Imperfection

Just Like Me

There are people I admire for their love and their exuberance. It just feels good to be around them. But I don’t live with them. There’s a distance between myself and any person I believe leads a life without blemish. 

Once I sat in a workshop led by a person, (I’ll call them Jane), and Jane’s partner. I believed Jane walked an inch above the ground. Her partner lived with Jane. With love and understanding Jane’s partner told those of us in attendance that everyone loves Jane and thinks her generosity and love come naturally to her, but Jane puts a lot of effort into being the person she is.  

Jane’s partner give me a fleeting glimpse behind the curtain that afternoon. A person I perceived and admired as perfect has to work at it. Just like me.  

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Boundaries, Inherent Self-Worth, Self Love, Shame

Clever

I have a tumultuous relationship with being clever, or witty.

For a long time, the height of my aspirations was to be clever. The first problem with that is that cleverness isn’t fun if no one recognizes my cleverness. And if I need recognition, I’m not acting out of my self-worth. My self-with doesn’t need other’s approval.

Another problem, cleverness requires one-upmanship. I need be smarter than someone else, (the person judged by my cleverness).

There’s a chain of status my aspiring to be clever creates, and I’m not even at the top, but it usually requires I also put someone down.

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Songwriting

Disarming

Everyday I see conservations go sideways. Very often they are my own. I want to prove I’m right, that I’m sided with righteousness. If I’m, I must be wrong. Does anybody want to be wrong?  

What if I could find something in what a person says that has truth to it, and then agree? Dr David Burn’s calls this idea the disarming technique. He says when you find yourself in conflict with someone, if you want to end it, you must find the truth in what a person is saying and agree. Listening to a person and agreeing with them allows them to drop their defenses.   

It they don’t drop their defenses, they’ll never listen to what I have to say, no matter the facts or the truth that prove my side. If I hope to change a person’s mind, I have to first convince them I’m worth listening to. Or, I might decide that a person isn’t worth my respect and my agreement. In which case, what is the point of conversing with them?  

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Songwriting

Generosity

I’ve been wresting with generosity. I think of it as offering what I have, and often a bit more than I would like. In my mind, it’s related to charity. Helping others out. 

Generosity is often presented as a moral issue. I kind of spiritual quid pro quo. If I’m nice to a person, that person (or another) will also treat me with generosity, ‘cause that’s karma baby! The reverse is also thought to be true. If avarice drives my motives; the karma’s hounds will be hot on my trail. 

But just about everyone recognizes that a quid pro quo, a “this for that” relationship isn’t really generosity. Generosity is when we do something without the expectations of recompense. And if our generosity is driven by a desire to be seen as good in the eyes of men or gods, well isn’t that still quid pro quo.

What if generosity were none of these things? What if generosity were simply holding ourselves and others in an equal regard of caring and love. What if generosity springs out of our self-worth and self-love. Generosity that comes out of self-worth would be motivated not by the judgment of others (or a higher power), but out of inherent goodness. 

I end up offering a person more than my materially driven self feels is wise, yet if I I made the offer out of my self-worth and inherent goodness, I think it’s hard to offer more than I can afford. I can also partner with others freely, knowing that partnership can never be a blemish my self, even if it doesn’t work out as we would like. That feels generous to me.     

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Songwriting

Megaphone

I sign onto Facebook everyday and see someone or something that is wrong. Something that rattles my cage. I have to correct them or tell someone, right? Surely a person will change when they are told they are wrong. 

It almost never works. I know it almost works. Part of it may be because people aren’t on Facebook to change their minds. They are there to speak their minds, to express themselves, (and to get likes for it). It’s a megaphone.   

I’ve never conducted a productive conversation through a megaphone. Have you?  

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