I was interrupted while I was speaking during a business meeting/ conference call this week by a colleague who whispered loudly: “You are yelling” …
It is disconcerting to be interrupted like that mid-speech, in front of people, whether or not they could see (or hear) the exchange. I don’t think his motives were bad; he probably meant to help. My initial reaction was annoyance. Of course I had to keep talking (being mid-sentence), but I was definitely thrown.
Days later I was still bugged. Was I really that loud? WTH? Do I need to do something? Say something to him? How do I handle this unsolicited feedback? Is it him or is it me? Could my annoyance be signaling a past wound? My ex-husband used to call me “Bullhorn Hawk” when he wanted me to quiet down. Do I have unresolved issues there? Why is this bugging me so much?
AAARRRG!!! Please stop the voices inside my head!!!
Michael A. Singer says in The Untethered Soul that if I’m smart, I’ll “take the time to step back, examine this voice, and get to know it better.” Although I may not be to objective (since it is literally in my face/ head) – so I have to step way back and just “watch it converse.” I am not that voice. I am who notices that the voice exists.
When I step back and watch I find my mind constantly jabbering about something. Singer says the best way to free myself from this nonstop noise is to simply stop and listen to it – observe it. I can’t stop it by force of will. It is not me. The only way out of this trap is to know that it is not me. So by being conscious I can decide that I’m not going there – into the snare of not me and I will let go of all that junk. Singer also suggests:
“If you truly want to grow spiritually, you’ll realize that keeping your stuff is keeping you trapped. Eventually you’ll want out, at any cost. You will then realize that life is actually trying to help you. Life is surrounding you with people and situations that stimulate growth. You don’t have to decide who’s right or wrong. You don’t have to worry about other people’s issues. You only have to be willing to open your heart in the face of anything and everything, and permit the purification process to take place. When you do this, the first thing you’ll see is that situations will unfold that hit your stuff. But, in truth, that’s exactly what has been happening your entire life. The only difference is that now you see it as a good thing because it’s an opportunity to let go.
You Can’t Do That. I hear it, you hear it. Is it true? Many of us have heard the Chinese proverb counter argument: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it?”
Into which camp do I fall? How far into “this” camp do I sit? How willing am I to admit this in public?
As a kid I was squarely in the “anything’s possible” camp. I have a long-ago memory from first grade about a planned class trip to a Hawaiian luau. It was the culmination of lessons about the Hawaiian Islands which included the building of a working model volcano. Oh the excitement! It was a big deal and this 7-year old knew we were flying to the island – by helicopter – for the party. For real! On the day of the luau I was unexpectedly and massively sick with an ear infection. I couldn’t go and was devastated; I sobbed and sobbed that I would miss the adventure.
What is real? What is imagination? What is possible? The ‘little me’ believed in a possibility that maybe no one else did. I’m pretty sure my mom tried to console me that it wasn’t a “real” trip – but I insisted it was. I KNEW it was.
Dain Heer says “Get this! This is the key: You can create great things from beyond this reality if you are willing to be functional in and through this reality, but not owned by it.” Then he suggests I ask this question: “What magic can I be that would change this situation?”
For those in the reality camp, I honor your choice. Me; I am chasing the luau.
“Attitudes are more important than facts.” – Dr. Karl Menninger
Since the late 80’s I’ve gorged on books like Dr. Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine and Miracles, Peace, Love, and Healing, and Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I find the mind-body connection fascinating. While I say I’m all for combining traditional methodologies with alternatives to provide a complementary approach to healing, I’ve seriously pissed people off suggesting they – first – consider some of the underlying principles from the alternative side of the isle.
Am I ignoring the holistic, complementary approach since I broke my pinkie-toe on my left foot two weeks ago? The toe’s been taped, iced and recommended dosages of ibuprofen taken to reduce the swelling. Applying the alternatives – asking questions like “what is my toe trying to tell me?” Affirmation, affirmation! However, being a bit (lot) stubborn I DID NOT want to curtail my exercise regimen. So toe, just tell me what “understanding” I need to have to make the pain go away. Please don’t make me stop dancing!
Alas; damn pinkie-toe just won’t heal – not talking to me either. Could it be that I am beating her to smithereens with Cardio Fusion, Zumba® and MADD-X® and she’s pissed-off? Don’t think fitness yoga is helping either. Well buggers. Guess I have to slow down, take it easy; and keep listening for the still quiet pinkie-toe voice.
“Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen to them.” – Shakti Gawain
Was going about the business of being me this week – being the “business me” on a conference call; just saying what I needed to say, saying what I wanted to say. No biggie. Turns out this one guy really didn’t like how I showed up – and challenged what I said, how I said it – told me all about it. Hmmm: totally surprised me. It actually wasn’t what I said, or meant, which was a bit confusing. Anyway, told the guy – profusely – sorry about what he heard; don’t recall saying what he heard – sure don’t disrespect his knowledge of his business. He pushed hard and told me someone “pinged him” on chat “WOW” about my comments, basically validating that he was right and I was wrong. Again: profusely – sorry about what they both heard; don’t recall saying it (Am I crazy?); sure don’t disrespect his knowledge of his business. I don’t think he liked my apology; I didn’t validate his point-of-view or that of his witness; but he grudgingly accepted that I don’t disrespect his knowledge of his business.
Checked in with my boss, who I totally respect and admire. Turns out she admitted that she “cringed” at my tone and wondered if I knew the guy was on the call. What? (Now I really must be crazy!) I was being me – said what I thought – no disrespect for anyone – wasn’t pissed – wasn’t in a bad mood. What?
How can I be me and not be swayed by other people’s reality, but consider feedback? How can I do that? After serious reflection and meditation on my motives, I know I meant no disrespect, have no recollection that my “tone” was in any way out of the ordinary. I was just being me. I am not crazy.
NOW: how do I not want to change me and mold myself to be more pleasing and acceptable to others? Do I throw “me” out for approval and to fit in? So uncomfortable. Just being me, speaking my truth. I feel okay to apologize for the guy hearing something I didn’t intend. But what he heard was about him, not me. So much harder to hear someone I respect and care about see me in a negative way; but that is about her, not me.
Being willing to be me even when no one “gets me” is hard. Of course I want to be accepted and liked. So uncomfortable to not accept that “I must be crazy (wrong) .. whatever” in the face of the response I got – way uncomfortable. I want to be me. I want to be me no matter what. The “no matter what” may be lack of understanding, no acceptance, people I love insisting I am wrong, my desire to be loved and wanted edging me to give “me” up. This life ain’t for sissies!