Wednesday, October 16

Two Stories: One About the Elephant In the Living Room That Was Actually a Dog 10/16/13

Image: "Cumbria: Dalt Wood" by Tim Blessed
Copyrighted photo, used by permission. 
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Steve Jobs

   Good evening. After posting this, I'll cycle, welcoming the new day, feeling the chill of fall while hearing the waves slapping the shores of the island town where I live.

     So many stories tucked within my soul, all of them
good, at least, for now.  Here's one:

     Two days ago, a client sent the following letter, addressing me as Mr. Fuentes.  She is older than me. This woman wrote:
    Thank you for yesterday's session.  My husband and I felt you did a fine job in guiding us through the many ways we can deal with our stuck family situation. We learned from your insights. I feel hope that by learning more and applying the steps you introduced to us, we can come to a new level of interacting at home. 
      In your interaction with my husband, I want to thank you.  I saw how you applied the principles you teach in your own person.
               Many greetings, sincerely,
               (Her name) 
       PS. I want to call you Mr. Fuentes because I see you in a fatherly position, in your role with my husband and me.  :)

        This client's letter humbled me, making me feel the enormity of what I do.  I definitely want to do the best I can, being as sensitive as possible, while serving others.

      Another story happened when attending an event last week.  A woman brought a dog along.  The little pooch was disruptive, making it hard to concentrate.  I asked those attending if I could get group conscience as to whether the dog should be among us.  During the ensuing discussion the woman huffily rose and left the meeting.  Too bad.

     What troubled me was that this person did not give us a choice.  We had no say whether the dog could attend.  One right all adults have is making their own decisions.  This lady thought she was entitled to make one for the twenty-two others who were there.  I found her action objectionable, violating my need for autonomy, having my voice and independence.

     I prefer being congruent with my values.  One of them is that I don't like unnecessary distractions. The dog's rattling of his collar, when he shook his body, hearing its claws when walking on the hardwood floor and the little guy's barking made for an unpleasant meeting.

     There's a word for when others make decisions for others: manipulation.  I don't like being manipulated.

     The cute dog was an elephant in the room no one addressed, until I spoke up.  Earlier, I tried getting in a word, edgewise.  But those who shared before me interjected comments each time I took a breath before saying anything.

     After expressing my concerns---that this dog's presence minimized my need for choice and having my opinion valued---one fellow stated how rude it was that I broached the subject.  I disagreed, as did several others there.  Besides, his judgment of my character had nothing to do with the topic.

     Another, a woman, used the F word when sharing her response to what I mentioned.  I sat there, calmly, perfectly at ease, confident those attending would come up with an acceptable conclusion.

     Thank God for being internally referented, clear about my values, not yielding to someone who was insensitive to me or the others who attended Wednesday night.

How About You? 
When was the last time you expressed a differing opinion, when with others?  How did you feel?  For me, I was comfortable and at peace.  I've learned to express my feelings and leave it at that. I keep the focus on me. I have no desire in changing others. 

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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.