I mentioned in a previous post, that my birthday is a time for introspection and examination of my decisions and and behavior over the past year. Well, that day is only few days away. If you read back far enough, you will know that I am pretty secure in being emotionally naked. The Stoics believed that if you want to live a certain way, perform the action repeatedly so you build your capability and it becomes a habit. How can something so simple on its face be so challenging?
I am up for the challenge.
Life is always challenging when you are the sole producer of your income, but even in the muck of it, I thrive off of it. Has it really been 12 years since I have taken an official paycheck?
As I reflect, I understand that I need to make conscious effort to slow myself down. My brain thinks too fast sometimes and I can get lost in my audience. I’m gregarious and curious, and while these are mostly perceived as positive traits, if you aren’t conscientious about your conversation cadence, it can come off as rude. Always, always be conscientious. I am building this capability so it becomes habit.
Active listening. This piggybacks onto my gregarious and curious nature. I’ve been told I am good listener, but I know I can be so much better. There are so many cues in body language and tone within a conversation, that if we aren’t careful, we can easily miss. Trust and respect are not built on transparency alone. This is a great segue into…
Its been a bit of a rough year, personally speaking. The trust of someone who was very close to me is gone. I’m not sure if its repairable and that makes me sad. As you get older, life is all about relationships. and I am more discerning with the company I keep, so this was a big challenge for me emotionally. Trust, love and intimacy are precious. A level of compassion and support demonstrated. It all seemed to be taken for granted. Its hard to wrap my head around why people have such a level of dishonesty, why things are said that are not sincere. How selfishness is like a virus, trying to destroy the good parts.
Was there an opportunity to make a different choice? Of course. I don’t break bonds easily. The bond was strong. In a way,it was rare and unbreakable. It was special. Special is quite difficult to walk away from. Aren’t there some connections not worth giving up on? Worth holding out hope for?
I know I have high expectations. I’m intense. I want the best for the people in my life. I strive for them. I make huge efforts with my relationships, regardless of the type. I expect accountability and a level of self-awareness, because I demand the same for myself. There are times I forget, to meet people where they are. If I want better communication, ask better questions. Be more patient. I know my Sicilian side comes out at times, my passion for communication and to want to really understand the person I am communicating with. Again, slow down.
Vulnerability is a funny thing. If I take a brutally honest look at myself, I have trouble with it at times. When I am hurt, I can lash out. I can give my all because that is just who I am . I don’t ever want to lose that, regardless of painful experiences. Yet, I believe I am emotionally mature enough to give vulnerability with the implicit understanding that I am comfortable with however it is received. Enter those pesky expectations! Its not easy to be comfortable when things aren’t comfortable, but ultimately, pain = growth.