Tag Archives: distance

A Look at Judgment

In the split second that I look at my friend and think, “How could she?”, I am creating a distance.

When I scoff to myself and think, “I wouldn’t…”, I am lying to myself.

When I (easily) get in this mode I remember Maya Angelou’s assertion in her Master Class.  It resonated with me and chastened me when she said that if we are human, we can’t possibly say we wouldn’t do what a human being has done.

Of course, my mind immediately went to the serial killer who took my niece’s life.  It went to the child molester.

What I should be considering is my day-to-day life and my judgement about the people I love.

I know this lesson well.  I know that if someone irritates me, I should look carefully at myself to recognize the behavior in myself.  I’ve written about it before and know that I will again.

And how far is the gap between judgment and love?  How difficult is it to bridge the rushing river of critical thoughts which lets me to think I can do better? Or that my friend should do better?

The truth lies in loving myself first.  In being so sure that I am a cherished child of God and the universe that I needn’t put myself ahead or behind.   That I needn’t feel sure that I am better…or worse.  That I needn’t compare myself and come up ahead.  I needn’t compare myself at all.

Perhaps it will be nirvana when I can smile at my friend and wish her well with no thought to change her, correct her, or hope for better things.

Or it will be true love.

The Student

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Filed under Master Class, etc.

My Substitute Teacher

When one is at ease with himself, one is near Tao. This is to let Nature take its own course. (Chuang Tzu)

I have a teacher who is not one of my normal gurus –  the ones who are listed in my menu.

She is a person I have met in many guises in many countries.  This is a good opportunity to learn the lessons so that I may not have to sign up for the next class.

I can’t run nor hide from her.  She is a part of my tribe in this place.  I don’t want to claim her and, especially, do not want to be aligned with her.  There is a big lesson to be learned.

She is very confrontational to me.  I am wondering…is it the need to be right?  Is it a jockeying for position as the alpha personality?  Is she pecking at me to see if she can gain my approval?  This causes me to recede further, eluding her emotional grasp.  I work to keep a neutral face.

She is dismissive and disdainful of so much.  She lives in a foreign country and doesn’t seem to admire anything about it.  (Perhaps the weather and the cost of living.)  Does she need to feel greater than?  Does she feel trapped by some circumstance that keeps her here?  Is she unaware of her own attitude?  I want to tell her what is right.  I want to ask her why she is here.  I want to tell her to accept what is without so much angst.  She is making me tired with her words that fly into warfare as they emerge from her mouth.

She is invasive.  She doesn’t allow the privacy of others and assumes that she is welcome (with her large dogs) in anyone’s house, at anytime, without asking leave.  I want to stand in my doorway and say that I am not prepared for visitors.  I want to shield my floor (with its shoes and books tossed helter-skelter) from her sweeping gaze.  I wish I had done my dishes.  I feel I am being judged and found wanting.

The worst is her volatility.  She is not trustworthy.  Secrets of others fly out through her lips if they serve her need for conversation.  She will not or cannot accept a quiet statement but must grab it and twist it, blatting her perception to all within earshot; whether they want to hear or not.  I don’t want to become her friend.  I don’t want to  misunderstood or to be exposed.

So what are my lessons?

If I am not ready for interaction, I should stay in seclusion.  It’s okay to preserve my aloneness.  It is not my wish to maintain an attitude of aloofness and distance.

If I walk openly and lovingly in the world, the people within my space may be more at peace.  They won’t need to pick at me to wonder who I am and what I am thinking.

I am not responsible for the attitudes of others.  If I truly feel my presence in a situation is construed as an association of ideas, I can remove myself, politely and easily.  I needn’t listen, nor need I try to change the flow of ideas that is taxing or disagreeable, unless I am just practicing avoidance of a lesson I should be learning by gather information.

I do have a right to my privacy.  I can  have boundaries and use them when necessary.  Who I am is not subject to the approval of anyone but myself.  I can be comfortable live as I like in my own space using courtesy to provide for those I invite in whether into my home or into my life.

Is my real lesson  about fear? Fear that I will be exposed.  Fear that I will be hurt.  Fear that I will be perceived differently than I wish to be perceived.

I think my lesson is to be know that this woman is an extension of myself.  That my fear stems from my animosity toward myself in her. So I must accept myself.

My lesson is to be open.  To know that I will remain standing as a whole spiritual being no matter what.  That only I can detract from myself and I do that when I detract from someone else.

The Student.

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Filed under Quotations, Self-examination, Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves., Tao Te Ching

Available for…

Am I emotionally available?  What does that mean?

Maybe.  I dunno.  Kinda.  WhatEVER!

I can’t really decide whether “emotionally available” is just a new catch phrase or if it truly is a question I should be exploring.  Probably the latter.

Because my mother would have been in the “unavailable” category.  And we don’t fall far from the tree, do we?  I’ve found that until I examine myself closely, I don’t change much from the type of loving I got to the type of loving I give.

So here goes.

1.  My Mother was totally self-absorbed.  She told me once that she knew that she was limited in how much she could love.  Interestingly enough, I have a copy of a letter to my mother from my oldest sister saying much the same thing.  That she was sorry, she loved Mom as much as she could, but that she just found herself lacking in that way.

How can I judge how deeply I love?  This is something so firmly ensconced in my being that I can’t bring it out in juxtaposition to other people and say, “Hmm, I think you are a little more loving than I am here, but I make up for it there.”

I do know that I am self-absorbed.  I live in my own head to the exclusion of life going on about me an undue amount of the time.  I only realized that I’ve been on an inward journey when I re-join the present and know that I have missed the gist of the conversation, the surroundings, or the passing moments.  I must remind myself to ask others about their lives.  I’m pretty much sure they are interested in mine.  My story is intriguing after all.

2.  My Father was always picking up the phone to call his 70+ descendants.  He kept track of birthdays and anniversaries, illnesses and celebrations.  He told me that when he couldn’t sleep, he would pray for everyone by name.  It was like counting sheep.  He had trouble with soulful connections, tho.  He was a preacher, a teacher and bible scholar.  And he loved to expound on his knowledge. When my children were young and we visited, it was his wife who talked with them.  My father talked at them.  He just admittedly loved the sound of his own voice.

I’m afraid that I take after him.  I’m a student (as you can tell by my blog name and my menu options) of everything spiritual and philosophical.  I take my analysis to the paralysis level and happy to share the results with anyone who will listen (or read).

Since my children aren’t really available to talk to a lot, I write.  And write.  And I remind myself to call them or see them, because I have gotten a lot of my ya-yas out in my writing.  After all, didn’t I write to them?  And about them?

This is going to take a lot more thought.  I can see that clearly!

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Filed under Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves., The Truth Will Set You Free