I still chuckle when I think of this conversation with my Mother. Mom asked me, “Why are you so honest?” The question came out of the blue on a Sunday afternoon phone call. I laughed but not unkindly and replied, “It’s the only way I want to be.”
Wait a minute, wasn’t I raised to be honest?
Isn’t honesty a core value?
Is it weird that my Mother is questioning my virtue or am I on Candid Camera? (for you Millennials, this was a TV show a hundred years ago.)
Yes, I am honest. Proudly honest. I can also tell you that honesty is not a license to be cruel or to share your unsolicited opinion. Have you ever had someone roll into your life, framing their words with, “I’m just being honest!” Thank you very much –NOT! I don’t want any type of uninvited advice. Just to be extra clear, I don’t give anyone permission to comment on my appearance, love life, parenting skills, cooking, driving, sleeping habits and diet UNLESS I ASK YOU TO COMMENT! Thank you.
(If you are new to the world of digital communication (Mom), typing in capital letters means I am shouting at you. I am not typing in capitals because it looks cool or because it is easier to read on my phone. ) Getting back to the story…… I’ve digressed!
I had another conversation recently about my artwork. I was asked a simple question. “Why do I chose to share my doodles and private thoughts on the internet?”
Good question, however the answer is not quite as simple as the inquiry.
- I do it because I find it relaxing.
- I do it because there is nothing wrong with illustrating a variety of emotions; even the sticky grey ones related to depression.
- I do it because I feel compelled to share.
- I do it because it is good for me.
Yes, I do it because I like to and it is good for me. Drop the mic!
Another question came up recently, causing me to chuckle. “Do I have a process?” A what? No, unless my process is sitting down with paper and a pen.
I don’t draw unless I feel an idea pop into my head. I can’t force my creativity but rather I allow my creativity to take me! Last night I was watching a program on PBS (my exciting life!!!) and the lady was talking about how we make our own prisons with our thoughts.
Shazam! An image popped into my head. Yes, I couldn’t agree more. We put all kinds of restraints on our power, our abilities. We let fears and anxieties box us in. Blame, anger, regret, worry, doubt…… they keep us locked out of THE PRESENT. (capital letter for emphasis, not shouting here, Mom).
Do I share everything I create? Hell no! I have a drawing titled “Nooner Envy”. I’ll leave it to your imagination. That one won’t be going up on Facebook !
On Friday’s, I volunteer with a day care program designed for people with early stage Alzheimer’s. I have the good fortune of selecting material for a reading and discussion hour. Today we talked about how a mother wished she had more patience and was never angry with her children but Mister Fred Rogers, educator and TV host, advised that the best thing we can do for our children is to express a wide range of emotions, including anger (just appropriately!) so that our children learn healthy habits.
I asked the class, “What is something important you wish to teach or talk to a child about?” The list was long but the answers that registered most with me were happiness, the power of prayer, compassion and the importance of helping others. I couldn’t agree more, adding my two cents, perfectionism is overrated.
I also mentioned that at my office we have something called COURAGEOUS DIALOGUE, a major factor that attracted me the company. If you have an issue with someone at work, regardless of their position, you ask for a Courageous Dialogue (CD) where you come together to work things out. Each person has the opportunity to hear the other one out, one on one, without judgment and under confidentiality. I have used the process and there is nothing more refreshing than hashing out a miscommunication before it festers into a larger problem.
My personal life isn’t always so tidy. Today I got an email that angered me to such a degree that I was speechless. If I were a cartoon character, you would have seen steam blasting out of my ears, my eyes the size of saucers and my hands accusingly placed on my hips. In real life, the surge of blood pressure caused a bloody nose, nature’s way of getting me to sit down and breathe, so I couldn’t get in the car and go confront the offender.
I can’t remember the last time I felt such disgust and rage. That part doesn’t really worry me – after all I’m only human. The real danger was that I started to doubt myself. When the anger left my body, it took along my self-esteem for company.
I phoned a friend. I took the high road and didn’t respond. I’ve learned that “TWA” or “typing/texting while angry” leads to bigger trouble so I shut off the computer, washed my face and cuddled with my doggie. I have a very good support system!
This is what gets me. I am perplexed by people who don’t have the integrity or maybe it is the courage to communicate honestly. These people, no I’ll call them gutless eunuchs, hide behind insulting emails, gossip and lies. These adults really disappoint me.
Listen, just do me a favor and stop playing this stupid game. We don’t have to be friends.
I’ll do you a favor. I won’t spend time with you so you won’t be reminded of how...