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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not resentful!

As I was falling asleep last night, I realized with happy amazement that I didn't feel resentful––my usual go-to emotion––because while I didn't do it particularly well or gracefully (fighting with my SIL), I did speak up instead of slinking away.
Stifling myself is the breeding ground of resentment. 

I'm thrilled and kind of surprised: it felt like I'd never get off the hook of resentment, but it's not like I haven't been trying to navigate around it for quite a while now. 
Sometimes work actually works.


I've been speaking up (often clumsily) all year.
While I cringe at some of my expressions, overall it seems to be working as a strategy a lot better than my old fester-in-silence, disappear in the dead-of-night way. 
I'm sorry for the times my clumsy attempts to speak honestly have morphed into me yelling or otherwise hurting people's feelings (and mine!). 
But my old way hurt people too, plus it was not honest. 

More work is needed.

I like the saying, Show up; pay attention; speak the truth; be open to the outcome.*

I want to get better at speaking up sooner, before things go too far and become a big f--ing deal. 
I want to get better at sidestepping the horns of anger (the other person's or mine). 
I want to not come on like a tornado--often I do that because I'm afraid, so I want to be less afraid.

I want to speak passionately, with clarity. As the underbrush of choking fear, resentment, etc. is cleared away, hopefully that clears room for the passionate rose bush to flourish.

Here's an tricksy one: 
I want to stop trying to "help" people so much. This is complicated because help (no quote marks) is a good thing. 
I mean "help" when it's an ego thing, not freely given.  
In my case, "helping" my mother was my early-childhhood training. While it was based in love, the feeling of "helping" became an ego-reward--like giving a dog a treat for coming in the house--which I have continued to desire even when it's not fitting. (Marz used to say I "helped too hard.")

I think the hardest lesson for me to learn is that no matter how much I want to engage, some people don't want to, for whatever reasons (and perfectly good ones, too), and I should just stop pushing. 

For instance, the conflict with my SIL yesterday the conflict arose because I was trying to talk to her--that's like poking a bear, which I knew
"Not engaging" is not the same as stifling myself.
Sometimes a wise silence is the brave choice and the best strategy.
_________________ 
*This popular saying seems to be an abbreviation of the four-fold way, from a 1995 essay by Angeles Arrien.

4 comments:

ArtSparker said...

I find communication very challenging too.

Fresca said...

It's HARD to do well, eh?
And it involves other people, and that's quite a dance...

The Crow said...

A dance to which I do not know the steps, am constantly out of sync and lose the rhythm, then become embarrassed and clumsy, stepping on toes and stumbling.

Yes, it is hard to do well, and I'm still learning.

Frex said...

CROW: Hey, we're dancing the same dance! Ain't it grand? ;)
--Fresca