Thursday, October 13

Healing An Old Wound........ 10/13/16

       I turned around the corner.  There he was, standing near the eggs, in a grocery store.

      I hadn't heard from him in more than two years.  His jowls were baggier.

      His look was that of someone who had been sitting at the
Department of Motor Vehicles for three hours, without actually having sat at that confounding place for three hours.  No mirth to be found.

      Slumped were his shoulders, under-neath his Hawaiian shirt.  A few weeks earlier, he spent three hundred dol-lars, giving to his church.  It offered a special dispensation of grace if he cough-ed up the money.  Much good it did him on this day.  That's right, none.

       But he did his duty, adding to the coffers of a movement that en-riched their leader, the proclaimed new messiah, to a personal worth of more than a billion dollars.

       Not only did its founder benefit financially, but his wife, and chil-dren.   Those who had worked tirelessly "for the cause" provided this self-proclaimed messiah with multiple palatial compounds around the world.  Not to mention the casinos, an ammunition factory, hotels, lim-ousines and the like.

       The fellow I saw, in his late sixties, now works for Lyft.

     "I heard you told oth-ers I gave you the cold shoulder,"  I said. "Your pastor used gossip to motivate church members.  He recom-mended they not relate with me because he heard from you we had a falling out.

       "Your conclusion was an in-terpretation not based on facts.  There was no falling out.  That was your imagina-tion,"  I continued, as shoppers rattled their carts past us.

       "Who told you about Reverend [So-and-so's] action?" he asked.

        "Several people.  I want you to know all interpretations, assump-tions, conclusions and judgments are never experienced, they are imagined," I said.

         "But you didn't reply to the letter I sent you, ending our sponsor-ship relationship," he sputtered as someone reached between us, to grab some bread.

          "That doesn't mean I gave you the cold shoulder.  I invested more than three years of my life with you,"  I replied.  "We met for hours every Wednesday.  I deserved better than receiving an email, letting me know your decision.  I merited learning this news from you, face-to-face."

           "Your letter did not deserve a response," I said, while, with warmth, my left hand held the back of his right shoulder.  I was not angry. I was calm.  My eyes looked at him kindly, as I spoke.  We stood a foot-and-a-half apart, facing each other.

            I used Clint Eastwood as my example.  But, with a difference.  I used love apples---a gentle, but genuine---smile on my face.  They let me know if I am reacting or if I am responding.  If I have love apples when confronting another, I am responding.

             My tone was measured while steadily gazing into his blue eyes.

             When I react, I am operating from past scars of vivid pain.  I al-low others to determine my moods and define who I am.  This is code-pendency.
               When I respond---during crises and intense times---I am apply-ing recovery.  I do what it takes to take care of my needs.  At the same time, I am respectful of others and their needs.

              Living with recovery is hugely different from being passive and tormented, wondering what others think of us.  Drawing strength from my convictions and being present is a maturer, and more satisfying way of living I love enjoying.

             My spirit is not bitter nor tormented by past pain.

             I've learned how to feel my grief and let it go.  I know that no one is responsible for my feelings, be they good or bad.  I am responsi-ble for my feelings.  This is acceptance. 

             When I respond, I am exercising my personal power.  I am owning my power.  I am not letting people poop on me.  It is the result of leaning on the grace of God, the hard work I have done related to personal growth, and time being a mem-ber of Al-Anon Family Groups.

             "The letter you e-mailed me had no emotion.  There were no feelings expressed.  It was entirely cerebral," I said.

             "It was like a form business letter," I continued. "I needed con-nection and compassion.  This was especially true after the years we shared at an intimate level."

             Being authentic is saying what we want and feel.

             When we don't, we are inauthentic.  When we present our false selves, we commit "soul murder," according to Alice Miller, author of The Drama of the Gifted Child and The Body Never Lies.  It leads to many outcomes like depression, isolating, perfectionism, paranoia, schizoid affect, the Borderline condition, self-loathing and the like, as stated in Kaufman's book, Shame.

            "If I was wrong in what I wrote, I apologize," he said.

            "That isn't an apology," I replied.  "The 'if ' in your apology is not taking responsibility for your action," I said in my soft-spoken voice while gazing calmly into eyes surprised by what I just said.

             "Pablo, I was wrong."

             "I accept your apology."  I then told him a story.....


             I am not done with this posting.  I'll work on it more when I have time.

             Thank you, for dropping by.  I notice many bloggers are giving up. They announce they are quitting.  Kaput.  They will no longer post. Or worse, their blogs are now defunct.  Their archived posts aren't even accessible.

     I am posting this to let you know I am doing well, head splitting notwithstanding.  I am enduring a migraine while pressing fingertips to keyboard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Innkeeper,
I am sorry that bloggers have given up. Very sad. I admire your devotion to your blog. It's impressive. You're dedicated. Most blogs are used for branding instead of values.
My barber said yesterday that self-esteem comes from the individual not from someone else. We were speaking in regards to me twenty-seven years ago, when I saved a bit of money in two years from ages 16-18. I was able to buy a used car and pay for my own car insurance, as I continued playing soccer for my high school and working at a grocery store.
I was able to build character. I learned at a young age what I was made of. These are the things that go unnoticed.
I spent a total of 12 hours, yes, 12 unpaid hours on Sunday and Tuesday (yes, I had to take Tuesday off to correct papers and take my wife's car to the shop), revising my students narrative essays, some hours at a local coffee shop, the rest at home.
My critical mind was very rude with me, questioning me, "Why are you doing this? No one cares?" But in the end, I felt that I was at least in the ballpark.
I felt that helping students improve some way was better than reverting back to self-righteous or critical view of the world,
What does this all have to do with your post?
When push comes to shove, only a few have the courage to speak for what is most important. We live in a world where people are addicted to the critical mind. We marvel and boast at the insanity of mankind because quite honestly we are so afraid to be vulnerable,to accept our fragility, to finally accept our mortality.
I applaud, while I stand on my chair :), for your equanimity, as you responded to your former friend.
After waking up this morning, I read your post, and it reinforced something I had been pondering and that is learning to recognize the inner textures of responding, over those perverse tendencies of reopening wounds and reacting.
Thank you, my friend, for giving me something to meditate on, for putting me in your shoes to learn what it feels like from the inside, when we are responding, to not automatically come from the woundedness.
I am praying now that God may grant you relief from your migraine.

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.