Week 5: Receiving. Synergy

The 8 Week Challenge is pushing me to examine some things in my own blog, MindMindful, & for that I am grateful, as uncomfortable as some of it is. My response to Week 4: Passion is still gestating, so more may come about that. In the meantime, I’m moving on to finish up Week 5 because I am really looking forward to this next week’s topic of Joy.

Gracious receiving   Personally, I don’t have much trouble in receiving a compliment, or a gift, or even help from someone else. What I have trouble with is in craving acknowledgement, or in feeling bereft of the “goodies”. I am a very nice person, & I do some wonderful, interesting, creative, life-enhancing things, & I love being helpful — why shouldn’t I be complimented? In return, I hand out compliments willy nilly myself — they cost nothing, & can go a long way toward helping someone else feel joy in living. Graciousness is a big thing for me, & — as I write this I am realizing something — I wish the world would be kinder, more gracious, nicer. So, I’ve become pretty gracious & kind myself ….. hmmm. That “being the change you want to see” …………. I’ve never looked at this aspect of myself in this way before. Good Goddess Almighty! I love this blogging stuff!!

So, I’ve learned to accept it with equanimity, when someone offers me that gift of recognition — because my insecure little self, way down deep, craves being seen as the good girl the worthy woman I really am. And — I say this only 3/4 joking: It trains people in learning to see the good stuff in others, recognize it, & say something about it. Nice little circle, ya? Plus, I make a big effort, nearly constantly, to look for & mention the good stuff of others, even strangers — I mean, I love it, so I like to give it forward too. Now, this doesn’t mean that that insecure part of me always quite believes I deserve such gracious recognition. And sometimes, I frankly am wary of a compliment being used as an attempt to manipulate me; but this is my junk, not the others person’s (usually). Here’s the truth of it: I do deserve to be recognized & acknowledged for all my fine qualities — & so do YOU! So, here’s one for you:

I very much appreciate that you take the time out of your life to give a little attention to what I say through blogging. It is a gift to me that my thoughts put into words are of interest to others, & maybe are even helpful in some way. Thank YOU for this:) (((You obviously are a deeply intelligent & highly interesting person:):):)

Seeking help   I learned to begin asking for help, of a practical kind, when I had my kid. I was single, her father was only kind of involved, & I quickly realized that the mountain of custodial care an infant requires left not-enough time for everything else. At that time, I had a good circle of friends, all of whom were child-oriented folks, so they were all willing to help out. And, I with them. The “village” works, in raising kids.

The kind of help that is difficult for me is when I am ego-involved in the outcome of something. A very prevalent part of the American mythos is “the lone wolf”, the pioneer. The one who doesn’t need anyone else. (Which is all crap, really — more homesteads had a barn or quilts or crops, more quickly, when others came over to help bring them about.) But, I was steeped in this mythology just like the rest of us, & part of me feels I can do, & should do everything, all by myself. My wishful self wants to believe that no one needs anyone else. But my wiser self knows that when folks come together for tasks small or large, grand or mundane, practical or abstract, & work companionably & respectfully together, greater things can be done. And they can be done with more fun along the way & maybe more quickly, so we can all get to the celebratory party afterwards:)

I highly value helpfulness & it is one of my favorite things about myself. And a friend from a long time ago taught me a wise lesson in helping me to see that it undervalues others to refuse to let them help you. Where this gets turned on its head in ShalaWorld is when I forget that I do not have every ability, & every skill. And when I undervalue those that I do have. BUT, I realize from the depths of my heart, & from the furthest reaches of my mind, that I have valuable things to contribute, of many kinds, & that”I”, my full self, is better, more far-reaching, & groovier when I am a part of a group working toward a common goal.

My “bad days”, as Tristan invites, come when I forget all of this, when I try to conform to that idea of not needing anyone. It is the sense of being connected to others around me, & of contributing (with, hopefully, recognition, acknowledgement & some compliements too:) to the common well-being that dissolves them. This might take the practical form of mowing my dad’s yard. Or, the abstract form of sending loving-kindness to others. So, I think what I mean is this: any bad days, or moments, I have come when I buy into the delusion that I Am An Island in the sea of humanity, separate from others, not needing them & not being necessary to them also. When I come back to my senses, I remember that the tiniest thing, such as my smile, can alter someone else’s whole day. The “bad moment” then becomes an opportunity to see where I am blocking the connection that we all innately have with each other, which is where compassion is born. And compassion is nothing more or less than the ultimate form of synergy, <<me>> & <<you>> being <<we>>.

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