Here’s the thing about changing language, expressing yourself differently. You begin to hear others speak in locked in, negative old patterns, more frequently. You get aggravated but try to stay detached. The comments you hear are good reminders to remain vigilant in your own development. The hard part is not judging either the speaker or yourself. The hard part is not attacking or belittling.
It’s not surprising I’m finding this lesson tough. I’m a long time know-it-all who fumbles around wanting everybody to think like me and see things my way. Now that I’m aware of the narrow minded destructiveness of that attitude, I want to accept more, open more, and allow, but find I’m still pointing my finger at people. Confession time: I’m still judging. OMG, I’ve become the reformed smoker, yeah? *sigh*
Here’s my conundrum. Silence versus conversation. Dialogue can enrich us, but all parties must be listening, engaged with head and heart. For really deep subjects, the conversation can go around and around and can often become heated. How do we teach, then? Patience, I suppose, heaps and heaps of it with big dollops of acceptance and trust tossed in. I need to work on the latter. Oh hell, I need to work on it all.
So let me paint a picture. You’re making small talk with a person, someone you know, and they start talking about the past and how things were better back whenever. You bite your tongue and think to yourself, “The past had its moments, but so does the present. I prefer to focus on the now”. Not wanting to drop their thought, in spite of your lack of response, they start on about how much better life would be if there were no combustion engines, if everyone lived simply with horses and buggies, quietly going about their day in semi-solitude. There’d be no pollution and no noise. It would be the best, the better way surely! And cities are all hell holes. Who can live a spiritual life in a city? People need to live in the country.
You’ve stopped biting you now bloodied tongue and reply that we cannot go back so why not make the best of the present? Sure it’s annoying when a machine wakes you or breaks a sweet reverie, but I’d rather travel quickly and efficiently by car, rail, or plane, you say. The countryside is magnificent, but so are big cityscapes. One need only decide to see the beauty. It’s perspective. I choose to be proud of what we’ve done rather than wallow in failings. We’ve fucked up badly. But nothing we humans do has ever worked perfectly. We mess up terribly, and continue to do so. But we can change. We are changing, you state.
Of course you’re thoughts are not validated. Your opinion is not shared and the conversation ends with a feeling of frustration on your part and maybe some anger for good measure. You walk away pissed and unsettled. The dissection begins. What went wrong? Why the icky feelings?
Well here’s my thoughts. Firstly, there’s some old stuff at work about worth. Your friend’s opinions are her own and she’s entitled to them. You do not share them, think them foolish. But come on, you don’t see eye-to-eye with everyone, so why does this person’s attitudes get you riled? Perhaps because there is a deeper truth being shown about how easily we become locked up in our thinking, and how insidious that thinking can be, for if we believe another time and another place is better than this time and this place, we cannot be fully alive in the here and now. It’s that simple. It is also, perhaps, yet another reminder about how we express ourselves, that our language is steeped in not just negative but some very destructive patterns. The good news? We can change it. We are all a work in progress.
When the voice in your head points out all the things it sees wrong with the human condition and then suggests the only solution is to go back to another time, it is lost. Lovely memories are just that, lovely memories. We cannot stay there. However, we can most certainly bring all those wonderful feelings to the present day.
Another aspect of this ‘issue’ is putting it on the person. It’s not up to me to change everybody’s thinking. It’s up to me to change my thinking. If I believe that the way I speak, or that the language I use is hurtful, then it’s up to me to change that.
Another confession. Wow, two in one blog. I’m feeling a tad over exposed. Anywho, this time I’m disclosing how I really feel about the present time, and people in general, and the economy etcetera. Has my age something to do with my thoughts? Of course. But the work I’ve been doing has more to do with them than anything.
I think the world right now is brilliant. I think people are amazing, resilient, kind, and fair. I think there is enough to go around for everyone. Now, are there seriously, serious issues, problems? Do people want, hurt, struggle, need? Yes. And it makes my heart ache. But here’s the rub. Worrying about them, dissing about this person or that, this bad thing or that, heightens those problems. It gives them more leg power. Am I ignoring them? No. But if I am not called to take direct and specific action toward resolving an issue, solving the problem, then by blaming others, by wailing on about the awful state of this, or the horrible conditions of that, I’m part of the problem. What can I do, then?
I see situations resolved, I envision peace, I Imagine. I simply believe. And with all my being, I trust good intentions, and positive imaginings support all those working faithfully for change, for absolute understanding. It is prayer, it is the power of positive thinking. It is a silent vibration pulsating outward. It bolsters me, you, and on and on.
It is the best I can do in this moment. Is it working? You bet your ass it is!!
And so that is my wish. Smile. Have hope. Take a hand. Choose kind. Pay it forward. Every single action matters. See the beauty. Keep your heart open. Think good. Imagine…