observations, and feelings about what I saw.  I mentioned the needs that came up and finally stated my request without using the five forms of life-alienating  communication: blame, shame, fear, guilt or judgment. 

The Grand Prix

        So what is the Grand Prix?  It's standing in our power, recovery and integrity.  It is enjoying an excellent life, because we do.  We exercise our power when differing with a bully.

        It's not letting someone badger us.  It is not tolerating someone putting us in a one-down position.  We put such people on notice that we are to be treated with respect.

       We stand for our values.  It is doing this when it would be easier to be steamrolled over, because we fear anger or rejection by the intimidating person.

       Winning the Grand Prix is standing in our recovery.  What does this mean?  Many may have no idea of twelve step programs.

        Recovery is having the fissures and vulnerabilities in our lives healed.  It is becoming whole.  We become the whole person we dream of becoming.  It's having characterological growth.

        As adults, we can still grow.  And no, I'm not referring to our stomach or the nether regions behind us.  It is fulfilling, finding ourselves getting stronger.

        Recovery is overcoming passivity.  It is exhilarating facing fears and moving beyond them.  It is terrific using steps that help us overcome terrors that once dominated us.   We learn how to have our voice.  We no longer surrender our principles because we fear rejection or the anger of another.

        This is recovery.
        Lastly, winning the trophy of emotional ease, tranquility and dignity----the Grand Prix----is maintaining our integrity. We say what we mean.  Our no is said as gently as our yes.  We stand for ourselves without standing against our fellows.

        It's feeling the enormity of our feelings, and being true to them.  We do this without being overwhelmed by them.  We do not yield them to dominating or belittling people.

       Winning the Grand Prix is ours, daily.  Yes, daily.  Imagine how great that would feel.

        This trophy of success occurs when we place healthy principles above the vulnerable parts of our personality.   It knowing how to handle personalities that want to snuff out our joy.  Or our dignity.  When we stand in our Power, Recovery and Integrity, we enjoy an eXcellent life.

        We win the Grand PRIX.

How About You? 
What is an area where you want to win the Grand Prix? 


Vanessa Higgins said...

With the guidance of my brother, I created a reward jar that I use to get myself out of bed. If I get up on time and go to work, exercise, coffee dates, I get a ten dollar token placed in my jar. If I choose to sleep in and hide in my bed, ten dollars is removed. I decorated the jar with buttons and stickers and I place it in my home office. So far this week I have collected $40!

Pablo said...

Dear Vanessa,

It is a better day, here, when you drop by. Thank you.

Wow! You are using healthy alternatives to overcome challenging areas in your life. When we do that, we are creating a better today. Kudos to you, you are placing principles and discipline over the vulnerable parts of your personality.

You have my support. Let's arrange a time to visit via Skype. Let me know when might work for you.

Loredana Donovan said...

This is a great post. Thank you, Pablo.

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.