So the other day, I heard a phrase I'd never heard before.....bless and release. The context was a Willow House Director talking about what to do with consultants under you or customers or whomever in your business who won't return your phone calls or who aren't doing any business. She was talking about using your time smart-ly and not spending time on things that don't grow your business and move you closer to your goals. Anyway, she said when you encounter someone like that, you, on your own, bless them and then release them. As in...stop worrying about them and what they're doing.
I had mixed feelings about that. Being someone who hasn't done a lot of business this year (by choice...my business is flexible and I was flexing because it wasn't fitting in with my family at the time), I was feeling like I might have been the recipient of this catchy phrase. I was feeling a bit abandoned and thought, well, shoot, if she'd (my director) just given me a call and a challenge or some motivation (all of which are nice, but not her job to do), I'd have gone like gang-busters!!!
At the same time...and especially in light of some of the...um...things that have been said to and about me recently, the thought of blessing and releasing has really stuck with me.
After the....um...things that were said, I had a really productive conversation with someone whose feelings (unbeknownst to me) I had hurt MONTHS ago. She was hurt but never said anything to me (her prerogative). After the....um....things, she sent me a note and we had a nice exchange. I was able to hear how she was hurt, apologize first and then share with her what I had meant (since I wasn't talking to or about her in what I said, I was shocked when I found how she'd been hurt). I don't know that we're going to be best friends, but we weren't before either...but she's a super neat lady with a lot of knowledge and she's fun to have around.
It's been a great spring-board for lots of reflection. I'm an absolute Truth kind of person living in an "I'm ok, you're ok" kind of world. Funny part about that is, it seems to be ok (according to the world) to believe anything and everything *except* that there's absolute truth....that's NOT ok to think. Soooo, because I do think that there are things that are absolutely right and absolutely wrong....I catch a LOT of flack when I share my beliefs.
Another piece to my reflection this week has netted the realization that I HAVE to explain myself. That *also* gets me into trouble because there are some people who aren't really interested in hearing my side of things. Don't get me wrong...there are some amazing listeners out there and some who realllllly want to understand where I'm coming from, even if they disagree with me. However, there are also people out there who just want to tell me why I'm wrong and what's wrong with what I think and they have absolutely no interest in why I said what I did or what lead me to that conclusion.
THOSE are the people I need to bless and release. Up to now (and I'm sure I'll do it again in the future...it's going to be VERY hard to change this), I've argued my point and shared my side until I was breathless and it was a waste of breath. I need to just stop....because they don't care....and while I love and pray for those people (as part of the bless and release), I do not need to go on and on and on when it's not going to get me anywhere.
I loooove to talk to people. I loooove to be on my soap box. I loooove to sit around with people who agree with me and solve the world's problems. And I loooove to sit around with people who don't agree with me and argue my side. I don't like to fight. I like to be listened to and heard. I like to hear your side as well. It'll either change my mind (like talking to Mark about supply and demand and the hike in gas prices after a natural disaster) (well, he didn't change my mind, but really did give me a new way of looking at it all and really did shape my opinion in a totally new way!), or make me stronger in my resolve and help me know where people on the other "side" are coming from. (I hate to look at it as "sides", I've been critized lately about being divisive...but really, people, when I think one thing and you think the opposite, I'm at a loss as to what to call it other than sides. If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear what you would call it....I wouldn't be surprised if you came up with something better than me!)
Take Jo, for example. I love Jo. I disagree with Jo on a looooot of things...and some pretty major things....the Church, abortion, prop8, right and wrong, how much freedom kids should have, God, which SPF everyone should use (not really, but you get the point)...but you know what? We have some of the best conversations....you know why? She listens to me and realllly tries to figure out where I'm coming from....and I reallllly listen to her and try to see her side of things. And you know what? At the end of the conversation, we usually still disagree, but know each other a little better. I hate the phrase "agree to disagree" because as an absolute Truth kinda person, there are things about which I can do just about anything EXCEPT agree to disagree. I don't' know if that's what Jo would say we do or not, but I would just say we agree to share honestly, listen openly and not be too overly sensitive about disagreeing. (that last part is hard for me)
Who knows, perhaps Jo was one of the people who praised the....um....someone....for what she said earlier this week. I hope not. That would really hurt me and damage our relationship and my openness toward her. It's far more cowardly than she normally is. Normally her fearless self talks to me and tells me when she disagrees with me.
Ok, I didn't intend this to become a Jo post....sorry, Babe. (who am I kidding...I have no idea if you or anyone who knows you will ever read this!) All I meant to illustrate was that there's someone in my life who disagrees with me on just about every major issue (except, of course, that I have two of the awesomest girls that ever were created.....or existed....we don't always see eye to eye on the created part) and we still love being together and we can have great conversations so much so that I crave alone time with Jo unlike I do with just about anyone else on the planet.
So, back to bless and release.....creepy mean people? I need to bless and release you. People who don't want to have an open conversation in which we learn about each other despite our differences? Yep. Bless and release. I will pray for you and think of you often....but I'm going to do all I can to not worry about you and not to put too much stock in what you say about me.
Feel free to bless and release me too......
Thank you, Leslie, for your gift of peace and selflessness. You are an amazing teacher. You've taught me more in just a few weeks than some people have in decades.