Why on Earth would I tell that story in that way?
I imagined explaining to Rachael why we could not agree to do some task, and beginning by disclosing how a number of Quakers decided that I am very bad indeed. But why say that? It is ridiculous!
-To be understood. To gain sympathy.
-To alienate. To push away sympathy, and be judged. This is not necessarily incompatible with the former motive.
-To prove what I am saying. I could merely say, “We can’t”. Like it or lump it. Instead, I imagined giving a long story explaining to force her to see it exactly as I do, a story, an understanding which I have rehearsed, myself,
possibly seeing it better, possibly reinforcing blind spots-
There is a useful goal in here somewhere. I want her to do the job herself, and not blame me. Possibly, though, I want to maintain my own self-concept, though that motivation is shadowy and I am not clear how it works. Whatever, there is a useful goal, but it is not my primary purpose.
Pat came to talk to me, of her Buddhist group having internal ructions and various people storming off. Not what you think of Buddhists, or Quakers, perhaps, but we are human. Andrew wrote, I find it ironic- and a little sad…that you and I, Quakers both, can be at loggerheads. But of course we are. We have different views, and I particularly resent that his solution to something I did not even see as a problem would be me walking more than ten miles in total, at particular times however inconvenient to me. Had I not checked with him, I would not have known of this brilliant plan even now.
Pat told me that because I had thrown a wobbly inside the Quaker meeting, and gone to sit outside in the sun. I would not have done that if I thought I would be harshly judged for it. I was sitting thinking of how I would respond to her, while she was talking, but the main message she got over was, “People are strange”. She repeated this several times, and only because of that it got through. Yes. Possibly others as well as me have fixed ideas about how people should respond, and get surprised. Rather than giving a long complex explanation about group dynamics, I said, “Sometimes a row clears the air”, which said all I needed to say.
So I resist experience, and resist my own responses to it, and that involves me in so much work. Instead being open might frustrate me less. This huge heavy framework of my responses to situations just gets in the way, but putting it down frightens me.
So I reassure myself.
I am learning.
I don’t get everything right, but I don’t need to; it is usually right enough.
I have been learning, all my life.
I am good enough.
I am away from the blog for a bit, but hope to be writing again soon.