Monday, November 7

Expressing Our Voice, Revisited 11/7/16

         A marvelous week, this was.  Seeing myself getting stronger, characterologic-ally, nurtures my optimism. Emo-tional dust storms happened this week when relating with others. That's when the fun began.  I'm not saying this because I like drama.  Far from it.

     As we grow in our relationships with others, difficulties become opportunities for spiritual weight lifting.  We learn how to exercise strength.  We apply healthy principles---even with those who are hurtful. 

     We fortify ourselves when we lay aside inadequate ways of coping. These defeatist reactions surface, when we react.  We want to respond.  Resentment, fear, passivity, anger, and procrastination may lurk around the emotional corner.  If we aren't careful. 

      However, our emotional muscles get stronger when we apply healthy principles. Traveling life's path includes the bumps and dips of conflicts with others.  The road of life smoothes out when we place disciplined responses to this rocky road.  Read here, for more about that.

      We become better, not bitter when connecting with emotionally mature, supportive others. These are our Balcony People. See footnote. Challenges that one time frightened us, are seen for what they are. They become moments where we can place principles above the weaker parts of our soul.

          Sometimes life is a matter of taking it in fifteen min-ute increments.  There are times when taking it one day at a time is more than we can handle.  Life is good when we are gentle with ourselves. Acknowledging the healthy steps we take---even if they are tiny, moves us towards progress, tranquility, and happiness.
"Perhaps I can let go of all condemnation for this one day.  I will recognize that I am on a spiritual path of self-improvement.  Every tiny step I take on that path moves me closer to wholeness, health, and serenity."                              Al-Anon Family Groups Inc., Courage to Change, 2nd Edit.Virginia Beach, 1992, 19. Print.
      As we get stronger, feeling better about our values, choices, dreams and decisions, we're able to politely and firmly, disagree. We can process conflicts that at one time would have been disturbing.  For more insight and skills that help when encountering a difficult or frustrating sit-uation, click here.  Especially look at what's written in purple. 

     For most of us, conflicts are few and far between. Late-ly, it hasn't been so, for me.  During such times, the following is helpful:
After years of letting people take advantage of me, I had built up quite a store of anger, resentment, and guilt . …. So many times I wanted to bite off my tongue after saying,“yes, “ when I really wanted to say, “no.” Why did I continue to deny my own feelings just to  gain someone’s approval? ….
The answer became apparent:  What I lacked was courage. Was I willing to try to learn to say, “no,” when I meant no? Was I willing to accept that not everyone would be thrilled with this change? Was I willing to face the real me behind the people-pleasing image? Fed up with volunteering to be treated like a door mat, I squared my shoulders and answered, “Yes.”
..... Do I make a conscious choice about what I say? And when it is appropriate, do I say what I mean and mean what I say? If not, why not? All I have to offer anyone is my own experience of the truth.
‘There is a price that is too great to pay for peace…One cannot pay the price of self-respect.'   Woodrow Wilson     Courage, 207
           Have a great and grateful day, I will.  Remember, we are the average of the five people we hang out with.  We want to make sure they are emotionally mature, healthy, kind and positive. We deserve relationships like that, we really do.

How About You?
       What spiritual weightlifting have you been doing?  Where are you placing principles above your personality?  I'd love hearing from you. Really. 


     What a gift it has been, seeing my supportive family expand, as time goes by.  Not only have I a flesh-and-blood family, but an expanded family due to others who are a part of my life. They are my Balcony People.

     These dear ones love and accept me unconditionally, they are in the grandstands of my life, cheering me on, as I run the marathon of life.  Best of all, they don't give me advice.  They may share their experience, strength and hope, when I ask.  More importantly they empathize and have compassion. They are simply available.

Image: Countryside: "Wintry Pastoral" by Tim Blessed.  All rights reserved, used by permission. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Innkeeper,
It's close to 4am. I'm up. Fell asleep early last night. My body was still recuperating from a week of science camp and a weekend of daddy duties with soccer games, chores, and grocery shopping. Report cards and parent/teacher conferences loom on the horizon. Grateful that I do have Friday off, thanks to our veterans. Hopefully a day for some reflection.
I lie on my bed writing here and listening to an 80s song on repeat. I can still remember listening to this song on a hot summer's night back in the 80s, aware of the menace in the house. That person is no longer around.
I'm grateful for the intense argument my wife and I had two weekends ago. I spoke up. After minutes of posturing, holding on to our self-righteous beliefs, I explained to her that I didn't expect a love song from her, but to simply look around and see what is happening. I can't remember what else we said. What I do remember though was that she was able to express terrifying feelings of uncertainty and doubt. After 16 years of teaching, she was scared she wasn't going to make it this year.
You see to make a long story short, my wife is in the process of bringing mindfulness to public education, but she's paying a hefty price, a huge sacrifice, even affecting her health and family life.
On this day of election, we keep marching to the fall, taking sides, basing it on what we think is best. Choosing the lesser of the two evils, the one who lied the least. We keep innocently marching, avoiding, resisting our humanity, our vulnerability, our fragility. I'm not saying that no election is the solution, all I'm wondering is when will things like perspective, wisdom, and healing matter most.

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.