Saturday, January 17, 2015

Justine's Journal #22

500 Words 52 Weeks

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 22

"This will be a post to celebrate the positive.

For many days now I've run into folks who think their ‘kind’ words will help me. By pointing out the flaws in my actions, they believe it will help me see the errors in my ways. Thanks for caring, folks, but you don’t know shit about me. My flaws may be yours, given the manner in which you regard your world. It isn't my world. And just because I refuse to respond in a like manner, doesn't mean you are right. (Someone hit upside the head with anger, and I walked away, choosing not to fall into that trap)

Given the judgements I mention, how is this post about celebrating the positive?

It’s like this: when you know yourself (I don’t yet claim that state completely!) then you are able to stand aside from judgements and see yourself through your eyes, not the gaze of another. That is positive. When you realise anger is the manifestation (Elaina will love me using that word!) of the other’s state of being, then you are able to ignore it, not take it on board and respond in like fashion. That is positive. And when you are able to walk away from ‘kind’ words with a smile and a thank you, then you have taken another step towards knowing yourself. VERY positive.

Perhaps it’s taking the time first to think about what was said to you, to not automatically give out the knee jerk reaction in the very moment of confrontation, discussion, advice or whatever. And to think means you actually listened to that other, and listening is the best way to understand the world and its issues. The more you listen the more you open your mind. This doesn't mean you must take it on as gospel, of course, but listening and then thinking about what you heard makes all the difference. This concept has escaped me until recently. I’d be the one mouthing off, filling the silences with strings of words, and know what? I learned nothing, except that I was beginning to hate the sound of my voice. I have since stepped back a bit and chosen to listen first, think next, decide thereafter, and then speak.

Now I hear you think to yourself – that makes you uninvolved in life. You choose to stand aside and make private judgements after the fact? Where is the satisfaction in a conversation that is one talking the other just listening? You would be right on one level. It does translate into lack of involvement, but that judgement is the other’s, not mine, for I am in no way uninvolved, I am LISTENING. How more involved do you want me to be? Listening is the greatest compliment, after all. As for satisfaction in a conversation: if the other is pontificating (Elaina will love that word too!) then it isn't a conversation, it’s a lecture, and all one can do is listen. My advice? Let’s all of us get our facts straight first, before judging another’s action.

I did learn things about myself, by listening, and thus I celebrate it as a positive leap forward."

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