I read a great article today that really made me think about the way I communicate. The greatest, most precious gift you can give someone is your time and attention and I know with all the distractions and incessant thinking I do, I may be looking at the person talking to me but my attention is undoubtedly somewhere else. During the few opportunities I am able to focus and my thoughts aren’t running wild, just like the article pointed out, I am focused on the words I will react with more than I am just active listening. The other thing I found interesting is the benefit to just allowing silence to be part of conversations and relationships. I know for myself, silence is sometimes pretty awkward and I am going to really try and find some peace in that quiet place. So I will focus my attention on my conversations and hopefully find a way to naturally be a better active, focused listener. What do you think? What kind of listener are you and how does silence in conversations make you feel?
No seriously, do not answer that question. I really don’t care. I’m not even curious about who you think won the debate or who you think is the more disgraceful human being. I’m interested in the tone you use when you speak to others, your character and your ability to make peace and not start war. It absolutely pains me to see the worst of the worst come out in people at election time. Tonight’s first debate was no exception. What I don’t understand is how easily people make another’s presidential choice an opportunity to insult them personally. Statements like, someone like you who supports bigotry and racism..or better yet, how could you support a person who is basically the scum of the earth? It’s like an insulting way of insinuating that birds of a feather flock together and you are a disgraceful, dirty bird. This elitist I’m better than you or morally far above you attitude has got to stop. I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for so many people to the point that I almost wish I knew much less about them. I’m sick of rude and mean and smug and every insult, fact checker and anything else that goes along with it. The people whose comments I see are no better than the candidates they are too good to support or claim to hate. In fact, some display the exact same behavior that they complain about but they think they are on a level above everyone else and they can’t even see it in themselves. Its pathetic really how easily we jump to a conclusion about someone who believes something different than we do. Wouldn’t it be better off for everyone to ask why do you so strongly support whichever candidate instead of trying to demean and insult them when their choice is not the same as yours? Sometimes it’s best to not share every media post or even your opinion because at the end of the day the world needs less opinions and more kindness. But that’s what makes America great right? Our right to speak out even when it is causing tension and turmoil. The first amendment is a right but not an excuse to abuse or demean another human being. We are better than that right? At least we ought to be. That’s just my opinion but we already have enough of those.
A fool is made more of a fool, when their mouth is more open than their mind~Anthony Liccione
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment~ Benjamin Franklin
People respond in accordance to how you relate to them. If you approach them on the basis of violence, that’s how they’ll react. But if you say, ‘We want peace, we want stability,’ we can then do a lot of things that will contribute towards the progress of our society. Nelson Mandela
My mind is conflicted but my heart is not. When it comes to choosing sides, my heart will always stand on the side of love. It’s so easy to get caught up in confusion when information is being thrown from every direction in addition to emotions that are already running extremely high. Sometimes it’s necessary to find a place of calm and quiet and let the facts sort everything out. I’ve learned that my eyes can lead me to believe one thing while my heart says there’s just no way. We are in a world of turmoil and so many sources trying to sway the truth but it’s almost impossible to come to an agreement when truth means something different to all of us.
I often ask, why was I born into a time such as this? I don’t belong here. I don’t fit in. I am a lover not a fighter and my immense amount of common sense matched with my ability to really consider things from all angles is a blessing and a curse at the same time. My heart has a heaviness to it that is sometimes hard to carry. I feel things so deeply and am easily moved by others feeling and emotions. I actually experience what they are expressing on so many levels and it is overwhelming. Then I remind myself I am here to provide a sense of balance and maybe if I’m lucky enough, provide an opportunity to show a different way, not only a way to live but also think and feel. We all have a purpose and collectively have a contribution to the energy we create as a whole. Be mindful of what you are creating. That is the first step in healing the world.
On September 11th, several years ago, I held my pregnant belly as I watched the World Trade Center collapse in horror. I wondered what it would be like to bring a sweet, innocent life into this changing world. He is fourteen now and I shutter as I think about what is going on outside my front doors.
I went to bed watching the riots in Charlotte. For the last few days my heart has been heavy. In between palpitations and palpable anxiety and agitation, I feel dark and lifeless. This morning I woke up and decided I wasn’t ready to do today. I shut off my phone, closed my door and went back to sleep to avoid the world. Unfortunately for me, the world is already inside of my head. It slipped in a side door and haunted my dreams until I wanted to be awake.
I realize now that because I am an empath and feel things to such an extreme degree, the rage and violence I am feeling is an expression of the energy I am experiencing around me. It spreads like wildfire and once you get a little burn, that fire engulfs you until you become its rage.You keep it going until every spark and the flame destroys everything in its path.
Look around at the anger. Show me one person who believes life is fair and doesn’t suffer from some type of injustice. Show me the few people who divert the hatred and take on the responsibility to be and give love. They are the real heroes. As I sit here now, only two people come to mind who emulate goodness and kindness, compassion and acceptance every single moment I am around them. Just their presence alone has healing power. I’m done trying to fight for every cause and right every injustice. I’m not a fighter anymore. The more you train to fight the more it becomes who you are. I want to be like these two unsung heroes that simple make the world better by the energy they bring to it. I want to follow them around and feel some of the peace and honest goodness they leave behind them every place they go. I want to sit with a heartbeat that moves steadily and slowly and feel a sense of calm wash over me as I sit here quietly in my own home. I want to focus on my breath instead of the ridiculous list of things to do and keep track of dragging me down like a heavy ball and deadly change. I want to feel free and happy and get the hope back that people are good and the world is a beautiful place. Sometimes I just need an escape? Where can I go to find that these days?
Whether or not we want to admit it, eventually we start to go blind. I’m not talking about the kind of vision that helps us read a bunch of different sized black letters on a white chart on a wall in a doctors office. I’m talking about the kind of vision that allows us to see the beauty that is right in front of us. Sometimes months or years of negative experience starts to taint our ability to see what’s good. We get so engulfed by ugliness that eventually ugliness is all we see. We stop noticing what makes anything beautiful including the people in our lives. Negativity and hoplessness snuffs out the light inside of us and wipes out the light in everyone else at the same time. I’ve learned that regardless of what kind of day I’m having, even if it’s a horrible one, I have to look for something good in every day. If you start focusing on the negative, the positive will slowly disappear. What you focus on you get more of so its necessary to take a step back and ask yourself, what do I see? If it’s not pretty, you better start looking in s different direction.