Having taken a break yesterday from the challenge yesterday, today I’m returning to reflect on two of Kat McNally’s Reverb prompts.
First up: what is the sound of your own voice?
I’m really not much of a talker. I’m a much better listener. My voice is quiet. There are advantages to that because when I do talk people tend to listen.
I used to be rather startled when I heard my recordings of my voice. But that’s shifted over the years. Now what I hear feels like it belongs to me. And I think that’s because I’m so much more comfortable with who I am – I’m not searching or wondering. I feel settled into me and know the exciting work is digging deep.
I do a fair amount of singing (of made up songs and ditties) to myself and the cats, especially when I’m in the kitchen. I’m glad my husband finds it endearing and is amused because there are certainly other options available to him. I definitely don’t have a good singing voice. Luckily actually carrying a tune isn’t a requisite for my venue.
Here’s a peek at a journal page with what I really think about my voice.
And now on to the next prompt:
Despite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual.
While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment.
Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?
Frankly I’m surprised at how thought provoking this prompt proved to be. It sort of force me to articulate, at least to myself, some life philosophies.
I know we’ve been asked to step outside ourselves, but the truth is I don’t really feel like I have an example to work with. Of course there have been people who’ve annoyed me and I’ve found unpleasant. There have been people who’ve behaved in a less-than-preferred manner. And no doubt about it, I abhor meanness. But even so, I don’t really feel like there’s a need for a do-over, even an imaginary one. When something like this comes up there are things I like to keep in mind.
Here are the things I hold true:
- Emotions are meant to flow. I can pay attention to them – they always offer valuable information! – but I don’t want to continue to reuminate about them endlessly, nail them down, put a plexiglass box around them, and hold them as a shrine to keep revisiting.
- I’m sovereign and I’m responsible for who stays in my day-to-day world. Part of good stewardship to myself and my well-being, I don’t tolerate those who feel toxic to me to keep having access to me.
- And I think most importantly, another’s perspective does not have to cease to exist in order for mine to thrive.
I think about the heart hurts I’ve held on to and it is so clear that doing so simply kept me anchored to that past. I want to live my life as connected as I can to my divine soul self and holding as much light as I can in this physical body, and for me that means working with the energies of loving-kindness as much as I can.
I appreciate that likely sounds Pollyanna-ish to some, or worse yet, irresponsible. Because there truly are significant inequalities in our world, significant injustices, significant things that feel heart-wrenchingly wrong. So how do I reconcile that with my aforementioned beliefs?
First, I think of things in two categories. My close-around-me world that I truly have measurable impact on, and the bigger world of systems, of governments, of big corporations, the macros, where my impact as an individual is less likely to be meaningful. Does that mean I don’t care about such things or work to change them? Not at all. But I think it calls for a different level of action. I think it calls for unity – this is where organizing in a united voice and with a united mission is important. But I also believe it is far, far, far more effective to work towards something you wish for than against something that is non-preferred. It really isn’t just a matter of semantics – it’s very definitely a shift in energy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What does your voice sound like? Any do-overs you might wish for? Do tell – you know I love to hear.