Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, June 1, 2009

Quandries - Part II

A few days ago I wrote about quandries, particularly the quandry of handling what I consider to be a toxic relationship with someone who is teaching me a skill. That blog received the most comments of any I've posted thus far, so I imagine this situation is not unique to me. Advice differed. Some thought the negative person was put in my life for a reason and I should hang in there and learn the lesson. Others thought life is too short to tolerate negative and personal attacks and I should learn the skill elsewhere. Both were correct.

I've pondered this, meditated, talked with friends, and prayed about it. I've been with this person for almost three years now. Here is what I have learned:
  • Apply the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
  • I cannot change anyone else, only myself. I cannot control anyone else, only myself.
  • I need to look at my own responsibility and behavior in this situation: Am I being kind, loving and thoughtful or am I provoking negative responses somehow in my actions or in my communication?
  • What are the whispers of wisdom telling me?

I love and care about this person very much. But the negativity is outweighing the positivity of the relationship. I truly don't have the energy I believe it would require to continue to try and make this work. I feel drained and depleted after each encounter, sucked dry. I do not believe I am provoking this response--others in our group feel the same way. Lastly, the more I think about making alternative arrangements, the more my body and soul relax and lighten.

Thank you all for the kind words of wisdom. They helped guide me to a decision that feels soul-right.




alexisgrant said...

Good! If you can feel that in your soul, you know you're making the right decision.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I know you must be anxious about ending this relationship, but I hope it goes as well as possible.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Helen Ginger said...

I'm glad you've reached a decision that feels right to you.

I was once in a critique group, had been in it for years, but it had reached a point where I was driving home screaming about one person in the group who seemed to make it her duty to tear everyone else down. I finally quit the group. Doing so gave me such a relief and joy.

I hope you find relief and joy in your decision.

Straight From Hel

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think we owe it to our bodies and souls to keep them relaxed as much as possible. Good luck to you and I hope your decision brings you inner peace.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

K. A. Laity said...

I know how hard it can be -- I am currently separating from my partner whom I love, but who cannot find joy in life or be a partner to me.

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Follow the heart, make the decision, then live with it. Good for you, and best wishes.

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Just yesterday our pastor spoke that God would put us through His washing-machine by using someone who was less pure to do it!
If you have learned your skill & lesson, then time to get out of that washing machine!

Been following your comments on BBT (I'm from a previous class) and decided to pay a visit to your blog!

L. Diane Wolfe

Karen Walker said...

So sorry to hear that. Sending you good thoughts as you move through that transition (much harder than the one I'm beginning).
L. Diane, Wolfe
Welcome. I've been following you as well. Thanks for stopping by.
Everyone else, your kind words and well wishes are supporting me through this. Thanks.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Karen, my conclusion is there are many negative people out there. I make it point to steer clear of them. I can correct, critique, discipline without using destructive tactics--personal or professional--and ripping the person apart. People who rip someone else down to make themselves look better are toxic and drain your soul. I'm friendly but my boundaries are firmly in place--even when I did counseling I had a mental ritual, a visualization, if you will, to drain the negatives away from me and into my visual. It helped.

Glad to see you gave it careful consideration and acted appropriately.

And thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi. :-)

The Practical Preserver said...


You've done everything possible. When you come to the decision, it's time to move forward and not let feelings of guilt hold you back on your journey.

N A Sharpe said...

Following your heart is always a good thing. I'll bet you feel as though a huge weight was lifted from you once you made your decision.

Nancy, from Just a Thought…