Yesterday I wrote a letter to a writer, who responded with a respectful, thoughtful, introspective, very honest and well-written letter, which I found encouraging. We don’t agree fully nor was that the intent. From the comments that followed his response I extracted even more encouragement through criticisms offered. Now. To be fair, to say many were hardly polite or encouraging is an epic understatement.
My individual style in confrontation is simple: I try my best to see and deal with truth and disregard everything else. It might not be funny, dramatic or violent but so far, for me, it gets the job done.
I get that I have more work to do. That isn’t hard for me to see through the clutter because I know who I am, and what I set out to do: Express my thoughts to another person in a way that he would think openly about. It’s finished.
For that I’m thankful.
Reading all of what was said reminded me that knowing exactly who you are is so important, especially when (as through comments referenced) others seek to inform it by labeling, belittling, or even encouraging you. We respond to what we believe identifies us. Most of us can recognize the need to be careful with negative judgments and dismiss them. It’s still difficult. It’s actually even harder to be careful with positive judgments. What looks like encouragement can actually be stifling.
Depending on what response it brings up in you, someone’s words may be inspiring, challenging growth. Or, they may fuel the ego, strengthening the status quo. I hope the words of encouragement shared are meant to inspire and challenge.
I truly appreciate the VSB forum for everything it is and isn’t.
This felt appropriate today.