Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Experience, Strength and Hope

I think I'm gaining some wisdom and maturity in how 
I communicate with others.
Until recently, I've communicated about my situation; frustrations, hurts, fears, etc., largely with a focus to get relief from my pain.  
I've sought understanding, sympathy, answers . . . love . . . 
from people who care about me.

In the process, I've dumped a lot of my pain on people who weren't necessarily in a place to help; or were too close to the situation to be objective.  I'm grateful that someone very dear to me expressed the frustration and confusion resulting from my random rants 
(usually with no follow up calls to share what had happened later, what I'd learned, how things had changed, etc.)

I'm also aware that I tend to shape what I say in such a way as to convince the hearer that my perspective is the correct one, 
when that ain't necessarily so. 
(I believe this might be called manipulation :-)

I am reminded that it works well to treat life a lot like a big AA meeting.  
AA encourages you to share "in a general way what it used to be like, what happened, and what it's like now."
The focus is on sharing your "experience, strength and hope".

The Big Book also talks about finding a "close-mouthed friend", i.e. someone you can trust; someone safe, who you can tell anything to 
(it's safe for you and safe for them).

So, now I am being aware of what I say to whom, 
and what my motivation is.

With most people I will focus on sharing my 
experience, strength and hope.  
(This would include family, for the most part, 
because they care so deeply, and so easily feel my pain.)

And I have a few people who are safe to share the nitty gritty, ugliest, most painful stuff with, because they can handle it and because they can offer guidance and objectivity.  
This includes people who can call me on it, when I am stepping into victim mode, or not getting the facts right.  
(They also love and accept me as I am.)

I am so, so grateful for people who truly love me.  
We are all on such an amazing journey.
It's richer and purer, the deeper you go.