blogitto ergo sum

September 29, 2013

#217 – That New Year Stuff

Hmmm20130928-walkingEGGshells-02

Every year, in the introspective period between Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and my birthday, I seek the learning, meaning, lessons, or insights of the year just ending.

For example, in 2010, I had my Slicha, I’m sorry project, posted HERE.

Last year, I was about eliminating the “but” and letting go of grudges.  This is key for a real slicha.  Letting go [of the anger, pain, hurt, even self-righteousness and own mistakes] is a critical step.  I shared it with you HERE.

This year, I was having a hard time picking the one that was IT.  Many lessons were dismissed, not meeting my criteria of significance.  It was getting uncomfortable.

As life has it, in sync with the end of the High Holidays and my birthday, I collided, heart first, with TWO lessons to work on in this coming year.  Each on its own would have been enough.  Together they are going to keep me on my toes, and I haven’t tried ballet since 3rd grade. These are not New Year resolutions.  It’s a public commitment to do better, not for 3 hours per week at the gym, 5 meals per week in the kitchen, or once a week in the filing cabinet, virtual or physical.  It’s a commitment to work, practice and modify the me that you and I know.  You are more than welcome to freely offer your feedback.  Please do.

Walking on egg shells

“I’ve been walking on egg shells around you,” he said.  Surprised, I said, “you need not, you didn’t need to.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.  I never intend to offend you,” he said.  “Sometimes I just don’t know.”20130925 - walk eggshells

Time went to wherever it goes, and the tables turned.  And now I find myself tip-toeing on eggshells, hovering about, afraid I’ll crack even one shell.
It’s much harder than I’d ever imagined.  Simply put, it sucks.  I mean really, heavily, painfully sucks.

Imagine a ticker running in your head, asking, “Should I say this?  Can I initiate that?  Do I do/say nothing and patiently wait for him to ping?”  This is so! exhausting. I don’t know how he did it.  I don’t know how you can do it for more than a conversation.

A week of this experience, and I have tons of respect [tinted with guilt] for anyone who’d do it.  A week+ of a concentrated intense effort to crack no egg.  This is how much I care, love, value, and cherish the man and the friendship.  Doing nothing for the fear of doing the wrong thing, making the wrong comment… It is a torture, self-imposed, for a great cause, and yet, a torture.  As one who values directness and proactivity, this exercise of eggshells walking is a lesson, and its timing is perfect.

another nail in the fence (source: http://satisfiedbuddhist.blogspot.com)

The story of the kid and the nails in the fence comes to mind.  Yet, reading the story and getting

the potatoes we carry (source: http://positivemed.com)

the point was much easier experience than being the kid and learning my lesson.  Eliav Alaluf, if my memory serves me right, posted a related story, about a kindergarten teacher illustrating the hate for another person with carrying a potato around, until it rots.

So here goes, and I encourage you to hold me accountable, to never make you walk on eggshells because of me, around me.  This is not about forgiveness; that’s easy.  It’s about being open and approachable, making it OK to make a mistake, say the wrong thing, the insensitive thing, or even the right thing in an off sort of way…  I will be open and willing to talk it over.  Another way of looking at it is for me, for us, to treat our tough, sensitive, high-risk conversations, offenses, arguments and disagreements, as snapchat-like conversations.

A snapchat chat? Yes.  Effective immediately, it’s OK to get pissed off or even get mad…  for a minute, maybe five, 15 minutes if you must.  Recording the chat and using it to eternity is not an option.

the wrong way to go about it (source: http://loving-community.com)

Accepting one’s apology means it’s gone, done, forgotten.  You’d expect one to learn from mistakes, not repeat them.  That’s a given. However, some mistakes take more than one performance before the lesson is learned and internalized.  Some students, in some topics, are slow.  I’ve been blessed with your patience, allowing me and forgiving repeated mistakes until I got it, and stopped it.  Thank you!

There are amazing, very special people in my life, a few that I have conversations with, even when they are not present, valuing their view [and much more].  This is my apology, and a promise to do my best to avoid subjecting anyone to walking on eggshells.  Snapchat these interactions.

Should you feel that I falter, you have my permission to throw those eggs, cracked or not, fresh or not, at me.  Seriously.  A forewarning would be nice though.

The second challenge awaits its very own post.

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