Friday, October 07, 2011

Eavesdropping is So Enlightening

We recently moved to a smaller town. The main post office is quite neighborly, with many of the patrons chatting back and forth while waiting in line. I was busy affixing 377 stamps to a mass mailing this week and was able to pass the time listening in to what other people were saying. Oh stop gasping, for heaven’s sake. It’s not like they were trying to be private!

Here are some of the comments I overheard:

· “I’m doing good. It beats the alternative!”

· “It just keeps getting worse and worse. Floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. What’s next?”

· “You oughta know by now I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”

· “She needs to put a smile on her face, that one does.”

· “It don’t matter. Nothing does.”

Each of these folks believed what they were saying. They came in all colors, ages, socioeconomic status and educational levels. In spite of the area being predominately white, conservative Christians, at least there wasn’t any evidence that morning of racial prejudice. I was impressed by that!

The majority of the other comments showed a range of despair, resignation or fear. The expressions accompanying the words resulted in frowns, slumped shoulders and sighs. Rather than judge what these folks should be doing to change their thinking, I chose to think about what negative self-talk I had engaged in that day.

I am my own worst critic. I am particular about many things, often fighting my anal-retentive or dogmatic tendencies about certain tasks, and must remind myself daily that no matter how hard I try I will simply never please everyone. Putting myself down, however, doesn’t help the situation.

Take just one hour today and listen to what is going on inside your head. Ask yourself if that is what you want to believe. Think about what the reaction would be from a good friend if you talked that way to them!

Hopefully your thoughts are filled with encouragement, praise and support. If not, consider what it would take to lovingly guide yourself back onto the path you wish to travel!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


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