Friday Facetiousness: You Can't Do That!
One of the things that makes life as a daring spirit more fun is living in your truth. Claiming who you are, with certainty and without apology, leads to being more present and engaged in life. It can result in greater happiness and extraordinary car karaoke skills. It's daring, and my incredibly unscientific polling shows 2 out of 2 daring spirits agree that life without daring is dull.
On the other hand, living in your truth can lead to some uncomfortable circumstances. It may result in changing relationships as you gain confidence in what is real for you, for example. It might lead to a reputation as the one who says hello to the elephant in the room. Or you might notice people staring as you laugh for no reason in the middle of the grocery store (not that that's ever happened to us [we know you know that's not true...let us keep a little dignity, please]).
Speaking of uncomfortable circumstances...I had a dream the other night in which I was seeing signs around other people's necks, like in those pet-shaming articles that float around the Internet. The signs (I had one, too, by the way) proclaimed something true that the person either didn't know about themselves or knew but never revealed. For example, one said, "I want to leave my job and go be a banana farmer," another said, "I have lifetimes of musical ability, and yet have never played an instrument this time around."
I digress...sort of...
To be facetious is to treat a serious issue flippantly, with humor. Do you see where this is going? I thought it would be amusing to talk about that which must not be named - a truth we see in ourselves or another that polite society would frown upon us saying aloud because it goes against the norm or might be perceived as - judgement alert! - bragging. Kind of like a deep, dark secret reveal - but 97% lighter and with no big gasp from the audience.
Because that truth that you don't want to say aloud? It's quite possibly not a surprise to anyone else.
A truth we see in ourselves...mmmmm...not a surprise to anyone else...mmmm.
I am a middle child. In addition to being a middle child, I am a healer. In addition to being a middle child and a healer, I am a quality time love language person. As a middle child, I like to keep people close. As a healer, I like to help and support people (recovering out of control healer here). As a quality time person, I love spending time with people. To summarize: my best days are when everyone is together (preferably in the same room) supporting and helping each other for hours and hours.
In all of that hot mess of truths, what has emerged is an ability to see others that work from a similar space (and, for better or worse, a lot of folks out there work from a very similar space). In validating that space of healing, I created a space of not acting on or reacting to every situation that "needs" healing. I say "needs" because at times from the outside we, with the best of intentions, can decide what others need, because we think we know best. As an alternative, simply acknowledging the tug or the pull to "help" can be what's needed and instead, stepping back may be the healing.
We are all healers - walking around healing ourselves and each other - most of the time, we don't see it or appreciate it. It's really miraculous to pause and think about the magnitude of healing that happens in a day. To consciously pull back and allow and see the healing without stepping into the middle of it, that's pretty darn amazing.
I'm pretty much an open book. No, really, that's not a cop-out. My heart lives on my sleeve and I have yet to master holding my tongue.
There is one thing I do, though, that has led to some interesting observations about how we are expected to move in the world. I enjoy looking people directly in the eye when I speak with them. It's a subtle thing, and it has a remarkable effect.
There are times when I'm feeling particularly introverted, or I can tell that the person I'm speaking with is uncomfortable with eye contact, and I do my best to honor that. Otherwise, though, it's almost a subversive act to make eye contact - especially with people on the front lines of customer service, who have often become accustomed to feeling invisible.
It's a way of saying, "I see you," and it can really shake up an interaction. It's unusual in many exchanges, and that's exactly why I like doing it. People visibly perk up when they know you're really paying attention. They usually smile. They might soften a bit. They may not notice at all because they aren't fully present in the conversation. Or they might get flustered, blush, or stammer a bit because the attention catches them off guard. Once in a while, people get defensive, as if my meeting their gaze is a challenge. I can quickly gather a lot of information from how someone reacts to eye contact.
See and be seen, even if (especially when!) it's a little uncomfortable - it makes a difference.