It is amazing to me the wisdom and insight I can gain from my interaction with others. All I have to do is be quiet and listen. Sounds simple enough, however this is not easy for me. I tend to be impatient, I don't like to sit quietly, and I don't always listen and hear what I need to. These are character flaws that I am working on. I have a fear of being still. Fear....it's the root of all of my flaws, actually. It's part of the reason I'm writing in this blog. It's time I faced my fears head on and stop running. Stop at the fork in the road to nowhere and make concrete, grown-up decisions.
Today I knew that I needed to be still and listen. So I impatiently set out to do so (ha ha).
I met a friend for coffee this morning, with the intention of catching up, and discussing a disagreement we had a few days prior. She had pointed out something I do that bothered her, and had been bothering her for some time. My first reaction was "well why didn't you say something years ago?!!! Why now? Don't you know I have a lot going on?" I was frustrated. It was admittedly a blow to my ego. Someone pointing out a flaw? Eek! When she brought it up earlier in the week I immediately was on the defensive and my feathers were ruffled.
But in meeting with her today, I was reminded how much our friendship meant to me. She is the most valued friend (girl friend) I've ever had. I realized that in a true friendship, nothing matters more than honesty. Communication. This is important in any relationship. Without honesty and communication, there is nothing, and the relationship could be doomed. So she proceeded to tell me what it was that bothered her, and why. I was still, and I listened. I didn't feel on the defensive. We talked it out, and what do you know? Our friendship is stronger than ever. Simple communication and honesty.
I should have mentioned that confrontation is another fear of mine. I don't like to be uncomfortable. I tend to try to make any situation pretty and smooth. No ruffled feathers. But that's not really being honest, is it?
After coffee, I met with a peer group of mine over lunch. A group of women who are important to me. Surprisingly the discussion turned to frustration. Of course, I wanted to immediately jump in and offer up my current frustrations as part of the discussion. But instead I did what I've been doing recently.....and tried something different. I sat still and I listened. I paid attention to what the other women were sharing, and in turn I gained so much more than simple venting would have given me. I found that I am not alone. They all talked about fears, frustrations and of being honest. (Apparently the theme for the day!) I did share my thoughts as we were finishing up, but it was really to say thank you for all they gave to me. I grew up a little today! (I kind of like feeling like I'm still growing up at 40-ish!) Facing one's fears is growth, and it is brave!
There is a saying "practice makes perfect". I have a lot of practice to do, but today I am not striving for perfection as I've done in the past. Today I am staying in gratitude and hope. Hopefully tomorrow I'll grow a little more. I like being on the cusp of the fork in the road. The road is no longer going nowhere, but there is a destination. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to get there.