This was the final lesson in the series (which really did go quickly) and for this one we thought about the “wisdom of uncertainty.” Oprah said, “Knowing that you can be brave and scared at the same time—that’s what courage really is.”
It’s interesting when you’re doing something like this how other people see you. I’ve often heard from people how “fearless” I am, which never ceases to confuse me, because I feel like someone that is constantly fighting her fears. I never look at myself as fearless, although I have embraced the fact that I am emotionally strong. God has given me a strong spirit, and I am very thankful for that because I’ve needed it.
But fearless? Nuh-uh.
One thing I have worked on (and continue to work on) is listening to my gut instincts. I have good instincts, I really do, but in the past I haven’t always followed them. I’ve listened to what “society” was telling me, what some random friend of a friend told me I should do, what someone at a group I belonged to told me (because she looked down her nose at me and I couldn’t have that!), and rarely in the past have I listened fully to my own instincts, my own voice. I’ve had to work on this.
The interesting thing is many times the things I really regret are the ones where someone else suggested I do them. This doesn’t mean I blame them, it means I wish I had been better at listening to my own voice.
This week’s “intention,” was: I will hear me. And how do I do that? How do you?
For me, this means prayer. I can’t do it without that. I have to pray first, reflect second, and then act. I have to think on things a good long time before I can react to them properly.
Now in life, we don’t always have the luxury of time to think, and that’s why I need to get better at listening to and knowing my own voice as a practice so that during the times when I have to react, I can do it without doubting myself.
I’ve talked many times that when someone goes off on me, yelling, screaming, insulting, whatever it is, that my reaction is to stand still and just wait for it to be over. I’m not sure that’s the best way to react, although I don’t think it’s always a bad thing to do, either. When someone is determined to go off on you in some way, they will not listen to dialog and discussion.
Sometimes the “going off” part is just a snarky thing someone says loud enough to interrupt the thing you’re trying to say. It’s meant to belittle, and often I just ignore it and then have hurt feelings later but lately I’ve been better at shutting it down. Asking a question, “What would you do?” (Like, if you’re so smart, how would you react?) People who are good at the snarky, put down comments rarely know what to say when challenged, because they do it with the expectation that you aren’t going to say anything in your defense. Most of the time I don’t, although now I’ve recognized times when I will. I’m done with people talking over me and being insulting just because they think they can. But at the same time, mostly it isn’t worth speaking up because the person insulting you makes such an ass of themselves you need not say a word.
The point for me was in knowing when to speak up, and letting the rest go. I’m better at this. Age will do that to you. But I will always work on this.
We also talked about “intuition” and developing a mantra. The mantra part was very easy for me. I chose “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). I have this saying up at my computer, I painted a print of this I hung by my door, and I go back to this phrase every time I have doubt, uncertainty, fear, anger… all the negative stuff. I go back to it, reflect on it, pray, and listen. It keeps me grounded.
I felt that the six-week course was beneficial. Anything that reinforces the strength we have as women is, I think. I probably won’t take part in the second class, but maybe. Who knows. For right now, I’m happy with the insights I learned and how they underscored the other work I’ve done in my life.
Did you take this class? What did you think?