The Sense of Being Heard

Every time I learn a life lesson,

when it sinks in, penetrates my thick skull, works its ways through the pink labyrinth inside, and reaches the part of me which can rewire my system,

albeit in a jerry-rigging manner,

I inevitably find myself wondering why on earth I didn’t understand it before…

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“I’ve been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.”
― Tahereh Mafi

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then the if only’s begin,

that pastime of rewriting personal history,

of thinking that things would have been better,

have turned out all hunky-dory,

if I’d known then what I know now and had done things differently than I did them,

if I’d been less stupid and more clever…

But…

am I really less stupid and more clever now?

I may think I am because I’m under the illusion that I’ve learned a life lesson which I perceive as being something that makes me smart…er…

But…

Chances are that future me will look back on the me that I am now,

who thinks I’m smarter than past me,

and consider this me to be a complete dolt who messed things up by not knowing now what I will know then.

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“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

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It took me the sort of time which seems like forever to accept my own personal history,

made of mistakes, mess, madness, and mayhem, mortification, morbidity, melancholy and m… mmmm…

to feel comfortable being as I am,

a rolling stone who has gathered so much moss that it no longer rolls,

to have no need to tidy up the chaos of my past so that my present can live up to some skewed ideal of perfection,

(perfectionism is probably the most chaos-causing substance known to man)

to move away from chewing on the cud of what if’s and if only’s…

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KOKOpelli shadowed

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I still do it,

still wonder how things would have turned out if… somehow I’d been someone else when… then…

it’s a habit I wear,

to cover bones, sinew, muscles, veins…

some habits feel like skin, and without them it can all fall apart…

but I’m less furious about it, less quick to kick and punch myself, less prone to drowning in the soup of regret, less inclined to get stuck reliving an incident in my mind, interminably replaying it…

with alternate endings, most of which are better than what happened…

I like to keep an eye on those alternate endings which had even worse outcomes as they remind me that meddling with what is… can be hazardous to health.

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“Some people have difficulty telling the difference between something great and something they’ve simply heard of.”
― Arthur Golden

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One life lesson which I’ve learned is that the moment I think I’ve learned a life lesson,

life throws me a Pop Quiz to test whether I’ve actually learned anything at all or am suffering from a delusion of  the moment.

I used to hate it when that happened, it made me uptight, nervous, and afraid of failing… of letting myself (my ego) down…

but I have slowly grown to look forward to life’s trickster nature and way of nurturing growth.

These days the moment I have a boost of confidence, feel that I’ve finally understood something and I’m a new and improved version of myself, totally awesome compared to what came before… I set my stopwatch in motion waiting to see how long it takes for life to throw me a curve ball.

I’m no longer as surprised (or disappointed) by how fast that occurs.

I used to moan – Oh, Life, why couldn’t you let me celebrate this small victory for more than an hour!

Now I (do something very foolish) say – Bring it on, Life, my bat is ready for your pitch!

I am fairly ready to swing at anything bad that life might throw at me,

or at least I’m prepared for something bad to happen in a fatalistic kind of way…

my loins are girded (that sounds like painful underwear of the chafing kind) …

But…

What I still haven’t learned to be ready for is when something good happens…

those sort of tests are my Achilles’ heel…

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“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”
― Hāfez

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I often (in a reckless way) tell people exactly where to hit me if they want to knock me over. I’m like one of those video games which show you where to strike to bring down your opponent only I’m letting others know where to strike me…

I rely far too much on others not listening… I’m precariously perched on a dry twig of safety…

it’s funny-strange…

I used to be desperate to be heard by others, and it frustrated me no end that no one seemed to listen,

the kind of listening which actually hears you, what you’re saying in the way that you said it, rather than the kind which hears what it wants, needs, taking your words and making them their own, out of context, and often blowing them out of proportion.

Then one day it didn’t seem important to be heard anymore…

this was the end of a life lesson which was really the beginning of it…

as shortly after that I found that people were listening to me in a manner I had never experienced before…

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“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.”
― John Grisham

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Life and its trickster ways were at work again…

as always…

The other day someone surprised me in a manner which I saw as another of life’s pop quizzes…

Clyde of Fractal Enlightenment asked me if I’d like to write a guest post, and maybe do a bit more than that, for his wonderful website.

It’s an amazing opportunity, and a very generous offer…

But…

I don’t really know what to make of this opportunity…

I haven’t learned that life lesson yet…

I’ve only just opened the manual for dummies on this, there are a lot of words explaining things and…

And…

sometimes when opportunity knocks I just stand on the other side of the door listening to the sound of knocking…

I’m used to turning bad things into good things, seeing the blessing in the curse…

or turning good things into bad things due to panicking at suddenly being presented with an unknown and needing it to feel familiar…

But…

it’s time to turn and face the strange.

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16 thoughts on “The Sense of Being Heard

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      The weirdest part of being heard is when we hear ourselves, really hear our own voice (and I’m not talking about listening to a recording of our speaking voice… that is… eek… hmmm, I wonder what that tells us about our relationship with ourselves?)

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  1. How weird, I also have the feeling i tried to make myself being heard all my life, but i failed, now i take it as a normal reaction. i think my voice or what i say is not proper, that’s why i can’t be heard. A beautiful and intense peice of writing.i have the impression your new sourroundings are taking you to the wild areas of thought too, it’s a creative and inspiring place for you.

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    1. Thank you ❤

      Finally owning a home of my own is opening up a whole new dialogue with myself. There are some aspects of my life which I've not been able to explore, to which this experience gives me access. I get to find out if all those things I said I would do once I settled down are things I'm actually going to do. I get to test my truths, and see how many of them are really true and how many are lies. I also will find out how much of my parents' attitude to a physical home I've absorbed.

      When I was a child my parents had very different attitudes to what a home was. My father was a homebody, my mother was a gypsy. He preferred the countryside, she loved city life. Many of my mother's issues played out in relation to the house, there were times when she was a complete psycho about it, especially with cleaning and tidying (and playing the martyr), hating on anyone who looked like they were relaxing and having fun being there. Generally she was miserable living there and it brought out the worst of her, she used any excuse to get away from it – I was one of those excuses and she used me to live elsewhere while blaming my father. It was my father's dream to own it, and it was a fortress for him. A lot of dramas played out there, and because of it. It both held my parents together and tore them apart.

      So lots of juicy inner stuff, dark and light, may emerge. I actually had a graphic dream about that which was rather disgusting but insightful 😉

      I think much of how we experience being heard comes from ourselves, from how we perceive being heard, and who it is we expect to do the hearing. Learning to really listen to ourselves makes a difference in feeling heard.

      What do you mean by your voice or what you say not being proper?

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      1. maybe you have also experienced that with your parents.it starts there, but then it came up as those things I hadn’t been able to digest in the middle of my midlife crisis.As I child I have never been heard, ergo my shelter in a bookishnand artistic world.I had a recurrent dream for years where i could save myself from a burglar only if i could scream, and i couldn’t;once i screamed and woke up and the nightmare never came back again.I think I have forced my self to many imposed things to be loved by my parents and i failed.i have never been able to say they hurt me as they taught me that sucha thing would have hurt them.Therefore now, i have the impression when i express myself most of the time people can’t understand me so i think there is something physically wrong in my voice, not only in what i have to say.I see myself as different but not in a special sense, but as a misfit.If i wasn’t able to be loved by my parents, i must be lacking plenty of important qualities.i see myself as a baby in the cradle; they could have swapped me and i could have been as everybody else.In a way i always look for a metonymy to spot the evidence for my parents’ choice to destroy me. Everytime i see a child suffering and in distress, i cringe with retroactive fear and apprehension for their future.

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        1. Yes, I also went through many a crisis about not being loved by my parents. What’s wrong with me? – was a mantra of my youth which cut to the quick and caused a lot of waking nightmares. Their love was something that I had to win somehow, but I could never succeed – you can’t succeed in the love quest because then you might stop trying, just as they do once they’ve secured someone’s love. Basically trying to win their love is the only way they know you love them, that they matter to you, that they’re important to you and have power over you. And not giving you love is the only way they know to make sure you’ll never leave them.

          They’re constantly putting your love to the test as they don’t believe in love due to not really being able to feel it.

          The desperation children of narcissists feel about trying to be loved by their parents and the agony of not being loved by them – that’s the wound of the narcissist passed onto us.

          You’re not lacking important qualities, your parents are the ones with the lack of qualities. They couldn’t love you because they don’t know what love is – it’s as simple and complicated as that.

          Andy White’s Going Mad to Stay Sane really helped put it into perspective for me.

          In some ways I view not being loved by my parents as a blessing within a curse. It made me research love, explore it, study it, not just intellectually but in as many ways as I could find to do it. I’m still learning and exploring it. It also taught me that we don’t need it to survive, which means that it is something we do for pleasure, and that changes the relationship with it, which changes all relationships. It makes of love a wonderful bonus rather than a necessity, it’s a gift not an obligation. Something like that. Not sure if I’m explaining this well.

          I love how you dealt with the burglar dream! Reminds me of the stories about the Lucid dreaming tribe – the Senoi. 🙂

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          1. I understand it with my mind but not with my heart, i find it monstruous.
            i subscribe to everyword you say about love, as it should be gracious, not a duty, not an obligation, pleasure and it’s not like a mere material need, a necessity.You read it everywhere “we need love” but if it’s a need we are bound to take the first thing to fill in the void, which is Something appalling.there is a lot of make blieve about love but i cherish the authentic feeling of loveing and being loved as i idetify it with real life. A precious, rare and unknown feeeling fro someone coming from such our background.
            About AW’s book, i tried so many times on his editing website but due to a penpal password i forgot, i have no access to it.At first i was so frustrated, then i have to accept the book doesn’t want to come to my life!!
            I didn’t know about the Senoi- being an insomniac every activity bound to sleep is an una tantum expeirence for me!!

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            1. Our mind can’t force our heart to feel what it does not feel. The mind is different from the heart, it can be cold and detached, and it often thinks about feelings but it doesn’t feel feelings. The heart feels rather than thinks, and that keeps it attached, warm even in the harshest and coldest environments. The heart finds wisdom and understanding in its own way, and that way can be a long and winding path, and needs to be walked with gentleness.

              Maybe the book you need is the one you’re writing 🙂

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              1. That’s my moon in virgo!!! Sometimes we don’t respect our feelings and opt for a rational version of what happens, I think this attitude was our war emergency choice during our childhood.Writing is scary, you ‘ll never know what’s coming out of it, even a Truth we didn’t know we had in ourselves.i see it as a cathartic process in a way.

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                1. I love not knowing what’s going to come out when I write, it’s a journey of self discovery which is precious to those of us who had to hide who we were for so long. Definitely cathartic!

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  2. Oh how I can relate!! to every thing you wrote. I no sooner think I have come to some profound understanding and life throws me something else. It seems to happen more as I get older, I like you accept it as “just the way life is, good or bad.” I love the way you expressed it.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      Life is a bit like a passionate teacher who gets excited when you’ve mastered a lesson and immediately gives you a new lesson to learn which often requires putting into practice the previous lesson to see if you’ve really understood it. The more we use what we learn, the more it becomes a part of us, turning knowledge into knowing. Or something like that.

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