Yesterday ways day 3 of the write-a-blog challenge (slipping with the entries, the weekend) and the task was to direct my mind to recognizing ways in which I can help other people with my talents, skills and passions. Passions that I may not be realizing or giving myself credit for.
“What do people thank you for?”
“What do you love helping people with?”
“What would you be happy and excited to help others with even if you didn’t get paid?”
And it’s a hard question to answer. Straight off the bat I seem to have struck a nerve feeling a little uncomfortable even thinking about it. I am sitting in the realization that I may posses a personal attribute perhaps not very helpful in life, which is, when people thank me, I tend to by dismissive of their expression of thanks.
Not openly and violently dismissive, but subtly, like a brushing off or sweeping away instead of really embracing the given expression of thanks and letting it freely inside. I’m not accepting it fully. It’s like a passive avoidance. Yuck.
I normally make a lot of eye contact with people during conversation, when I am listening to someone else I try to open to them and give them as much attention as I can (attention is a really great expression of love) but if a person goes to thank me I can notice a change in my behavior. I wont look them in the eye when I respond to their praise and thanks, I’ll cast my gaze down or sideways and say “all good”, “no problem”, or “its nothing” even the language I use is designed to minimize the value of what I have given out of some warped sense of politeness or something. I avoid looking at people in the eyes in those moments and withdraw from connecting with them in those moments.
During the act of me trying to help them or listen I am wide a wake and fully engaged and attentive, I am present. Then once the focus shifts onto them thanking or praising me I disconnect from being fully present to receive the thanks, or the praise. I don’t allow it to fully sink in. I avoid receiving the thanks.
Doesn’t it always come back to issues with self worth??
Well fuck that behavior.
To everyone I have helped,
You are welcome. I wholeheartedly accept your thanks. You are welcome.
If you are willing to bless me with your thanks, I can and will expand myself enough to connect with you to receive it wholeheartedly.
I think I might stop and take a breath when someone thanks me next and consciously let it settle in. Allow it to be instead of avoiding it. It’s like a part of me refuses to accept this evidence that would challenge the negative self-belief that I am unacceptable or unlovable. Again, thank you unhelpful belief, I am sure you were created to protect me in the past but you are not serving me anymore and it is time for me to see you for what you are, just a string of words, a thought, nothing more. I refuse to fuse my identity with you anymore.
I guess by not embracing that “thanks vibe” from others. I kind of minimize those aspects in my life where I do make a difference or provide value to another human being and the full potential of these moments is obscured and subverted. What would happen if I let them in? Its like I am snuffing out little fires of warmth and love that appear in my life. Smothering those tender flames instead of allowing the fuel to burn like it wanted to and transmuting the energy into whatever form it would have been destined to take on next. I’m getting in the way of the next experience, of the new growth, of my own happiness and success perhaps.
So when do people actually say thanks to me throughout the day?
A lot of thanksing goes on between my housemates and I as we help each other through the days. My housemate is terrified of spiders but the spiders seem to adore her and manage to find their way to her constantly. I am thanked a lot for removing them from around the house. (if the neighbors knew I usually tipped them over the fence they might not be so thankful but what can you do?)
I listen to people in times of need and make time for people to tell their stories, or dump their burdens. I am thanked a lot for this. Some people ask me for advice and the way I listen seems to really help them. Its something that I enjoying being able to give them.
I tend to jump in and try to help people sort things out with their bodies. I’m by no means a movement expert, but after years of rehabbing myself through several injuries I know a few tricks and think I provide some decent directions for people to reestablish balance in their bodies. People thank me for my movement advice.
I am thanked a lot by my students in my Yoga teaching and adjusting. These thank you’s are a little easier to receive as the process of teaching Yoga tends to bring forth a caring, open state within yourself. It’s always just an honour to be able to teach someone who wants to learn so I am usually the one who is more thankful.
Well that entry got a little out of hand, but if you enjoyed it,
You are welcome!