Hi everyone, I’m sorry to have taken an unannounced and unexpected day off yesterday. I fell asleep trying to write this, and wanted to mull it over a bit more before posting it.
Thank you for your wonderful gardening answers – wow! Did it inspire anyone new to garden, because it should – those are amazing words! Loved, loved, loved reading each of your thoughts.
So, on with it…
I’m going to be honest right up front and let you know that I’m not sure how this fits into sustainable living. But I suppose here is some connection: in addition to minimizing resource use and living with the whole world in mind, to live sustainably you have to live an emotionally healthy life.
I’m a relatively shy person deep down, and I grew up in a family that did not talk much about feelings. However, over the years I’ve learned a whole lot about feelings – in fact I’ve become quite in touch with my own and almost hyper-aware of others’.
Feelings are so important to really be aware of, in yourself and in others. They affect health, for sure. And also, good feelings transfer to other people as we move about our days… as do bad feelings. When I’m in a bad mood, I find myself cursing other drivers, not paying attention to my surroundings, rushing through my day, and in general leaving a wake of tension behind me. That can’t be good for the world.
Throughout my life I’ve tended to bottle up frustrations, resentments, disappointments, and confusion. So I’ve tried something new over the past few weeks: I’ve been trying to break down barriers of misunderstanding with honesty, openness, and transparency.
When I was in college, I used to spend hours writing poetry – I have books and books filled with my poems! Once, I decided it was time to take it to a new level with myself, so I entitled the book “Brutally Honest With Myself,” and I decided that whatever went in there would be completely and utterly honest. No holding back, no kidding myself, no allowing myself to get away with things I shouldn’t. It was amazing what a lasting impact that had. I learned a lot about myself this way.
And now I’m starting to take that principle into my life again. I think the world can be a much better place if we are all so honest with ourselves and others. Now, I’m not saying tell your neighbor you hate their hairdo (though if she asks, I will try to be respectfully honest…). Hairdos in the big scheme of things don’t matter so terribly much. But other things really do matter, and it’s amazing how a little open, respectful honesty can turn a very stressful situation into something really wonderful.
This works with work, school, friends, relatives, and certainly yourself.
The other day I met with a coworker and started the conversation by saying, “I don’t know what I want the outcome of this conversation to be, but I thought it was time to have a real heart to heart…” And can I tell you, after addressing my feelings openly, honestly, and transparently, a weight was lifted from my being.
After the weight lifted, I can do more, I can think more clearly, I can feel good and pass that good onto others. My whole look at life changed. From grey-colored glasses to rose-colored glasses, if you will. Honesty is a magical thing.
And honesty is especially powerful when it can be used to find lasting, sustainable solutions – not only in our personal and business lives, but also in our government and across world nations.
What Do You Feel?
How do you face conflict, frustration, and disappointment? Are you brutally honest with yourself? Is that even possible?