Monday, May 6, 2013

Lip service

Yes, that's pollen.


I love that scene in Annie Hall with the subtitles. How adorable are the young Woody, dressed in white and the young Diane in her iconic tie and baggy pants, flirting, sussing each other out? It's a sweet scene.

I've been thinking about it lately, the disconnect between what people think and what comes out of their mouths. Is that poetry? I guess it can be, as it is in the scene from Annie Hall.

Often, though, the mouth opens, the vocal chords leap into action, words come out, but the words are empty, mean, or do more to obscure than further true communication.

Yeah, I'm still fussing over what that guy said on Facebook about my neighborhood. Perhaps I should have responded to his ignorance - maybe if I had I wouldn't still be thinking about it. Maybe.

I take umbrage when anyone disses my 'hood. I rail against those who assume that every citizen of the District is involved in the shenanigans ongoing down the street within the Capitol. So there's that, but too I get worked up when people entrench themselves, at all costs, in whatever position they've taken.

It's not fair to point the finger at that ignorant guy on Facebook. I do it, too. In spite of how precious curiosity and openness are to me, I remember only too vividly how many times I've rejected an idea only because thinking about it would take energy or perhaps because considering a different point of view might make me uncomfortable. I try not to become entrenched, but it happens.

However I'm resolved to let go of that one silly incident, and instead to pay more attention to what comes out of my mouth (the only mouth I can control, after all). I'm trying to speak mindfully these days, to consider what I hope to accomplish by speaking, what I truly wish to convey before talking.

It's really hard!

One of my favorite affirmations is, I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I intend to take that practice to a deeper level. Wish me luck.


7 comments:

ellen abbott said...

I had an incident this morning with my son. I won't go into the details but he responded to my email requesting a response to a previous one (with plenty of time to have responded) very curtly, that he was at work and busy. It was totally unnecessary, his attitude, and my simple request of an answer to a question was not an imposition. a previous response of two words would have been sufficient. my immediate reaction was to reply, chiding him for his rudeness but I refrained. because really, what good would it have done except to make for more bad feelings. I got my answer however much of an ass he was about it. I'm trying not to add to the already voluminous incivility and anger already in the world. I'll let it go though it will take me a while. my desire to be a better person is stronger than my desire to criticize him. at least right now.

Reya Mellicker said...

You are a wonderful person, you don't have to be better.

I say what I mean and I mean what I say. xx to you.

Christine said...

Deepak Chopra suggests the following which I've being using lately not always successfully however
S. Stands for stop, just stop, hold on, wait a minute.
T. Stands for take three deep breath and then smile. Feel your whole body smile.
O. Stands for observe what’s happening inside of you. The anger probably doesn’t feel very good. But you have to observe it to know that. Acknowledge how it feels.
P. Stands for proceed with awareness and kindness.

Try to make this a habit every time you feel your instinctive anger response trying to get the better of you and make you irritated. It will work wonders. After a while you will have retrained yourself not to react angrily, but with awareness

Pam said...

Are we enabling people to get away with bad behavior? If they are not chided over it are they actually aware they are doing it? Do people have a right to muck up another person's day? That's where my anger lies ie. you've mucked up my pleasant frame of mind - I guess the answer lies in the self-discipline of maintaining that pleasant frame of mind.

Reya Mellicker said...

Good questions, Pam. At age 60, I'm trying to figure out how much of that I still need to do. I'm thinking of leaving the chiding to younger folks. I'm over it.

A friend of mine uses this acronym:

WAIT
Why
Am
I
Talking?

Steve Reed said...

Reya, nothing you say will change that person's mind. Especially on Facebook, especially when it comes to politics. (And in a tangential way, your exchange was about politics -- the nature of the U.S. capital city and the people who live there.)

I think your impulse to walk away is the correct one.

Reya Mellicker said...

I trust your judgment, Steve.

And I seem to be over it. Yay!