I love talking with older people. I learn so much from them. Sometimes I feel beyond my own twenty something years…Today I was walking to work and an older woman stopped me and grabbed my hand saying, “cheer up, it can’t be that bad!” I was unaware of the face I was making, as I was on the phone listening intently to a story. I suppose my expression was one of worry. I was actually in quite a good mood but appreciated her compassion and admired her audacity. I thought about her all day and tried to tell myself to remember to smile.
After I’d gotten to work I thought of an older man I’d met only once very briefly, he told me some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. He said to me 4 things I, to this day, carry in my heart:
1. Marry the one who you can laugh and cry with. He said that our weakness of self can strengthen the bond and praised the power in vulnerability.
2. Never go a day without love and happiness. Life is too short not to be happy. He said the less he worried about life, the less he had to.
3. Don’t be in a hurry. He said marriage will come, family will come, money will come in its own time, and to enjoy where I am.
4. Friends don’t hurt. He said I need to surround myself with things and people that are uplifting and also to be uplifting to others. Heaven in your heart brings peace to your mind.
I feel like tonight will be another encounter like this one. There is a difference though, the old man was speaking to my future and tonight, Joanne was speaking to my present. I felt immediately warmed by her presence. Calmed. After class I told her I felt she spoke my language and she smiled at me quizzically. I’m not sure if she understood what I meant, but I truly felt everything she spoke of has been my recent journey. Learning to take care of myself. Learning to love myself. Learning “Om Nama Shivaya” to honor the divinity that resides within me. Interconnectedness, presence, resonance, making spiritual claim–every single thing she mentioned was so relevant to me RIGHT NOW.
I feel a lot of things from a lot of people…but I’ve never felt anything like her before. I wanted to say so much but I’m not sure what, or how to express my feelings about the experience. Thank you for having her.
Banu’s lessons on nonviolent communication have helped me to become a better listener and in my opinion a more effective communicator. I believe I reserved these skills for my clients in a therapeutic environment but did not use them often enough in my personal life. In practicing NVC I’ve become better in both arenas. I wasn’t previously aware of how often I’m waiting to speak rather than listening.
More than anything, though, I like the new way I’ve been communicating with myself. More from a place of love and compassion, my patience project has been SO rewarding!