Saturday, February 12, 2011

What the World Needs Now...

So often my theme seems to come back to something having to do with Love. Well, I guess as I am yet again pondering Love in our lives, my life, I am realizing that my timing couldn’t be better! It is a word that stirs up all kinds of feelings for most of us, and in an unacknowledged way is a word that many of us avoid, and are even afraid of. At the risk of coming off as too gender biased and political so close to Valentines Day, I will not go to the place of Love being feared because we have been so well trained to shun our more feminine side, and that from the time that boys can speak, one of the worst insults you could offer any boy would be to call him a girl, and it is the boys that grow up to become men that still have far more influence and power in shaping the world we live in. I will not go there. Sorry, I digress.

Love as an idea is generally exalted. However, when it comes right down to exercising those Love muscles, and speaking openly and frankly about what would be the most Loving way to handle any given situation, why do so many people recoil? I find myself coming to this topic because of a recent incident where I took a fall, and the person I was with had trouble offering me the appropriate care and concern in the moment. There is not a doubt in my mind that this person cared and was concerned, but (he) had trouble making an offering. The fall was hurtful. It hurt my ego; it scared me, though the physical insult was mild at worst, and then there was this added layer of my friend’s awkward clumsiness. In my efforts to be true to my most honest self, which is generally something I try very hard to honor, I decided to have the conversation about the awkward clumsiness of my friend, with him. The conversation was slightly more skillful than the fall incident, but it still felt withheld, guarded, and like maybe it was not such a safe place to go. The more I tried to get words of caring and concern to spill forth from his lips, the more he stayed in his safe place of, “Thank you for sharing what it was for you.” or, “I am sorry you did not feel my compassion, I thought I was…” etc. In the end, I indeed did feel his efforts, and in knowing the effort was there, and creating greater hurt for me was absolutely not his intention, all was better…. Somewhat. The somewhat comes, not from this specific incident, but from the realization that this issue is much bigger than my inconsequential fall.

I do understand that the difficulty that came from my fall incident has two parts. In most simplistic terms one part is my own sensitivity to not being well enough cared for by others; the second part is (likely) my friends difficulty in feeling either safe enough, or worthy enough to make the appropriate offering. Typically, these two parts will rule the situation, and end up developing into bigger and stronger parts for each person involved. Over time these “parts” more and more rule who we are and how we re-act to even the simplest of situations. So, my challenge to you, any fond reader of my Love muse this season of Valentines, is to explore the part of you that gets in the way of your being the truest expression of the Love that is all yours, all the time. Whether it is Valentines Day, or a Grumpy Monday, whether it is with your truest Love, or with a co-worker that you secretly cannot stand, challenge yourself to Love unabashedly! It really is what the world needs.

Love, Donna


Ace said...

lovely. i think sometimes the trouble we can make for ourselves and others tests the durability of love. luckily with mindfulness and compassion love can be as sturdy as a leather saddle weathered by adventures through the rocky mountains.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever notice the theme in so many of your "musings"?

It always seems to be about others' limitations (with an oblique reference to your own) and how the world could be such a better place, if only,....

"The more I tried to get words of caring and concern to spill forth from his lips, the more he stayed in his safe place of, “Thank you for sharing what it was for you.” or, “I am sorry you did not feel my compassion, I thought I was…” etc."

Perhaps you need to allow people their space rather than "trying" to get them to do anything. Also coming from the place of presumption and laying your meaning-making all over their behavior... He might have felt perfectly safe and, for any number of different reasons, chose not to engage with you in the WAY YOU WANTED. A profoundly unappealing piece, I would say.

Donna Dallal-Ferne, LMFT said...


I composed a couple of responses to you in my head, trying to again offer the spirit of what I wrote an then I found the lyrics to one of Carole King's songs dancing around in my head. Since that felt appropriate, I will offer them here, from her song, "Beautiful": "...I have often asked myself the reason for the sadness in a world where tears are just a lullabye. If there's any answer maybe Love can end the madness, maybe not. Oh, but we can only try...". May all your falls find a soft landing and be met with compassion. Peace, Donna