September 28, 2009

Auf Widersehen

So the decision has been made. Interestingly, it was a very grown up decision. I attempted to void the emotions from the decision making process in order to allow it to be reasonable instead of wrought with heart sickness.

On Friday, someone I trust gave me a book to read. He has watched me and talked with me enough over the last year, apparently, to have insight into something that I may need right at this very moment. The book is called, The Alchemist. I am only 29 pages into the book and have already identified many things that are needed in my life. Things I knew, but need to know on a new level.

One of the areas my confidant has challenged me is in the area of being present. One of the things he brought to my attention is the opportunities I miss by ignoring my surroundings. He challenged me to open my eyes and see who is around me and what they might offer me. His example was that in the Starbucks I might engage people more with eye contact, a smile and even idle chit chat. While my concept of chit chat is that it is a waste of my precious insightful time, he disputes that with the notion that I am missing an opportunity to cultivate friendships with people who I may learn from by dismissing them.

So, yesterday I was walking through the grocery when a man dropped his apples. As they went rolling on the floor I thought of the friendly advice. I thought of what I could say as a clever retort to the fruit spill. I never said anything. And that disturbed me about myself. So, this morning I decided to put this concept to the test. I have made direct eye contact with everyone I have come in contact with. I have smiled and been friendly. I have opened myself up to the interactions. I have opened myself up to the lessons. Ultimately, I have opened myself up the vulnerability of someone knowing me.

One of the most alarming discoveries that have come of my talking with him is that I know many people but I allow few people to really know me. I want to work actively to change that.

Auf Wiedersehen to the past.

“That is what learning is. You suddenly learn something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way”. ~ Doris Lessing


The Jedi Counselor said...

Very good insight, I am going to read that book.
Of course, I guess that means I should welcome the chit chat of the clerk who always tries to talk to me in the self check out line.

Paula said...

Until this weekend I had not considered how isolated I stay. I am a self-checkouterish type myself. Me, a people person, a self-checkeouterish type. Very funny.