Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who Are You?

Better to concentrate on fall's majesty...

however, lately been so worried/tired/sick over the upcoming national elections. Sound familiar?
Oh, did I mention also feeling--FRUSTRATED?
I fired off a Letter to the Editor of both of our newspapers after getting annoying emails and feeling the brunt of some family discontent over my beliefs- along with their in-ability to allow me to express myself.

Then I thought WHY?
Why am I spending my precious time on this and allowing myself these fearful emotions? I was frustrated at not being able to articulate my feelings during debates. Like you perhaps, I would think of all the great things to say afterward. More frustration.

Then I got to thinking about labels.

Not the jelly jar kind-- rather the labels we give ourselves and others. And in this case, the political label or letter we assign to ourselves.
Are our labels us?

Like me, so many other bloggers have considered getting into the (election) fray and not sticking to the intention of their blogs.
The arty blogs I like are those that completely steer away from political issues.
Who needs more OPINION for goodness sake...
there must be millions of blogs out there and between them and the media (oh, did I mention I mourn the death of journalism?)....
I do follow a few political blogs who stick to the facts-- to stay current...
however, I've had just about enough of other's opinions for now thank you.

So now back to our subject-- WHO ARE YOU?
I could start with who am I-- and will offer a description at the end of this post as I would like this to be about YOU.

Let's try to do this in a way that Dr. Wayne Dyer may appreciate.
When a student, he was asked that question by a professor in a class a few decades ago.
The task was to write a page to describe WHO ARE YOU.
Wayne thought, oh this will be easy!
The trouble began when the professor then listed all the LABELS that were off limits... as I recall; sex of the writer, religion, being a mom, dad, sister/brother, political affiliations, where one lived, went to school, did for a job, career aspirations, and now you get the idea.
Not an easy task, especially for a nineteen or twenty year old.
AND you may get the idea of how limiting labels are.
...and in this case perhaps having bumper stickers that
end up dividing us rather than to be a positive force.

"Once you label me, you negate me..." said Soren Kierkegaard, who was the inspiration for the professor who asked the question; "Who are you?"

Last night I was at a wedding reception and the father of the bride -- right after saying "hello" mind you---asked who I was voting for! (He did have a few glasses of wine at this point so I forgive him...)
I hesitated to answer and he implored me to tell him.
So I did and he was disappointed in my answer... but said he loved me anyway which seemed a step in the right direction given the reason for the celebration.

So, do labels really matter?

I didn't think so as we heard the funny and tear jerking toasts to the bride and groom from their loving friends.
I didn't think so as we watched the beautiful, wonderful, successful 20 & 30-somethings dance the night away in joy for the newly married couple.
I don't think so today, as I view the spectacular colors of fall out my window and count my blessings in the midst of these hard times many of us find ourselves in.

What matters are things like what a wonderful Priest told me several years ago when I started to complain about a perceived injustice I felt at the time.
Father Anthony took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye and said,
"Connie, when you speak to people-- be it so that you leave them feeling refreshed by the experience of being with you."

Leave them wanting more-- and REFRESHED?
Wow, what a concept!
I want to try and live like that everyday-- and also lead by example instead of trying to get someone to think as I think.
Not easy, but a good goal don't you think?
So in that spirit I will end with what I hope is, Who Am I.

I am a smiling muse, a creator, an encourager, a lover of life and people.

And so it goes... till next time.
Please do let yourself know --Who You Are.

In the evening of our lives, we shall be judged on love.
-- St. John of the Cross


ruthie said...

Hi Constance, thank you for leading me to your blog, i love what i am reading, inspiring words indeed. Your post about Maggie bought tears to my eyes, if only more people in this world took stopped to listen & give moments of their precious time, what a different world this would be. I shall remember & carry with me also the words "when you speak to people-- be it so that you leave them feeling refreshed by the experience of being with you." - thank you, *ruthie*

Constance said...

thank you ruthie!
we'll play it forward ;-)

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Thanks for the add and I am going to use your line about bumper stickers dividing us. And I will add your blog to my list as well.

Incognito said...

sad how this election polarized people to the extent friends were lost. At least he still loves you, though I find it condescending. I've had people tell that to me, as well, the few I have told, as if I was a serial killer and they were forgiving me for my crimes.

but you are right, one shouldn't try to will-force someone into thinking differently, all one can do is present your side of the argument and hope they see the truth.