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

Friday, December 14, 2012

Setting priorities

I received a lesson in setting priorities. A friend agreed to do something with me that was really important to me. Then, as we tried to fit times to work on it into our calendars, she found she was super busy and, although I didn't want to say it, I suggested that maybe she was too busy to do this with me. After a short pause, she agreed that perhaps it would be better that way.

I was devastated. All my old issues flared up - she doesn't love me. What I want and need isn't important. And the bottom line - I don't matter. All I shared with her was that I was very disappointed because I had been looking forward to this project with her and it made me sad that we weren't going to do it.

As I processed my emotional responses, I realized that the filter through which I view the world is colored by that bottom-line core belief that I don't matter. I offer to help others, not out of the benevolence of my spirit, but because that will ensure that I matter. I try too hard at everything, because once again, that will make me feel like I matter.

So, I am working on shifting that core belief, which is not easy because it operates unconsciously. I need to train myself to recognize when those feelings kick in and catch them in the moment. In the meantime, I can learn a lesson from my friend who said no to our project because there were higher priorities in her life than me, which is a whole different thing than me believing I don't matter to her.

Oy vay!



I can relate to how you must have felt, my son and daughter here in the UK don't seem to want me in their lives although I have thought for many a hour thinking what have I done wrong. I realise they have busy lives but I hate not seeing the grandchildren.....even a phone call would be great. There is one thing I learned from being married to my late husband and that was family life always comes first and to be there in times of troubles but sad to say they have forgotten that.
My son in Spain is in contact albiet only once in a while but I phone him once a week. I can't phone the others they changed their numbers.
I shall do much soul searching over Christmas and perhaps you're right what is important to us is not so important to others,
Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Karen, I think you're doing so well to recognize this at all...so hard to see this kind of thing through all the hurt. Hugs to you.

Annalisa Crawford said...

And if you ask your friend, she was probably quite upset that she couldn't do it with you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I agree with Elizabeth - you've come to terms with what is what with us all at times ... I usually have another option up my sleeve, so don't get caught out. It's a part of my life ... and one I've noticed in recent years ... I don't get so rattled or upset - I do what I need to do .. and work round the rest.

Good for you .. and though it'll hurt now - it'll be release shortly ... look after yourself and big hugs from over here - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Better that she admits she doesn't have time then to make a half-hearted attempt anyway, right?
And you are very important to us!

Luanne G. Smith said...

It's funny how we let those scripts run in our heads over and over again. That really is the hard work of growing, to recognize it and change it so we can be happy. Hugs.

jaybird said...

I am the type of person who tries to please everyone, but then somehow, someway, always winds up disappointing someone! It is never my intention, like your friend, I'm sure, did not want to make you feel like you were not a priority, but when you over-commit yourself (like I, unfortunately, tend to do) sometimes that is the sad, sad, result.

It's my heartfelt prayer that you will be able to overcome that negative thinking!

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, my heart breaks for you about your children. I can't even imagine...
Elizabeth, thanks, it is a gift to be able to recognize these old issues and deal with them in a different way.
Annalisa, we are fine - we've talked about it and I actually thanked her for the gift of her honesty because it allowed me to see this old pattern of mine.
HIlary, it has already released and so glad for you that you figured out ways to deal with this
Alex, you are absolutely right! and thanks for that last thought.
L.G. Yes, the scripts run like a runaway projector. We've got to find a way to stop it.
Jaybird, it's a lifelong process, but I'm much more positive than I ever thought possible. Thanks.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

She wasn't saying no to you, just the situation.

Jack said...

That is hard, something I struggle with in fact. Someone says no to me, or is too busy, and I go into a panic that they don't care about me, or about what I am doing.
It is hard to change one's thoughts to think differently so I hope all the best for you.

Karen Walker said...

Diane, I know that now - it was in the moment the old stuff surfaced.
Jack, sorry you share this characteristic with me - it is hard to change those old patterns, but it is possible.

Arlee Bird said...

This is one of the reasons I usually don't ask anyone for help with something that involves a major commitment of time and the outcome would only be of benefit to me. I'm probably afraid of the rejection, or in some cases loss of control over my own project. Of course, in my current isolated state as far as direct contact with friends, I am pretty well forced to go solo on anything I do. Now to get my own priorities in check.

A Faraway View

Claudia Moser said...

Just take a deep breath and move on, all will be well!

Talli Roland said...

That's a hard thing to swallow - I know I'd have an issue with it. Yikes.