The first one was with a lady I was chatting to when I casually mentioned that I used to be a PA and that came with a healthy dose of OCD. In other words, for me, being tidy was something instilled in me. It keeps me on top of things and in control. In one of my jobs I worked for over five directors at a company and if I had not been organised I shudder to think where they all might have ended up flying to, hehe. I recall one time the four of them were flying to different countries before they all met up in New York for a trade show. Eeek! I certainly had to keep my wits about me to organise this! Thus when I said I had been a PA I was not bragging but simply sharing a part of myself and what makes me tick. For some reason, this lady took it like I was trying to ’top trump’ her in terms of my experience. She then told me how she used to have a PA and headed up a big company. I immediately realised that she was simply trying to show me her skillset. Instead of reacting to this in a negative way I turned the situation around and said to her how much I valued her life knowledge and in fact, I needed to work with her on a project and would very much appreciate her input. Within minutes the ‘energy’ between us changed as I had turned around an awkward situation in a positive way and we started laughing and joking.
The second conversation was with an elderly lady who apologised to me today for having a bad memory. I told her not to apologise, that in fact, she had nothing to apologise for as we all forget things from time to time. She said that she used to be a teacher but nowadays her memory was not what it was before. I then told her that since the menopause I seemed to struggle more with my memory and that I never judged anyone including myself. She said that she felt many people like to point out other peoples’ faults. I then shared with her some information I had taken away from my recent ‘Landmark Forum’ course in London, i.e. human beings like to be right to make others wrong. It’s not nice when you hear it like that, is it? Does it really make us feel that good when we have to be ‘better’ than others? Well, it is actually embedded in our collective psyche that we never even pause to consider it. Perhaps we should think what is so compelling. As our educational system is rooted in the learning of what is right and wrong, we are deemed to always be correct and to aim for higher grades which generally leads to more successful lives. Being ‘right’ affirms and inflates our sense of self-worth. I think it is not but makes us feel bad! After all, would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? Check out Mel Schwartz – The Possibility Principle, he’s a marriage guidance counsellor, author and speaker who is based in the USA and has some interesting stuff to say on this subject. In my quest for more knowledge I follow anyone who resonates with my thinking and in turn, they help me grow and learn. Goodness knows I still have a lot to learn.
I also said to her that in my experience, in particular of what I had learned in the last four years, that many of us are fighting our own battles and as a society, we should support each other rather than criticising and discouraging each other. The lady then mentioned that elderly people often felt so lonely and even though there were many social events for the elderly, in some cases people did not have the confidence to go to these events alone, particularly if they did not have any friends or partner. I said that I understood and that looking out for each other was the key.
She was a beautiful lady. Her ‘inner’ light shone bright. For me, sharing our stories, albeit for a few moments, created a connection. I hope our paths will cross again. Unfortunately, it was not the right circumstances but had I been in another environment I would have given her my phone number to see if she wanted to have a chat and go for a coffee. At the time I took her hand, squeezed it tight, and said how much I enjoyed our chat. There are so many elderly folks out there and so many kind people willing to offer their support and kindness, but sometimes we need to listen more and watch out for those who are afraid to ask for help.
So what is my blog about, apart from a lot of messages?
Always be kind, see the good in everyone and be understanding as you never know when you may need help yourself. Most importantly, always think that you never know someone’s ‘backstory’ which every one of us has and which shaped us into the person we are today.
With love – always,
Tracey B x