The discomfort of confronting yourself

Day 1 of the Community Building Workshop was a mixture of the swooping warm energy of engagement, the giddy joy of appreciation, the spiraling confusion of being misunderstood, and the iron clad courage of finding my voice. I almost lost it after several minutes, at different intervals, of making myself heard over the cacophony of fifty others in tight circles of four or five or six.  Do have any idea how loud a group of fifty-odd adults can be all talking in tight circles? I should have lost my hearing, with all the straining to listen to the others. But I lost my voice in the listening. Almost.

I had to confront myself today. I had to listen to my stutterings about my cross roads, and realise that I have been here before

I used to be that one who raised her hand and spoke. The one who always had something to say, usually about herself, or about how something was not as right as it should be. I've always been pretty good at noticing what is not as right as it should be. And yet, I called myself the ultimate positive-thinker! After many years of self-work, and believe me, it has taken a lot, I now stay silent and let others talk. I listen and try not to judge. To listen with an open heart is an ongoing journey and I still have my L-plates on. I don't think I will ever get rid of them.

What I noticed was the willingness to share, the eagerness to appreciate and the intensity of listening. I also noticed how easy it is to leave someone out of the conversation, simply by the turn of your body and where your eyes land. It was a lesson in exclusion. I know the person did it completely unconsciously and I wondered when I had done something like that too. How ironic that in the midst of engagement and appreciation and good feelings there was also this. A powerful lesson.

I had to confront myself today. I had to listen to my stutterings about my cross roads, and realise that I have been here before. I had to deal with the discomfort of being judged and misunderstood. I still feel the pangs of concern and wonder if I am truly up to this. The thing is, I have said it out loud. I have told a whole host of people what I want to do. I can't go back now. Not that anyone will know any difference if I do. I will, though, and then I truly will be the problem, instead of the possibility. I choose to consider the question: To what extent am I truly invested in the well-being of the whole? When I consider that question I cannot hide. I sense the beginning of a move from problem-solving to being open to possibilities.


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