Crafting Gentleness

Monday, August 27, 2007

Learning to learn?

I think sometimes I get scared by the prospect of history repeating itself, the prospect of me doing certain things again when I had already told myself that I had learned not to.

The learning part of all of this isn't all that easy. I suppose that's why I have an issue with the idea of 'personal evolution' (or, especially, with the 'global evolution of consciousness'). I don't often seem to be very good at learning how to learn about my emotional life sometimes. For me, at least, there doesn't seem to be any linear progress to an enlightened state, merely opportunities for being human. Sometimes I don't do too well with those opportunities. And I suppose, that's okay. I mess up. I get back on the horse. I pick up my pieces and move on. I mix my metaphors.

I know from my own experience that I look back on situations I've been involved in and I can see how I could have handled it all so differently, I could have related to people so much more helpfully. There is, of course, a large element in any relationship that I have no control over, and a large element that no-one has any control over.

Sincerity to helpfully be the change I can be, courage to accept the things I cannot change, and wisdom to know the difference.

I keep reaching out to people because I believe in second (and third and ...) chances, but I sometimes forget that reaching out to someone might sometimes be less helpful than simply walking away and leaving them alone. I can give people the benefit of the doubt without having to intrude. There is a time for time and a time for thyme and a rhyme for thyme too.

I mess up quite a bit. I may say positive things when I feel them, but when I feel a situation's not quite right I sit it out, keep my mouth shut, maybe to see if it's not what I think it might be, and that seems to get me in trouble more than I need to.

How can I learn from that? If they have already locked me out, is it just a matter of trying to be better at it for the next encounter, for the next people I meet.

How can I learn to respond to feeling hurt by peoples' actions without apportioning blame?

Is it always helpful to call it as I see it, or is it sometimes just wiser to keep my mouth shut?

If I believe that the wonder of a human being is so much greater than the consequences of their (my) messing up, what am I supposed to do with that understanding?


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