Monday, October 8, 2007

Saturday-Monday, October 6-8, 2007:

Didn't stay home this weekend after all. I accepted a friend's invitation to see her perform at the Westport Community Theatre in Connecticut and spent the night at her place. She was terrific in the play, and the beauty and peacefulness of her home and hospitality were just what the doctor ordered . . . for what I could only describe as a very, very difficult week.

Things are looking up moment by moment though . . . and consistently drinking green smoothies each day has had something to do with that. I have been feeling very strong physically since starting to incorporate these drinks into my day. Yesterday at my friend's place I made one for myself and her husband -- with kale, bok choy, banana, kiwi, nectarine and lime -- and it was delicious. All day Saturday I drank only green smoothies, and felt energized and full. There are definitely some very healing properties in greens! I feel like I've discovered a nutritional goldmine. The timing could not have been better.

Just Listen ... someone recently told me

Just Listen..., originally uploaded by DanielKHC.

The opening blurb at the top of this page says something about not only physical changes but spiritual changes I hope to see happen in my life as I break away from a standard diet (and eat more fresh foods). Lately, some of those spiritual changes have been occurring, but today's post has nothing to do with raw food. It has to do with living as honestly and lovingly with others as we can and listening to one another -- and a painful spiritual lesson I'm in the midst of regarding that.

In close relationships, I think listening involves a willingness to open one's self up to another. In order to hear another, the person being heard has to first want to be known -- they have to allow themselves to be known. One cannot listen if another stays silent. Cryptic and oblique ways of communicating, expecting another to "get the hints" one sends, feeling upset when they don't, not letting another know you are annoyed with them -- these are not ways of making one's self known. Good communication cannot happen that way because all the responsibility is placed on the listener! They become responsible to read the other's mind, to automatically know the speaker's intent (without the speaker filling in texture or detail or clarifying things), expected to correct behavior without even knowing the other is offended or upset about something in the first place! These are impossible tasks.

To beat one's self up for "not being a good enough listener" -- when another withholds their genuine thoughts -- is self-abuse. Even if the motive of the person withholding their thoughts is benevolent, it leads to great strain . . . so much so that it can affect the very atmosphere the people share, literally making it heavy and awkward to be in each other's presence. The one left in the dark doesn't know where the heaviness is coming from . . . they just know they feel off-balance and the longer it goes on, the more off-balance one feels.

But letting ourselves be known is a matter of trust. We choose who we let in and who we don't based entirely on trust. We choose who we allow to know us and who we don't want to know us based entirely on trust. Trust governs it all.

What I described above is one factor that's recently put a strain on an important friendship I value deeply. Another significant factor that strained the friendship was that I projected my own fears onto my friend -- even tho I was assured that my friend had no such concerns about the issue. I could not seem to accept what was told to me and so those fears increased and took on a life of their own, adding to the stiltedness in the atmosphere between us. These two factors -- happening simultaneously -- had the chilling effect of shutting down all honest communication between us. What showed up in its place was a deadly politeness that occasioned the most bland of interactions between us and accentuated each of our flaws!

But here is the kicker. All the while neither of us spoke about it. It's maddening, when I think about it! There was a "pink gorilla sitting in the living room" but neither of us seemed able (or willing?) to point it out. I do not know why. In retrospect, it was the saddest thing -- neither one of us asking the other about the heaviness, the awkwardness. As I put the pieces together this past week, it actually brought me to tears. I wonder what might have happened if either of us had simply spoken up, honestly, from the heart -- friend to friend. That is one thing I probably will never know.

Having had a few weeks to mull things over and feel the feelings I've had -- mostly sorrow and disappointment -- I'm trusting that any relationship taken on in good faith, with love and good intentions (as this one was on both of our parts) -- even if it didn't work out as we'd have liked -- can only have good come out of it.

So onward and upward . . . What is that saying . . . "All the roots grow deeper when it's dry."