Once upon a time there was a little girl who really looked good on the outside but inside felt quite differently. On the inside, she wanted to please and impress others because she didn’t love herself. She felt insecure, inadequate and not good enough. She didn’t speak up or hardly ever said no to others when they needed her. She looked outside for her answers and thought others knew what was best for her. She was afraid of authority figures.Today that little girl has grown up and that little girl is a woman who just turned 70 years’ young. That woman is me. I am happy to say I am healing from codependent behaviors and continue to “GROW UP and SPEAK UP.”
Spirit allowed an opportunity this week to show me my growth. I was amazed at what happened and thought to myself, “Where did she come from? I can’t believe that came out of my mouth.” I spoke up to my doctor, which at one time in my life, I would never have done. This is not about what the doctor did or didn’t do and there is no blame. It is about recognizing how I have grown and changed.
Here is what happened: I was summoned for jury duty. I checked to see about parking the afternoon before I was scheduled. I couldn’t understand it and asked Larry to read it. I was aghast when he came out and said, “Pat, this is in Honolulu.” We live in Maui and the only way to get there would be by plane. The summons read if you don’t show up you could receive a fine of $1000 or be put in jail. I called immediately but the office was closed because of Martin Luther King Day. My only saving grace was that I was instructed to call after 5:00 p.m.the day before and see if the date was rescheduled.
In the meantime, I prayed and asked for help and guidance. The idea came to me to contact my holistic doctor and ask for a letter to be excused because of my ongoing back issues. He agreed to write the letter for the date the summons was originally scheduled.
Because the jury date was rescheduled when I called, I needed to call the doctor and ask for a note for the new date. When I went to his office to pick up the note, I could sense he was not happy about having to write another letter.
He said, “I am charging you $25 for writing the letter because it caused me so much aggravation with the phone calls and emails. I sent him one email and called once.
I immediately and calmly said, “Oh is that how you decide what fee to charge your patients because of how much aggravation it causes you?” I am sure he was surprised that I spoke up and became defensive and went on about how much he charges an hour, etc.
When he left the office I asked his secretary, “Does he always speak to patients like that?” She was apologetic and said, “He was in the hospital for 4 days and has not recovered fully. He has had a hard day and is exhausted.” My heart softened with compassion and love. As I was leaving the office, he came out and I said, “I send you love.”
I had to return to his office the next day to pick up some supplements. When he saw me he said, “Thank you for your patience yesterday and thanks for the love and prayers.”
Some of you may be thinking, “Why would you go back to him when he spoke to you like that?” My ego would like to rant and rave, feel indignant, hold a grudge and not go back.
I have choices. I can love or judge and live in fear. Today I am choosing to love and since he has been a good doctor and was willing to write the letter in the first place, I am in gratitude because I don’t have to go to jury duty!
That little girl has grown up and has learned to SPEAK UP and not feel guilty. I felt really proud of myself for the woman I have become.
Pat and I are learning that being in a loving committed relationship at times can be challenging. We’ve learned in some ways that we are very much alike and in some ways we are very different. We can experience the same situation and walk away from it with entirely different perspectives of what we saw, heard or experienced.
Our saving grace is that we are committed to talking about everything. I think our communication skills are top notch. I’m sure you have all been in relationships before and have learned how important communication is. Sometimes it’s very difficult for one or the other in the relationship to support open communication.
I know as a male I have been in a place in the past where all I wanted to know is “What do you want or need, just let me know and I’ll try to obtain it for you, I don’t need to waste time talking about it.” Not to surprising those relationships didn’t last.
I’ve always thought that I was a fairly generous person. I don’t mind spending money doing some things and going places. My main criteria for spending money is that I receive “VALUE” for it. This is one area where good communication comes in. Pat and I sometimes have different perspectives on what constitutes VALUE and we need to negotiate so we both feel respected and loved.
For example, Pat wanted to do the Hawaii Cruise, from her perspective it was a terrific idea and had a lot of VALUE. I balked at the idea because I had done the cruise 12 years ago and didn’t see any VALUE in taking it again. While talking about it over time I was able to see it from a different perspective. I started to look at it as a”STAYCATION” and from that perspective it had value for me. (A STAYCATION is something we Mauians do just for something different and it’s usually staying at one of the Resorts on island for a few days.)
When Pat shared her experience with her doctor my reaction was WOW I would never have said that to him. From my perspective, the fact that he wrote the letter would have had such VALUE to me he could have said anything he wanted too and I could have cared less. Different perspectives that’s all. I’m proud that Pat had the courage to speak up when she felt it was necessary. We encourage each other to always be true to ourselves.
Perhaps we can all be more willing to listen to what our loved ones have to say, allow them the flexibility to experience life differently than the way we do and value another’s perspective.
Eckhart Tolle offers: If I had lived her past and suffered her pain, and was at the same level of consciousness, I would be thinking and acting exactly the same way that she is.
For those who read our offerings I hope you can find something of “VALUE” in it.
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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