Tuesday, February 17

Being Gentle But Effective When Expressing Ourselves, Revisited....... ...................2/17/15

When the last drop of rain has fallen, and the final note has drifted away,
When the Earth ceases to turn and the last fire is burned, when the
 wind stops its ceaseless blowing and the last wave has come into shore,
When the sun’s called it a day and the stars have all floated away,
When time is no longer ticking and the hour glass runs out of sand;
His love remains, like an endless flame burning, God's love remains!
(Avalon song ‘Love Remains’)
     Innkeeper's Note:  I see that a few have rummaged through the attic of this inn and have laid hold on this the following post, a favorite of mine.  It is running up the sidebar for the most popular posts for this week.  Thank you for dropping by and checking out the inn's library. 
        I am re-posting it for
those who may not have been around three-and-a-third years ago.   It may appear that I'm writing about football.  I'm not.   It's really about exercising boundaries, keeping integrity with our values, i.e., it's important to express our voice. What I wrote is about not being obnoxious when disagreeing with the actions of another. It's about responding, not reacting. 

      Let me know what you think.  I conclude this post with today's gratitudes.  Please let me hear yours.  Please.  Your gratitudes.  Here is the post: 

    November 8th, 2011
       A few weeks ago, I went to an indoor sports arena that has a sports bar and restaurant, it's the Bladium, in the city of Alameda.  It has rinks for hockey and lacrosse, basketball and volleyball courts and provides indoor rock climbing.  I went there because I don't own a TV.

         I don't miss the contraption, usually.  But, seeing my team play football is a sacred event.  You know where I live.  Your guess correctly if you think I root for the team that represents the City by the Bay.
You probably can hear Tony Bennett singing in the background.

            I settled down, watching the game at the closest table facing the large screen TV.   There were others there, taking in the contest. My team competed against an other that was undefeated, Detroit Lions.

          A thrilling game it was, not decided until the last seven minutes.  In the last quarter, our quarterback threw a clutch touchdown pass.  The receiver barely flopped across goal line, adding to their lead.  The score was challenged by the opposing team.  The instant replay revealed the call was accurate.   With minutes remaining in the game, the restaurant owner changed the channel!   He put on the Oakland Raiders game.  His team.

                 Here's where it got interesting.  Not long ago, say, seven years ago,  I would have accepted his action.  I might have given a half-hearted, feeble protest.  I would have reasoned it was his business, he could do whatever he wanted.

         Mind you, I had watched the game for two and a half hours, actively involved.  None of the many in the room eagerly watching the game were asked, when the owner changed channels.  I went to his wife who worked behind the bar.  I inquired about the change of games.

         She didn't know anything about it.  "My husband is in the back, cooking," she said.  To be honest, I was a hot, indignant.  However, I took slow, deep breaths, using a measured voice when speaking with Mrs. Restaurant Owner. 

         I placed my palms down, releasing my anger (see this to better understand) and frustration as I spoke.  I waited for the proprietor to appear.

                Mr. Restaurant Owner emerged from the kitchen.  The wife spoke to him in Spanish.  They didn't know I understand that language, among others.  I looked around as they communicated, not indicating I understood them.   She spoke as my advocate. Finally he said to me, "The TV is for customers."

                  Only a soda had I bought.  He knew that.  The cook-owner added, "I don't like the Niners."

            I pointed over to the tabled area, where the TV sat.  "Nobody is watching the Oakland game.  There were other people there, before," I said.  Calmly, I looked into his eyes.  Clint Eastwood has always been my model.  I spoke in the most even voice I could muster.

I would add, also, when
 everyone is looking. 
         Abruptly, he jerkily strode across the room, towards the TV.  He changed the channel to the Niners game.  I sat down, thankful that I've learned to say what I mean, mean what I say but not to say it meanly.

               Within minutes, there was a crowd where I was, intently watching the game, boisterously yelling as the San Francisco team earned their win.  When the channel was switched, most had left. Included in the returning group of men were young uniformed soldiers, rooting for
our team.  They knew the rigors of combat and defending the ideals of our country but were unable to confront the owner, defending their need for consid-eration. 

                  A guy at the table behind me, witnessed my talk with the Mr. Proprietor.  He had returned to see the final  minutes played out.  He called out to me, "See what you did?   You made a lot of people happy by talking with that guy." 

       My reflections about this day's events continues in the gratitudes:

Gratitudes for November 8th, 2011
1. I'm still developing, characterologically.  Petulance is not necessary when circumstances aren't what I want.  As adults, we can disagree with others, agreeably.
2. For staying present when the TV station was changed, not reacting.  I took deep breaths.  I released my anger into God's care.  He can handle it.  No, I didn't get mad at God.  I turned over my feelings into his capable hands.
3.  I'm thankful I was nice towards Mrs. Business Owner.  She influenced her husband. 
4. When I made my request to the restaurant owner, I respected his dignity. 

        Gently, I approached him, while holding firmly to my values. There's no need for harshness, when differing.  When correcting someone, the truth is hard enough to take.

        Adding discomfort, emphatically twisting the knife of my perception----that I am right----within the person I'm disagree with, is neither necessary nor effective.  It does not meet the emotional safety, courtesy and harmony we want, when relating.

        I appreciate St. Augustine's perspective:
"The truth is like a lion. You do not have to defend it. Let it lose. it will defend itself."
      The truth has it's own teeth, as it is.  I honor another person's dignity when I'm courteous and kind while speaking my truth. 
5. When I watched my team play a week later, at the Bladium, I bought a complete meal.  I gave a 25% tip and got along superbly with Mr.and Mrs. Business Owner. 
            And my team won its sixth game in a row.
            Oh yeah---the TV was turned on to the San Francisco Forty Niner  football game, when I walked in.

Gratitudes for Today 2/17/15
1. Pacing my workdays.  Not booking appointments one after another.  Giving myself time to breathe, providing myself sanity and serenity in the process. 
2. Asserting boundaries.  Not letting others take me, my value and the effort I expend on them for granted.  Many clients may think the work I do with them is easy. It aint.  It drains and depletes me. 
3. Today was a record day.  Over a thousand visitors dropped by.  Many from India, Russia, Germany, Kenya, France, Ukraine.  Alas, not so many from the U.K., my once largest readership, besides the U.S.  It must be because I don't write with an English accent.  :-> 
   I appreciate each one of you who drop by. 
4. Will spend time with family Saturday. We'll cycle then have supper.  
5. Will confront a sore spot in my life.  Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. 
6. Enjoyed my time at church yesterday. 
7. After a busy day, I did administrative work, reviewing and adding to my notes taken while
 with clients. Did so for four hours tonight. 
8.  Able to say hello to you tonight. I've been gone for a few days---exhausted. 
9.  Received a new client approval letter.  It will be put in the testimonial page, soon enough. 
10. I love your comments.  Thank you.   I shall reply to each left here at the inn.

Image: "Cumbria: Across Windmere" by Tim Blessed. all rights reserved, used by permission.
Related Post:
Saying No Gently Without Fear


Superman said...

Dear Innkeeper,

I feel uplifted after reading your story in the restaurant. I must admit I have been overly compliant at work even when others don't appreciate or care what I do. I would love to have more courage to drop the fear and charades, and just feel more connected with people. I would love to stop catastrophizing or worrying just for a day.



Dear Innkeeper, I enjoyed your sharing. I have just one reservation: how do we know asserting ourselves, that we are not intruding on the rights of others? After all, someone, whom we are confronting, might be in a fragile state, or have a need we do not perceive, while we demand to be satisfied.

Thumper said...

Dear Pablo,

Here are some of my gratitudes.

1. I made time to write this week- a story as well as some journaling.

2. I made time for myself by taking not one but TWO bubble baths!

3. My husband and I recovered our dining room chairs with beautiful fabric I picked out last week. I am grateful that it was easier than we anticipated.

4. I courageously faced a scary task that I needed to accomplish and it went extremely well.

5. A wonderful friend took time out to assist me with an important task.

6. Another friend has offered to help me out with another time consuming task.

7. I went out to dinner and had a lot of laughs and connection with my husband and kids.

8. I joyfully watched my daughter take her first tennis lesson and she was AMAZING!

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.