August 15, 2015 - Looking Inward
I hit a speed bump along the way. And as always happens, a life-lesson comes along with that bump. Shame, acceptance, surrender. I’m still working on what ‘shame’ means to me - I’m questioning if, to me personally, it’s an emotion, person-made, or comes through fear of judgment. Or more, or all? I’ve another story about this, for another time. That’s a work in progress.
Acceptance and surrender. They’re not the same. I'm being challenged by perspective with someone in my life. I respect and care for this person a great deal. There are differences in approach and communication between us, that rile me. Sometimes, to the core.
I’ve felt on occasion like I have to work diligently, to let the internal loop stop playing in my head. Acceptance for what I have no control over. That allows for a deep sigh. A relief. It doesn’t mean I’m surrendering to this person’s will. It’s about surrendering the old way's that aren't working, for me. Rather than hoping someone else will change what essentially is my problem, surrendering to instead, make it work in my life.
Does this make sense? A somewhat rhetorical question; this is how I’ve come to process questions, emotions, reactions and solutions. What is my part in any given situation? Am I projecting? A most pleasant surprise is how quickly I stopped and landed on questioning what is my part in this? What am I responsible for in the question?
The last stranger’s story I heard, is one I’ve been holding inside for two months. The issues attached to shame have opened some big questions for me personally.
I could call it a writer's block, or a summer vacation. The truth I’ve recognized, is about the initial ‘permission’ I gave myself to not worry about writing every day. Then it becomes a week, then a bit longer. Then it’s almost too easy to stay in that mode.
I left my full-time, scheduled 40+ hours per week job this year. My intention was to find something else, another way of making a living and not doing something that contributed to what was making me unhappy. And now, I’ve got a few different things going on to supplement and cobble together an income.
Somewhat ironically, it’s taking more of my time to live this way, yet I am infinitely happier. I’m finding my way to adjust, and to maintain fitting in the other parts of my life. This project, connections, my friends and the people in my life.
I had coffee with a dear friend last week, Pablo. He’s not on Facebook, and generally stays away from social media. He does though, enjoy perusing Tumblr. He’s the reason I have a Tumblr account* for The Stranger Project. I haven’t posted anything on there for five weeks. Pablo asked me what was happen gin with the project, having not seen me post anything.
I told him about all the things going on with me. I asked him about his definition and understanding of the word ‘shame’ and what it means, and what it feels like in his experience when he thinks of the word. We chatted about all of this for some time. We get together usually at least once every week or two, but we hadn’t talked at length about my writing.
Something that stayed with me from that chat with Pablo. He asked why, instead of feeling stuck, waiting to process a personal observation into a lesson, why didn’t I write about this part of the experience.
Surrender. Write about the ongoing experiences this has brought to me. There doesn't have to be a lesson learned each time I write.
I take daily stock of my life's blessings. The gifts and incredible magic that I’m finding through all this. My friend Pablo is one of those gifts. As are the hundreds of people who continue to follow along here. This project is by no means over or ended. We’ve only just begun (hands up if you just heard Karen Carpenter!).
There’s some very exciting things around the corner, and I can’t wait to share more with you. Soon, really soon. #notastranger