Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Low fog fools the eye
ascending from earth rather
than falling downward.
Overheard at the pool: “She means well, but she has an abrasive personality”
I knew the two women having the conversation and knew they weren’t talking about me, but they may as well have been. Somehow I have this very special power to alienate people.
Sometimes I know what I’ve done, most of the time I don’t. Though I have this uncanny skill at customer service making unhappy customers happy, I am often uncomfortable around people, and my social skills seem to fall short. I do not have the same savoir-faire I see in other people, that comfort level in every situation. I’m a little too enthusiastic, a little too loud, a little too unsure. I have opinions and share them in such a way one supervisor called me “strident” in a performance evaluation. One Human Resources person I worked for called me a “diamond in the rough”. What’s that supposed to mean? It sounds like a judgment, like I’m not as good as he is. I don’t like judgments, because they make me feel judgmental back.
The thing is, I think I am a loving and kind person. I think I’m as good as any other person, and any other person is as good as me. I have a personal style, just as any other person has his/her own style. I don’t care what color or body size or ability or sexual preference or system of belief or income level you carry with you; that makes no difference to me. I do care about myself, about people I know, about people I don’t know, and about the world we live in. Perhaps I care too much or think too much about it all. When I share my opinions, they are never meant in a hurtful way, but stated toward improvement or betterment. And while it’s not meant to, the way I say sounds critical, sassy, cranky, curmudgeonly, as judgmental as that Human Resources guy. I’m just not polished, sophisticated, and elegant. I’m rustic, down-home, a little raw. A rough exterior with a brilliant interior. If I do say so myself.
And you know why? Here’s my theory. I come from common sense farming people, simple folk who worked hard to make ends meet, not a lot of comfort or leisure in their lives, definitely not affluent. I’ve been mocked and made fun of since my very first memories in school, which was when I started first grade at the age of five, as my school district did not have kindergarten then. I was the one who was always chosen last for sports teams. I’ve been made fun of about my hair, my body, my face, my clothing, my physical abilities (or lack of), my family income, my family origins, my choice of partners, my friends, my parents, for caring, and for saying. I could go on with the list but you get the picture. We didn’t call it what it was back then but now we are quite familiar with the results of bullying, i.e., Columbine and other situations. When one is made to feel inferior before one has the defenses to stand up for oneself that decreases the ability to trust.
I won’t go into all the experiences I’ve had inviting friends (no, not just strangers) to share or use my home and then they’ve gone on to steal from me, damage my material possessions, killed or hurt my animals, or even tried to share the hubster (he’s mine, by the way, we took a vow). That’s a whole different essay, but it contributes to that trust thing.
Yes, it all comes down to trust.
If you make fun of me or discount me or steal from me how can I ever trust you? And how will I ever know how to behave in the face of mockery? If you make fun of me or discount me or steal from me you obviously don’t trust me. If you place a label on me before you know me you obviously don’t trust me. How can trust be built against a label or a mockery when there is very little reality involved? If all this happens at a personal level, how do we keep it from creeping up to the next level, and the next, until nobody trusts anybody, from neighbors, to sales people, to teachers, to news reporters, to doctors, to governments?
So if one can’t trust what does one have? I know, I know, faith is a type of trust, but you must have faith. Faith that none of it matters. Not the abrasive personality or the stridency or the not-fitting-in. You can try your best to change what you can but there are some core traits that never change. And really? None of it matters. At the end of the day you still come home to yourself. And you know you mean well and you love and care enough to say the truth. However you say it.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – this week I’m sharing one of my favorite bloggers who captures great picturesand happened upon some pink viburnum and a volunteer pansy. One of our local stores had rows of the bright pansy faces lined up outside for sale. We’ve had such mild weather they’ll probably survive the Oregon February so notorious for its snow.
Currently Reading – The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives (sociology and politics) by Sasha Abramsky; The Abominable (a novel) by Dan Simmons. Yes, concurrently.
Winter Classic Reading Choice 2014: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Getting the groove. Lyrical intellectual words, like reading in a slow cooker, cannot be digested fast.
This week I have been grateful for:
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.