Tuesday, August 5

An Intense Evening In the Life of the Innkeeper 8/5/14

     Presently, there is a recurrent theme in my life.  You know what it is.  Patience.  I had my house wifi-ed yesterday.  But it is not.  After three hours, it was gone.

     AT&T promised to make it right today, Tuesday.  Didn't happen.  I waited four hours, rescheduled appointments, even, losing money, all for naught.  Being the Attitude of Gratitude guy, I see this as an opportunity to do more than count to ten.  I need to forgive.
Forgiveness is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt. Courage to Change, 178
     In my case, it is frustration I am wrestling with, not hurt.


      There is a night when I don a coat of armor, engaging in weekly combat of the emotional kind.  Last week, there was a reprieve.  That was great, as I was physically wiped out.  Thank you, God.

      Not so, this week.  Ugh.  I am getting better, though.  Never have I had a client like the one I see on this night.  Never.  I am routinely slugged with judgments about me.  I am not a masochist.  Nor am I codependent.  Something I am proud to admit.

      Codependency: surrendering our values or opinions because we fear the anger or reactions of others, if we say what we feel or want, or differ with others.

      I am getting tougher, in a good sense, because of my weekly jousts:
Maturity is moving from a thin skin and a hard heart to a thick skin and a soft heart.                                          Charles Swindoll
     This client helps me exercise detachment.  I responded, not reacting.  A younger Pablo would have let her have it.  No, that is not me, now.  She's lucky.

     Here's the thing: empathy does not mean agreement.  I used it this week to de-escalate a volatile session.  I was proud being grounded while relating with someone who used emotional bullying to motivate me.

        "You are supposed to support me!!" said she, when I state a view that differed from hers.
        "I am sorry.  I am not in agreement with you.  I did not say you were wrong."  I said.
        "I pay you to listen to me!!!"
        "That is not how I work. We cannot become the person we want to be, by remaining the way we are."  I replied.  "Besides, you have spoken for the past fifty minutes. I am confused by your statement."
        When I mentioned many have benefited from time spent with me, including those who suffer from her symptoms she yelled, "I am feeling coerced." She stood up walked towards me, turned around, returning to the couch and sat back down.
        "Have I asked you to do anything?"
        "Can you tell me how I can say what I said tonight, without you feeling that way?" I asked.
        "You are to make me feel better!"
        " I have never had anyone tell me how I am to do my work.  I will not let you be the first.  Do not judge me.  We operate as equals.  Pronouncing judgments is putting yourself in a superior position.

        "I have a need for balance. Just as I am respectful towards you, I ask for you to equally be respectful towards me.  Your desire to get healthier has to be stronger than my desire to help you. "

         How was I, as this verbal storm swirled within the room?  Fine.  At ease.  Present, noticing how I felt, calmly smiling, while listening to the tirade.  My breathing was relaxed. It was like being back in the psychiatric hospital, where I worked for nine years.

         At the end of our session she gave me a big hug, with a smile and an additional twenty-five dollars.  Go figure.  The evening goes to prove that being true to our values is critical.  We may be tested to see if we really stick to our values.  But, that doesn't mean we won't be respected for maintaining our integrity.

 My Gratitudes:
1.  I am happy my peace of mind is not affected by the negative emotions of others. No one can make me feel happy, sad, or any other feeling, without me giving them permission to do so.
2.  I am internally referented.  I clearly know what my values are.  I do not let others define me.
3.  I will have a look forward to conversation Wednesday morning.
4.  I took a nap after finding out I wasted my time, waiting for help from AT&T.
5.  I spoke my truth with someone yesterday. She apologized, and will make amends.  That is heartening.
6.  I am adhering to my boundaries.  It feels good, being true to myself.
7.  I am loved by many.  And, I don't have to do anything, to be appreciated by them. It is sensational, knowing intimacy with emotionally mature others. It provides me with the emotional object constancy I need.

How About You?
What are your gratitudes?  Please share them. 

No comments:

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.