Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sometimes The Light Dawns Slowly

Tonight was Creative Sisterhood and it was a great evening of conversation. These women are interesting and insightful, and always generous with their thoughts, which I so appreciate.

Topics varied, as they often do, and covered a wide variety of subjects. We have a rule that we don't share outside the circle, so I can only talk about myself.

My main topic was the new job and how it's structured. After the "official" part of the evening was over I took the opportunity to ask Martha about something she mentioned a few weeks ago.

To explain, I have this "thing" about feeling like people don't listen to what I say - ignoring my thoughts about things. This developed over time through a number of circumstances. A few weeks ago Martha mentioned in passing that she thought people paid a great deal of attention to me and I needed to rethink that.

I hadn't had a chance to ask her more about that until tonight. It resulted in a conversation with her, Teresa and Julie about the topic. (Virginia had already left.) It's always interesting to see yourself through others' eyes. They gave me much to think about.

To sum up, I guess their message was that my "tone" has changed - that I approach people differently than I used to. I think that's the best way to describe it. As people have always pointed out to me I'm very definitive. That quality is a stumbling block, I've learned.

I've made a conscious decision in the last couple of years or so to be more approachable. Part of that has been to listen more. Maybe this change of tone is partly the result of that.

Internally, I would say I don't feel any differently about things than I ever did, but I've come to realize it's not important that I express my feelings to others in direct ways. I've always wanted people to know who I am, so they can make an informed decision about if I'm the sort of person the want in their lives. And I've always wanted that sort of "bare bones," just tell me who you are, in return. Perhaps the finesse of a relationship is to spend more time in discovery. 

It's exceedingly rare that anyone really wants to know how you feel at your core level about anything. I've always thought to be in relationship with anyone on any significant level you have to be totally honest and part of that was to express yourself with the passion you felt for anything. Is it honest to explain yourself with a level of intensity less than what you really feel?

I guess it boils down to if the message is heard at all. And that brings us back full circle to listening.

The light dawns slowly for me sometimes. I'm so thankful for people helping me see it.

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