Thursday, October 2, 2008

What I'm Saying is...

SO, I started with my idea...with the re-expression of my inspiration to be honest. Part of that need to be honest requires the need to be happy and the need to be sad without sparking any sort of concern from anyone. We are people pleasers...too often. There are so many instances that I can remember wanting to be honest about my feelings but worrying about how it would make other people feel. I was worried that I would worry someone. The truth is...the honest that sometimes life isn't pretty, and sometimes people aren't happy, and that doesn't mean we need concern or sympathy. I prefer the empathy approach. It requires common ground, rather than assumption and judgment. Empathy means: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. Rather than looking at my experiences and my expression of my feelings and feeling concern or some need to help me, I have more affinity towards those that are able to identify with me on an intellectual level, those that do not assume that I need help, but rather understand that we are all on a path towards greater self-awareness. My peace comes from lifting myself out of the holes that I happen to tumble down into. My peace also comes from the knowledge that my friends are always there, coaxing me along.

I have known powerful people. I have known beautiful men and women. I aspire to reach the same heights that they do. I do not ask for their sympathy. I ask for their inspiration.

If we are to be honest, we need to be able to do so without looking like a victim. I think there is often a guilty side of me that wishes to look like a victim, that longs for sympathy. However, when I finally rise up, out of the ashes of my defeat...or, rather, my side-step...with clenched fists, I want nothing more than to stand alone. To bask in the satisfaction of my success. There is peace in the knowledge that I have survived the storm. Diana and I spoke on the phone in May a few days after Liam and I broke up. We cried together, and Diana reminded me that the pain was good...that the pain was beautiful. And it is. It really is. We don't have to be victims.


Anonymous said...

Your disdain for "help" and need to stand alone contrast with your appreciation of "coaxing" by your friends and desire for "inspiration". How you are separating "help" from "coaxing" and "inspiration"? Is "help" someone throwing a rope down to you at the bottom of a pit and then pulling you up? And are "coaxing" and "inspiring" someone throwing the rope down, tying it to a tree, and stepping back for you to climb yourself but encouraging you when you sound like you are particularly struggling or making no effort at all?

I am also often resistant to "help," although my thoughts and actions often belie my verbal refusal. I agree that there are different degrees of help and that accepting more help than we need at the moment won't teach us as much. But I am still trying to learn that there is no shame in asking for help and that we don't have to justify it or call it by another name.

I believe that the degree and type of help needed varies from person to person and situation to situation. On a selfish note, I appreciate your trying to explain to people what help you need. Then I can fulfill my urge to help and know that I am actually helping instead of hampering your progress.


Merriam said...

Hey little sister. I appreciate your last two posts. And I agree. It seems like there is plenty of sympathy to go around. Amazingly, it can be so much more comforting to have someone look you in the eye and respond, perhaps expressionless, with knowing, or empathy, as you say. To me, "inspiring" someone could require something as simple but sacred as surviving and being honest about it. I celebrate your willingness to take responsibility and your invitation for others to join you. Count me in for as much as I can stand.

Nancy Caroline said...

I think what I meant by "those that do not assume that I need help" was not that I have a disdain for help, but that I do not appreciate people shaking their heads and looking at me thinking, "poor thing. What can I do" simply because I seem to be suffering. Sometimes quiet understanding is the best help. I have always felt that the best words of advice have been "you can do this" rather than, "everything is going to be okay." I have accepted that things will not always be okay, and I have embraced the knowledge that I can do it. Sometimes it helps to have people to remind me of that fact. Sometimes all I need is people believing in me...whatever that means.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I didn't really mean a word as strong as "disdain."