Dear Why Team member,
I hope this weeks message finds you well and encouraged.
This week we ask:
Why listen, really listen?
Because it fuels growth!
Recently, I was at peace listening, really listening, to a dear friend of mine who called to share a personal story that made her laugh so hard, I started laughing with her. I thought, “What a privilege!” - somedays, our time is really limited and how grateful are we when another is giving us their time, especially their joyous time?
Nowadays, there are so many among us that often choose the disempowered position of the victim and their wanting of our time is more to soothe themselves than to give of themselves. And sometimes, for short periods of time, that’s alright, we need to be a friend during both good and bad times, but our culture has developed a hyper-focus on identifying what is missing:
believing that something and/or someone is to blame for our unhappiness.
Consider the Why of your interactions with others:
How many are you wanting of them?
How many are you giving to them?
When we become anxious, we tend to see more of what is missing or wrong all around us; it’s called projection.
Why do many believe that the “movie on the screen” must change before considering a deep look at the projector?
Most often to avoid responsibility.
Noticing what you put out is how best to discover what is within. The victim blames external circumstances and people around them for their state of being and expects others to change for them to be okay. The victors, however, look within and more often own their projections.
What are you projecting? And why?
Life, I believe, is best lived with a sense of meaning and purpose - found via our own challenging paths that develop our abilities to help others with their challenges.
Of course, there are times we will seek comfort from others, but does it not make tremendous sense to learn more how to comfort ourselves?
As children, we depended on external comfort, but it may be time to now become more effective grown-up parents to our own inner selves.
So much of today’s rhetoric is focused on others - groups of people that think differently and have become a perceived threat.
A threat? To what?
To peace of mind dependent on external events and people lining up to behave in a certain way.
I recently heard that some colleges are now requiring their professors to provide trigger warnings to their students. In other words, if a certain teaching might trigger a negative emotion, the professor is obligated to anticipate that they may upset a student and give the students advance warning.
Facts, often conflict with opinion - does that make facts offensive?
Because someone is offended by the words of another does not mean the other is being offensive.
Being considerate to others is honorable but feeling responsible for others’ emotional health is co-dependency.
Imagine for just a moment that we are all one big family. If your brother disagrees with you, do you feel offended, disrespected, rejected?
What happened to friendly discourse and debate for learning and growing? To shame, someone who’s merely presenting facts means to allow your internal fears and anxieties to seek justification for your pain externally. Brene Brown teaches that shame is something very different from regret. Regret is simply “I did something bad,” and that serves to inform and form us, but shame is the belief that “I am bad” - and the fastest way to handle that misguided belief is to find someone else we view as more shameful.
Could blame be on the rise because shame is on the rise?
While we all make mistakes, we must never forget that we are not a mistake. We are okay, and so are they. It is the anxious thoughts that produce the most unproductive and the most unloving behaviors - okay, it happened, say you’re sorry and mean it. But that doesn’t mean you’re a “sorry person,” it means you’re only human, and by definition, you’ll make mistakes. But if you believe that you ARE a mistake, you’ll more likely not own your mistakes and thus not learn from them; worse yet, hyper-focus on others’ mistakes.
The grown-up in the room these days is the one who says, “I’m sorry!” and who can forgive themselves - because they value themselves beyond any lie of perfection. The grown-up is also the one who is quick to forgive others and considers different viewpoints, even if they don’t ultimately agree with those viewpoints. They may question the view, but not the person.
This week, consider listening, really listening, to the words you hear and the words you speak. Extend more open consideration to others - if only for a fellow human being - being a bit more patient and compassionate - and maybe, just maybe, we’ll grow-up just a little bit more this week; for ourselves and for others.
Make it a great week!