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
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Telling the Truth Tuesday - Feelings and communication
If only we could accept and acknowledge each others' differences without judgment. If only we could have empathy and understanding for a challenging point of view. If only we could realize that if someone's intentions are honorable, we needn't judge the outcome quite so severely.
When I first began my healing journey in 1978, I didn't have a clue what I was feeling, why I was feeling what I was feeling, and least of all, what to do with my feelings. When I began attending 12-step meetings (my parents weren't alcoholics, but the dysfunction in our family was similar to the dysfunction resulting from alcoholism or mental illness) one of the first things I learned was "Feelings aren't facts." Just because I feel angry because I think someone slighted me, doesn't necessarily mean that I was slighted. It's my perception.
The feeling is valid. The reaction is my choice.
What I learned to do is examine the incident by asking questions like, What did you mean by that? I look at the person's tone - sometimes what is said isn't so bad - it's how it's said that hurts. I try to come from a place of reconciliation and collaboration. I look to take responsibility for what I say and how I say it. I am not afraid to apologize if I feel I've miscommunicated or hurt someone.
If we are afraid of what people will think of us, it hampers our ability to be truthful about our feelings and actions. If I admit I was wrong, they'll think such and such of me. I guess one of the best things that happened as a result of turning 60 is that I care less and less what people think. No, that's not true. I care. I just don't alter my words or my behavior based on what people might think. There's a big difference.
In the end, feelings and communication are all we have in terms of negotiating our way in the world. If only we could all use empathy and understanding, both for ourselves and others, in the way we do it...