Friday, May 12, 2006

One of those mysteries . . .

So things are going along swimmingly between _________ and I. Then she shows up a couple of weekends ago with all sorts of attitude. She didn't like the way I was taking care of my cat. She asked me to find homes for some tomato plants grown from seed by one of her friends. Ok (not sure why I was chosen for this task). But then she didn't like the sign I made (Free Tomato Plants). She asked if she couldn't keep the sign she made. Sure, said I. I just put both signs on them.

Then I found some people to take the plants and she came up to me and wanted to emphasis that these plants had been grown from seed.

Jeez. These were very special plants. I just suck at giving out special tomato plants. Always have.

Our little fledgling friendship seems to have taken a dive.

First of all, she has major issues with cats. She doesn't think anyone takes care of animals as well as she does. In fact, she recently had to go on a trip and was faced with leaving her very sick, dying cat in the care of someone who didn't measure up to her standards (he would have done fine, I'm sure). Her solution? She euthanized the animal. She would rather the animal be dead than be taken care of by anyone else.

This isn't any comment on euthanization, one way or another. It's just to point out some very hard opinion in her. Dead cat is preferred over a cat being taken care of by someone else.

So now there is pain, this sadness in the air.

I have to go back to the touchstone--to the realization that there's no need to hate mistakes or the people who make them. I also don't have to hate people who hate me. She and I, we're not going to be friends. I can see it isn't going to work out in that way. But I can love her and let things come and go between us in a gentle way. No demands, no expectation, just bright acceptance and awareness of what is real and what is not.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Stupid Human Behavior Number 564:

Doubting Oneself.

Yes, so that woman came here and stayed. How did it go? How shall I say it? It was as it always was (and will continue to be, I guess). I've been thinking the matter over. Really, she is a bully. She finds some vulnerable part of one's psyche and then she niggles it over and over again. Another point: she will be telling a story and only at the end does she relate it back to you and how your coping with life or your decisions. It was the same this time.

I think what was different this visit was that I had really held the whole situation in my heart. I was much more prepared. As it was happening, I thought of the movie The Matrix, at the part where the bullets of his opponent hang in mid-air and Neo just reaches out and, with his hand tracing a graceful arch, knocks them to the floor. Each bullet hits the ground with a little ting.

So she and I were sitting at the kitchen table and the conversation began. And sure enough, here came the little verbal bullets. I just watched them come, held them in my heart with as much compassion as I could and let them hang there until the fell to the floor. Pretty soon some more just came. O well.

From my research on the 'net, looks like bullies find people who have some vulnerablity and exploit that to cause suffering. She can smell my self-doubt a mile away and I make an easy target.

I did, that is. But things are beginning to change and I felt close to nothing as she sat there lobbing her unkindness in my direction. What unhappiness there must be to act that way towards anyone.

So off she went after a couple of days, back to her home, where she recreates this walled-in universe wherever she goes. I offer her my best intentions. May she come to know the love I have known. May she feel less threatened by her own stupid human behaviors and may she know real peace.

Stupid Human Behavior Number 563:

Start listing your stupid human behaviors online. People will want more of that. ; )

Which raises the question: Could I come up with at least 563 stupid things I've done. O yeah and counting.

An update about that visit is coming next . . .

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ground rules for really listening to someone:

  • no fixing
  • no saving
  • no advising
  • no setting each other straight

From A Hidden Wholeness : The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker Palmer