I recently inquired about becoming one of the writers for Crows Feet, which I am excited to join. The woman responding very kindly suggested, after she read some of my blog posts, that it would fit in with Crows Feet, that I might want to look at what I might be able to cut out of my posts, to make my writing more succinct…..to the point….
This got me thinking….(which can always be a dangerous thing, but here I go anyway…)…
Isn’t that something that we could all use for our life, for our relationships? How many times have I not been as clear as I might be in conversations and not stated as clearly as I might exactly what I was trying to communicate…? How many times was I as clear as I could be in stating exactly what I needed and wanted? How many extra words may have gotten in the way that made it more difficult to really understand or hear what I was trying to say?
I laugh when I think back on a time when someone gave me some feedback on a note that I was trying to write at work where I was attempting to set a limit and say no to a particular task…..
I had written a rather lengthy note explaining what was going on, why I wasn’t able to take on this particular task, how I appreciated what they needed, how I would not be able to do a proper job on this task given everything else that was going on, etc….
This friend told me to face my computer, erase all that I had written, and dictated what I should write instead. He said….”Write this…….I am not able to take this on at this time. Thank you.” I sat at my desk in a bit of shock. I wondered, is he serious? Is this enough? I laughed at the difference from what I had written and what he proposed.
I wonder….how often have I and do I continue to do this in my life? How often do I feel like I have to explain everything that I do, make excuses when I need to say no, apologize for setting limits, feel like I cannot simply say “no”? How often does the bottom line and point of what I am trying to say get lost in too many words? How often am I not as clear as I might be in expressing what I want and need and feel? How often do I feel the need to dress up the truth, hide it in excuses, make it sound softer and more gentle ? I am not saying that we need not be kind in our communications…..but, for me at least, I need to be more direct. Take a deep breath and speak my truth more clearly and succinctly….and face whatever the reaction may be, knowing that I have spoken my truth.
And also, how often may I have waited a bit too long to say what I needed and perhaps have it come out more harshly than needed? How often have I not been as clear with some of my feelings…? How many times may I have reacted out of fear or anger or hurt, but not admitted these feelings before, instead only lashing out with the person having no idea of all that may have led up to my intense reaction at that moment?
Sometimes an editor tells you to cut out all the excess. Sometimes an editor asks you to be more clear and direct with what you are trying to say. Or tells you to take a breath, step back, and think about it a bit more and then try again. To think about your audience and what they may be reading (or hearing) and understanding…..
You never know when you will get another valuable lesson in your life. This kind woman gave me a gift…..she gave me feedback about my writing . My writing come from my heart and soul. She gave me feedback on how to have that better heard and understood… How to express that heart and soul more directly….cut out the excess. She may not have known that she gave me this gift, but she did – and I am grateful.
Now…..how to figure out how to get this (inner) editor for my life that helps bring out who I truly am. I realize I have been using internal editors who are critical in ways that encourage me to inhibit and hide who I am….I think it’s time to fire these editors and bring on the new….editors who help me clearly and directly write the book of my life. So that it will be the book of my life, not what I think that someone else thinks my life should be. Written with honesty, clarity, courage, (some fear, but what is courage without fear?) Written from my heart and soul – so that others can see who I am, maybe relate, and maybe then have a bit more permission from their own editors to express who they truly are. And then, maybe, we can truly see each other for all that we are? And see that we, indeed, are perfect (faults and rough edges and all) just as we are. And that it’s ok to show that to the world and not have to hide it in lots of camouflage or extra words or apologies…..and that it’s ok to ask for what we need and want (we may not get it, but it is still ok to ask for it), and that we deserve (in fact, need) to be who and what we are while we are still alive.