I am so very grateful on Memorial Day to pause and remember these heroes, and wouldn’t be here if a certain Sargent Duff didn’t make it back alive.
A Type Five and a couple of Type Twos took a trip, and the some of the differences were text book.
On the plane, when a baby was crying the Type 5 picked up a magazine and gave them privacy, the Type Twos were twisting around in their seats trying to offer help and solutions… the Type Five had researched the itinerary and had maps and suggestions in a folder, the Type Twos were so appreciative and the Type Twos offered help with luggage and shared their resources readily which the Type Five needed having packed minimally… and when invited to a large gathering, the Type Twos arrived early and were trying to help set up and talk to the leader, and see what was needed, the Type Five was in the car, getting some quiet time before the (somewhat draining) main event…
What they enjoyed that the weekend, was the adventure, weather and outings with each other and the chance to debrief with someone who shared the wonderful experience. What joy to have good friends that help us in our weak areas and appreciate our strengths!
What if you were curious, not harsh or judging, with yourself over your motives or choices, as you would be talking with your favorite author, or as gentle with yourself learning new things as you are with your niece or nephew or grand baby?
What if it’s a New Year and you could be your own best friend? When someone lets you down, or worse betrays you, take time – push the pause button, do three deep breaths and ask yourself “what do I need right now” to feel loved or safe or successful? Let’s try something NEW, skip the berating and raging or looping, and take some time for self care.
Maybe to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and strength and mind is taking that time to pause, let God’s unconditional, unfailing love wash over us – as we breathe deeply, in the moment. Then loving others as ourselves could be a creative action, as we have something fresh to offer.
There are people who listen and people who don’t, and then there are the folks who listen and say, “Yes, but…”. I vote to kick them out of the listeners’ group. It feels like tires spinning on an icy road, there is no traction. You say something, and they don’t disagree, instead they slant the conversation by comparing what you said with something bigger, better or often, someone worse off. An observant friend commented that even “No, but…” is a more engaging comment, at least they are tracking with you and have something to add.
In any case, you don’t feel listened to and it’s hard to return to the original point. Sometimes the slant is spoken casually, and sometimes with passion because there is hot spot in the topic for the listener.
Wouldn’t it be helpful if the listener would wave a flag?
This topic = Fireworks!!
I’d like to suggest universal speaking and listening etiquette:
1. Speaker: states topic, opinion or idea without interruption, for up to 3 minutes. (I’ve read where most people can’t listen for more than 17 seconds without interrupting; well my family has broken that record, easily).
2. Listener: summarizes what is said before changing the topic or even asking a follow-up question.
3. Speaker: ‘thanks for listening’ – acknowledge the time/energy spent caring about your thoughts or feelings, this is a gift.
Ever notice how rare it is to find someone who speaks truth in a kind way? Many of us have to be worked up to spout off the truth, and then in ways that are not helpful.
Truth alone can be brutal Kindness alone can be people pleasing
TRUTH baked in the oven of KINDNESS can be digested and used to nourish.
The ASAP access of social media and instant messaging makes old fashion phone calls seem outdated. Dialing up someone and waiting for it to ring, then having a conversation where you give attention to one person and what they have to say… what a quaint notion.
Are there any teenagers or young adults in your life? Try the 3 Minute Check In. My kids will pick up now that I have instituted this format. There is often a reason for the call, but I have thought about it and have three minutes to check in with them as well, how are they – what’s up recently, and then my idea, request or question.
If you have older friends or relatives that still use the phone to stay in touch, it might be good to think of your own adaptation of the 3 Minute Check In. If Aunt Martha reports on every physical ailment and condition of her and her neighbors, you might try the 10 Minute Check In. Just the structure of the time frame might help to
eliminate organize topics.
Whether it’s a land line, a hand held or the latest cell phone there is a place for the voice to voice conversations, especially when travelling, to help you feel connected. Skype was a challenge for this tech resistant caller, until our daughter was studying abroad – then it was a magic portal into her international experience. How do you best connect with your friends and loved ones?
“Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load;
speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.”