So, I had fully intended for this - blog post no. 3 - to be a bit of a rant. I have a wee bee in my bonnet at the minute, you see. I've had it for a while. And I figured this would be a good opportunity to just write it all down and be done with it. The reason for the bee in said bonnet is the following;
... wait for it,
My emails were ignored.
Yes. That's it.
Oh, but it properly irritated me. I was massively irked. All the more because the woman in question (she who did not respond) works in the health and wellbeing industry, and I just think it's a bit much to be actively in the business of promoting holistic health, emotional wellbeing, and 'treating your neighbour as yourself', and then not respond to emails containing information which had been specifically requested, and which I had taken the time to assemble.
These courtesies really do matter. They matter to many of us.
In an increasingly faceless world of online communication, many emails are an attempt to connect. A desire to be heard. A hand outstretched. But with the ever-increasing demands on peoples' time, more and more of us are dealing regularly with being ignored. And while it may well be true that 'busyness' is the true plague of our generation, it has also become our preferred excuse.
It seems more and more that people are less and less willing to be held accountable for their behaviour. I honestly don't know where this has come from but it's a worrying trend, and one which I reckon we should be calling each other on. There are many occasions when 'I'm just too busy' amounts to little more than bad manners - plain and simple. It is very challenging to have fond memories of the person who chose not to pay this simple respect.
And I was all set to leave it at that. To knowingly indulge in a little finger-wagging, maybe get a few people to reassess their email etiquette, and remain safe in the knowledge that I was right, and 'she who did not respond' was wrong.
That is, of course, until Eckhart got in the way. He spoke last weekend at the the RDS. And I went to see him, and I listened, and I took notes. And among the many words he uttered were the following;
The ego always attempts superiority, and it loves its enemies - individual and collective.
The impracticality of Eckhart Tolle and the 'deeper truth of the matter' getting in the way of a good moan. And you see, the dreadful thing about hearing the truth is that you can't unhear it, and if it happens to resonate deeply with the ‘knowing’ deep inside of you, you can't unknow it either! No matter how much you'd like to.
And so I had to examine this mental position of mine a little closer. And I suppose that my latest take on things – with the benefit of hindsight - is that the wisest course of action for future Grace, and indeed us all, is to remember the ego’s tendencies so that we can nip the internal ‘she who was wronged by the evil woman’ dialogue in the bud.
My attachment to my ego’s position of superiority in this particular matter was what was actually causing me the most frustration. It was my thoughts about the situation which were to blame, rather than the situation itself. “Me = well-meaning, impeccably-mannered, and right (most importantly. Her = highly questionable appreciation of the meaning of ‘respect’, very poor online communication, and most definitely wrong!” ;-)
I may still be of the opinion that it is good manners to respond to emails. But what I equally have to acknowledge is that the annoyance I have experienced on and off for the last month is pretty much entirely down to the fact that I failed to catch my initial reaction and diffuse it. And God knows I have enough skills in my toolbox to be able to do this.
To conclude I’ll say this; By all means, have your mental positions on things, have your political viewpoints, your opinions, your preferences. Take part in all the discussions and debates. Make your point, but don't let it harden you. Try not to let your ‘points’ become your identity. For the more we strengthen the ego and its beloved mental positions, the more disconnected we feel from our true selves.
Notice that there is generally a space before your first thought arises in any given situation where you feel triggered. It all comes back to noticing that space, for every time we notice it, there is an absence of thought, and an opportunity to see things clearly.
I reckon that’s a pretty good start, and I think Eckhart would agree.