|Yorkshire countryside. Lovely. Doris, you were fortunate.|
Good evening. The day was hot and so were several people who spoke tonight, when I met with friends.
My Gratitudes for Tonight:
1. Tonight, I heard two women vent.
They presented themselves as victims, expressing their feelings. Actually, what was voiced were not feelings but judgments. See here for more about that. It was fascinating and saddening at the same time to behold this happening among a group of friends.
I was glad to hear their complaints. It allowed me to know their character, and note growth in mine. Their comments revealed their worldview and values. I'm not in agreement with them. Their litany of accusations prompted discretion, patience, grace, causing me to place character above the vulnerable parts of my personality, including anger.
After the meeting, two different women---a mother and her adult daughter---approached me. They addressed me because they felt I was the safest person to discuss their concerns about what they heard. That was a wonderful respite from the toxicity that was poured out by the two disgruntled women.
2. I'm exhausted. I'm tired because of long hours I'm putting in, working, seeing plenty of people. It's a good problem, especially in today's rough economy. I'm thankful for the abundance. However, I'm striving for balance, which means, sleep, rest, time for myself, study, prayer and then more sleep.
3. I'm glad I don't accept unacceptable behavior. Nowadays, there's confusion as to what are acceptable values. I'm glad I'm clear about mine.
Others don't have to agree with mine, at all. But I will remain true to standards that I hold dear: consistency, nonviolence, consideration, mutuality, sensitivity, integrity, responding, not reacting, cooperation and affirming the gift of life and those I know.
I show empathy, even with those I disagree---like at this evening's meeting----because I know that empathy does not mean agreement. It simply indicates I'm connecting with the feelings and needs of the person with whom I'm relating, be he friend or foe.
Maintaining Emotional Sobriety.