S2Episode29 Revelations In Unsolicited Commentary

March 6, 2024

Good morning from Milano. Before I get started today, I want to acknowledge the many comments I got about my episode on Monday called ‘Close to Quitting’. I don’t want to spoil it if you didn’t listen to it. I’ll just say that I think the title gives you a good idea of what it’s about. It definitely landed with a lot of people and I’m glad I didn’t talk myself out of it. In fact, I’m going to talk about something today and just now, as I was getting ready to sit down, I was thinking wow, maybe that’s something I’ve talked about in the past. And to be honest, one of the little negative birds that sits on my shoulder says to me – you’re repeating yourself, don’t repeat yourself you’ve told that story before –and that does get in the way sometimes. So I’m going to use this moment as a disclaimer. Of course, I am going to repeat myself sometimes. That’s because what I do here is I talk about things that are happening in my life or things that I notice, and there are themes. And part of having an awareness practice (I consider Dear Constance part of my awareness practice) is noticing themes and recurring thoughts one has. In fact, recurring thoughts are a clue that there is something you need to pay attention to.

Anyway, moving on. One thing I have noticed recently is I’ve had a conversation with many different people about their relationships with their mothers. Mothers are a fraught theme for many people. I was talking to my friend yesterday and we were talking about another friend, and her relationship with her mother and how complicated it is. We were discussing the fact that this particular woman is an only child, and it all came around to my friend telling me that one of her closest friends has been warning her that she’s going to have regrets if she’s too tough with her mother.

Anyway, there are two things that came out of this conversation that I thought were interesting and worth talking about. The first piece is about boundaries and drawing a line in the sand. In the case of my friend, in a moment of provocation, she finally laid it out for her mother and drew the line. She said to her mother, basta, that’s it. You need to get ahold of yourself. I am a 62 year old woman. You’re crossing the line And I’m not going to stand for it anymore.

What I want to get to is this piece of the story where my friend was telling me that her friend said to her, unsolicited, be careful you’re going to have regrets, et cetera. That’s the interesting piece because the girlfriend that was warning her to be careful with her mother revealed, in her unsolicited comments, the fact that she herself clearly has regrets. And there’s a whole sad story behind that, but that’s not what this is about. What I want to say is this theme that’s coming up in my conversation with my close friend. is this:  the things that people comment about, advise you about, and question you about more often than not reveal their own doubts and fears.

Speaking for myself, that is something that I understood intellectually quite some time ago, but it’s also one of those things that you have to sort of learn and learn again. It’s something that took me a long time to internalize to the extent that. I don’t take things so personally. I’m able to pause and say, Hmm.

It often comes up – and feels most acute – when we are at an important junction in our life or in a vulnerable moment, . Those times when we’re hypersensitive or unsure and feeling our way forward. It’s one of those things that happens over and over in life with all different types of people. It’s particularly charged when we’re questioned by a family member or offered unsolicited advice. It can really sting. And oftentimes it reveals the jealousies or the fears and doubts of that family member. I think that’s all I really want to say today. Again, when you’re feeling vulnerable and also when you’re doing something courageous – leaving your job, moving to a new city, taking a sabbatical. starting a business – those are moments when you’re stepping into the ring of life. Stepping up to the plate and feeling your way forward. And it’s important to remember that those unsolicited comments and questions (or negative questions as I often refer to them) are not only often revealing but something we need to learn over and over again to simply take with a grain of salt.

I’ll leave you with that for today. until next time from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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