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, March 8, 2010

Weekend Update

This weekend was a mixture of fun and stress. Friday afternoon, a girlfriend and I went to see "Crazy Heart." I'd been told it was depressing and not worth seeing, but I wanted to see Jeff Bridge's oscar-nominated performance. Glad I did. Not only was Bridge's acting phenomenal, I found the movie eminently believable and somewhat uplifting at the end.

Saturday brought the stress. After singing at a retirement community, while packing up the equipment, one of my trio told me I had offended her, that she wasn't going to participate at our "farewell" event, and that she wasn't going to come to our last two performances. It was a result of an email I'd sent to the old and new group about which songs we would sing at the farewell party. I'd sent suggestions, saying I wanted everyone to feel good about their songs, wanted to make sure everyone got to participate at the level they wanted to, and that this was opening up a discussion so we could figure things out together.
When I said that it wasn't my intention to hurt or offend, I was told "That's not good enough. This can't be fixed. You already sent an email to everyone."

I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation, but what do you do when someone is unwilling to try to fix a problem? Everyone is entitled to their feelings. All our feelings are valid. It's what we do with them that causes problems. This person could have called me up and said she had a problem with my suggestions. It was an easy fix. We always have choice in any given moment about how to respond/react to things.

The old me would have begged, pleaded, assumed I did something wrong and done anything to fix it. This time, I just looked at her and said, "This is your issue, it's how you are choosing you view the situation. If this is how you want things to end, fine. We're done. Good luck." And I turned and got into my car.

The other member of the trio was with me and we dissected my original email as well as the conversation that had just taken place. Truly, there is no way I did anything wrong or communicated badly in my email. How I'm feeling now is that I don't need people in my life who make assumptions about my behavior that judge me as someone who would deliberately offend or slight anyone. That's just not who I am. So, in the end, it's a blessings for both of us that this time together is over.

The new trio is coming together beautifully and I am looking forward to a blend of good singing and great energy.

How do you handle being verbally judged and attacked?



Joanne said...

Oh that's a tough one. Too bad things had to come to an end like that, it couldn't have been easy. I don't like conflict, and try to avoid it, but at the same time I won't change my opinion or choices to appease others. I'm glad you have the new trio to continue to enjoy your love of singing!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I don't handle it well when it's face to face. I think I would be completely *confused*. You handled it well.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Tamika: said...

The enemy is the author of confusion. This I know. Pray for her and leave an open invitation for things to be mended.

"As much as lies in you- live peaceably with all men."

God is always leading us to reconcilation.

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh wow! That does sound stressful. I think it's hard not to take those occassions personally and evaluate if we could have handled it better and more lovingly. Sounds like you did the best you could and handled it with grace and kindness.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't you love people who read between the lines?

Great response, Karen! It is HER problem. All we can control in life is our attitude, and she let a perceived slight get the better of her. But you rose above it. Yes, we always feel bad when someone is unhappy with us, but don't let yourself waller in this!

Mason Canyon said...

You handled it smoothly. Good attitude.

arlee bird said...

I think you did right. I am okay with constructive criticisms and suggestions, but not confrontation. If there is a misunderstanding between me and someone else, I try to patch it up and leave the door open, but like you, I think begging doesn't work well and the problem is typically the other person's problem if I've made my effort to fix it.

I didn't see "Crazy Heart", but I'm glad Jeff Bridges won.


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I haven’t been in this situation so I’m not sure how I’d handle it, but I think you have the right attitude.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Good for you. We experienced a similar thing years ago after playing w/our band at my HS reunion. The drummer and bass player didn't like that we repeated a song, so after the show, they quit. Unbelievable, but people do the darndest things.

I think it's great that you explained your intention, and realized it was her interpretation of the situation that was causing the problem, not you. Life is too short to be bothered with other people's "stuff."

Best of luck with your new and improved trio!

Cyndi said...

That sucks. I know, I'm quite eloquent. :)

Some people just cannot communicate well. Clearly she is one of those people. Rather than calmly address whatever it was that offended her and discuss it with you, she chose to give you a vague reason for being angry and shut down any further communication. Maybe she has trouble with confrontation, maybe she just had a bad day, maybe she's nuts. Who knows. Whatever her issue is, I agree with you, it's hers. It sounds like you were more than willing to discuss it further and she wasn't. Who needs that sort of drama?

The Old Silly said...

How do I handle verbal abuse and attack? Consider the source, then let it roll off. Constructive criticism, which I DO take to heart, comes in the form remarks made by credible commenters. Abusers and attackers are stupid jackasses and I pay them no mind.

Marvin D Wilson

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I think you handled it extremely well. We're ultimately only responsible for ourselves. If she wants to be upset and hurt then she will be. Let it roll off your back and move on.

Simona44 said...

Crazy Heart is going on my Netflix list. I saw one scene during the Oscars and recognized the location immediately: The Santa Fe Opera House.
Sometimes friendships end the way you described. It's part of living, I'm afraid.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm usually shocked when someone attacks me, then speechless, then most likely hurt and angry. Those are my internal reactions. On the outside, I shrug and walk away.

There's no way we're always going to be understood, but some people feed off of trouble and turmoil and are always looking for a way to stir the pot. Who needs 'em?

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