You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
Songwriters: Don SchlitzThe Gambler lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Energy is finite. I have been expending quite a bit of energy commenting and filing reports on social media. I feel like a guard dog where the gates are wide open and the farm is being overrun by locusts. I am barking and yapping and basically chasing my tail because the locusts do not care. The dog may get a nip in here or there but at the end of the day, the locusts will continue to swarm and be determined to strip the field of all grain. I have been thinking about when to expend energy and when to hold back. I also do not want to be part of the problem and would like to ensure that when I speak it is still in love against the hate that is open and festering. Is it worth it? I don't think I can ignore the locusts, but perhaps I ought to consider different strategies. It is a balance between head and heart because my heart does not like injustice, but my head considers what result am I getting as a result of the action?
As I write this blog, I have received my first harassing form on my personal website. I guess they wanted a nugget of clarity but were too ashamed to ask since they used a dummy email. There will be a reaction to my actions and I am prepared to own the consequences of my actions. Self-reflection is a must. Am I jumping at shadows? Many people do things to get a rise out of others. Will I take the bait, or take a moment to breathe and check myself? Words can hurt me if I let them and it is okay for me to feel hurt. I currently do not feel hurt by this person and I think their response is emotional and they are jumping at shadows. It is a good reminder that I am a person who would like to be constructive with my use of energy. I much prefer to educate and build people up, rather than tear people down. Be hard on the process and kind to people.
Being reactive is easy, being responsive is more of a challenge. Again, do I want to take the bait? Will a fight do anything constructive? While a zinger may feel good in the moment, what does it achieve? I am unafraid to ask tough questions, not only of others, but of myself. Sometimes, I am a jerk. When I am, I apologize and reflect on what got me to that point and how to prevent it from happening in the future. I will hold out for the longer goal of rebuilding systems to produce better outcomes. I have to be the change I want to see. That means I have to continue to reflect and refine my actions as a human being. Do I want junk food or do I want to consume things that will nourish my soul?
I am a recovering control freak. I have to surrender to the fact that I can't change people. I can only invite them to reflect on what they do or say. I am open to consider other people's points of view. Generally if something gets a reaction out of me, I need to go within and interrogate that response. What am I doing? What am I trying to achieve? What does success look like? Most importantly, what will this cost me energetically and is it worth it. I have to pay attention to my energy levels after these interactions. Are they inspiring me or expiring me? I do not have all the answers, but I will continue to question myself. If I have harmed anyone, please feel free to reach out. Let's have a conversation versus a confrontation. Namaste
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