NAMASTE

“I like to think that everybody is trying to do the best they can.” Something Teo Tyler said to me years ago, when I wondered why she was cutting an obvious pompous idiot so much slack….

Why a picture of a tree?  Because it's just a tree.  And that's all it has to be.

Why a picture of a tree? Because it’s just a tree. And that’s all it has to be to be beautiful.

I’m back, and sloooooowly recovering from, the League of NH Craftsmen’s Annual Craftsmen’s Fair at Mt. Sunapee (aka, although misleading, the “Sunapee Fair”. Misleading because there’s another, much smaller local event also known as the “Sunapee Fair”. Oh well. It’s hard to confuse us once you’ve seen us both.)

As usual, a lot of beautiful and powerful moments at the Fair, lots of validation for an artist, and great sales, too. And also as usual, lots of exhaustion, frustration, nerves and angst.

And as usual, over the next few weeks, I’ll strive to put the latter into prospective, and the former into the forefront of my heart.

Today, though, I write about a thought I had as my head hit the pillow last night, a thought that stayed with me til I woke this morning:

I’m thinking how desperately we want to be seen.

Not just noticed. (“Look at that woman’s funny red hair, mama!”) Not recognized (“She’s the artist!”) Not just acknowledged. (“Madam cashier, may I interrupt your conversation with the bag boy to introduce myself? I’m your paying customer!!!!“)

We all want to be seen as the person we believe ourselves to be. The person we want to believe ourselves to be, that is.

We don’t want to be seen as needy, or pitiable, or desperate. We don’t want to be seen as crazy, or nagging, or pathetic.

We all want to be seen as a person who is doing the best we can.

At this moment, right now, with everything we have on our plate. Plates. Plate??

Oddly, my thought about this is, sometimes the best way we can show someone we truly see them is to listen to them.

So if someone wants desperately to be seen as smart, and quick, and capable, then I have to tamp down my lizard-brain reaction to say, “Well, I’m smart and quick and capable, too!” I have to try really really hard to just shut up and watch. And be amazed that, by golly, they are smart, and quick, and capable. And that fact doesn’t diminish me one little bit.

I have to understand that if someone is trying desperately to impress me with their wit (even if it’s at my expense) and their brilliant conversation (even if I can’t get a word in edgewise), then I have to smack down my lizard-brain reaction for a few minutes. Just sit back and let them do their dance. And be amazed that, by golly, they are witty, and brilliantly conversant. And that fact does not diminish me one little bit.

I have to understand that if someone is trying really, really hard to do the right thing, because they really don’t want to be “that guy”, and they want their efforts to be acknowledged (even if what I want is an apology), then I have to lose the judge-y-ness and the righteous indignation, and give them some credit. And be amazed, by gosh, that they really are trying to do the right thing–because they care.

It’s hard. It’s really hard.

Because like the proverbial one-finger-pointing-at-you, three-finger-pointing-back-at-me thing (Try it. Point at something. See?), all these things that piss me off? I’m more guilty of them than anyone else.

And that’s why I, of all people, should understand where that impulse is coming from.

Because I want to be seen as smart, and quick, and capable, and witty, and brilliantly conversational.

Because I’m usually the one rattling off a mile a minute, not letting you get a word in. Not letting you be right, for a change. Not accepting, or understanding that you, too, are simply here, trying to do your best.

And in showing you just how effin’ brilliant I am, I am not letting YOU shine.

So today I continue my little brave exercises, exercises I hope will atrophy my over-worked lizard-brain a little, and strengthen my better-intentioned heart.

When I’m tempted to put you in your place, I will bite my (very sharp) tongue instead.

In place of a retort, I will strive for the gentle rejoinder. Better yet, I will try for the respectful silence.

I will gaze at you with love, and awe, and respect for the person you already are. I will honor the person you don’t have to prove yourself–not for one minute, not to me–to be.

I will see you.

(With heartfelt apologies to Jon, and Jen, and Nancy. And with deep gratitude for all you do, with delight and amazement for who you are. Namaste)

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7 Comments

Filed under art, life lessons

7 responses to “NAMASTE

  1. Luann, Spending my morning quiet time (which I strive for, but don’t always take), I fought the urge to get on this computer, but was drawn here. Now I see why, it was your amazing words of wisdom, for my inspiration today, and for always, as I will print and keep this. Such a simple message, yet so complex, for our human minds to fully embrace. My heart has been softening lately, and you put into words precisely what my being has been relaxing into. Seeing people, for their intentions, excusing their imperfections, their awkward attempts, their “not quite meeting the mark…again”. Seeing the love the core of their being is coming from, the striving. And this includes seeing it in ME. And then, focusing on this, rather than on that other stuff. Agreed, it is hard, but it gets easier with practice, I’m finding. THANK YOU, talented writer that you are, for putting it into words, so eloquently. I admire your talent, and wisdom.

  2. D F

    . . . gosh, were you sitting on my shoulder this morning? Spot on for me.

  3. Brion

    Bravo! thank you for sharing that :)

  4. It’s called being human and we are all guilty of it at various times. Of course, some of us are more human than others; when I run into those people I have to bite my tongue and disengage my brain also.
    Namaste to you too <3

  5. Julie b.

    Another thoughtful post, thank you Luanne. Today will be busy, filled with meetings, people and opportunities to keep your thoughts in mind.
    We really are all trying to do our best and be our best, even when we forget.
    Namaste…

  6. Sharon Siqueiros

    Thank you for the beautiful ~gentle~ reminder

  7. I’m sure we all see ourselves here. I know I do.
    Well said and Amen.

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