We often only halfway listen to those around us.
We think we excel at multitasking, but ultimately someone suffers because they have not received our undivided attention.
We mix things up. Or we think we know what they mean.
When we assume rather than ask questions, we proceed to take the task at hand to a new level which is probably where no one intended on going in the first place.
We take what is not about us and make it all about us.
We take other people’s experiences and throw ourselves into the equation.
While we might be affected by their actions, it seldom has little if anything to do with us.
On the rare occasion it is about us, we put ourselves center stage rather than in a minor role. What others say and do tells more about them than us. Our response says everything about us.
Why do we allow others that kind of power over us? Are we too insecure to trust our own instincts?
We have the power to keep their business about them by not responding or reacting.
No immediate reaction is usually the best policy. A good rule is to breathe deeply before responding in word or action. Give yourself time to think. Step away if you must.
This attitude keeps things where they belong and in perspective. Those that judge us as uncaring for not reacting are still saying more about themselves than us.
We have the option of being part of the problem or part of the solution.
We have nothing to prove to anyone but ourselves. What does your heart say?
We should not choose our responses to impress upon others but to be true to ourselves while also keeping a clear perspective.
While others should not guilt, shame, bully, or intimidate us into seeing things their way, we should not operate with a personal agenda either.
We need to listen clearly. Trust what we are hearing. Act in accordance.
If we are driven by need, desire, or retaliation, it will be obvious in our response.
If they are driven by those same things, their reaction to our response will tell the truth.
When we take the time to communicate from a place of love and understanding, we can always find mutual ground.
Look, listen, love…you can do it!
Living in the Gap
April 17, 2012 – Squirrel Stealing Birdseed
I see fluttering about the bird feeder we’d just set up. I am all excited as I think the birds have discovered it. I get closer to see a squirrel has looped his tail around the steel rod and is handing upside down shaking the feeder with all he’s got!
He drops to the base and fills his mouth with seed and lifts himself himself atop the wire to enjoy his snack. Who knew squirrels were such high wire acrobats?
He decides to get a closer inspection to see if there is any way he can eat directly from the holes rather than having to work up sweat for his meal. He goes back to shaking, shimmying, and swinging the feeder. From a distance I watch his determination pay off a little at a time.
Living in the Gap
April 18, 2012 – Designer Dress in the Sky
A jet rips across the morning sky, tearing a powdered streak into the periwinkle blue. Another follows below the line and then one above it. The sky becomes a striped blue spring dress. Contrails expand, soften, and fade into the blue much like patterned fabric after many washings.