This is an interesting post for me to write. If you have been following my site, you know I often write about intentions and motives, more so examining them before one speaks and acts. I’m someone who likes to understand things because it does make me feel better when I have the facts I need to make an informed decision. But sometimes I catch wind of more than just clarifying during fact-finding missions. Sometimes I get the sense the explanation has little to do with helping the other person understand, and everything to do with feeling more secure in themselves. On the surface that isn’t a bad thing, but as I am not someone who enjoys surface anything, I have to wonder what’s really going on?
I can actually and sadly speak to this from personal experience. I hate, and I mean HATE being misunderstood. As a Buddhist, I practice Right Speech, as much as my current awareness allows me. Right Speech really is the second part of things, with Right Views, or Understanding being what leads to Right Speech being, well right. This speaks to the heart of intentions and motives. When my views are incorrect, my intent in making sure others understand my words exactly how I mean them can get muddled. In truth, I’m learning the reason they aren’t fully grasping my meaning is because I don’t fully have a lock on why I’m saying what I’m saying. The lost in translation began in my mind, shooting out of my mouth with too much speed and not enough thought about how it would be received. The creation of misunderstanding lies with me. So with all that, why would I have a problem with someone else doing what I partake in as well? It goes back to motives and intent.
My motives are based in my faith and need to embody the Noble Eightfold Paths. I want to speak with compassion. I want to speak only to be helpful and supportive. I want to speak to educated. My intent is to be understood to accomplish those things, so I clarify and restate ( I hate repeating myself as well but I’m working on that). What I’m really finding is some people clarify not to deepen an understanding of their words, but to support their ego and their need to be right and superior. I know people who talk and talk and talk, not to fill the dead air or even to be informative, but to boost their ego and enjoyment in having an audience. I think we have all been there. I know I have been from time to time, but there is something to growing older that has you wanting that captive audience less and less.
So yes, I understand having a blog, promoting my blog, and then railing against those that seek attention to showcase their ideas seems hypocritical. Would it help if I said my reason for this blog began out of a need to express some deep pains I was having. Not to go into too much detail but I went through a breakup, lost my job, all my money, and really didn’t know if I was going to be alive the next minute let alone the next hour. I survived the day, then the week, and while in therapy it was discussed getting back into writing. I had four books written but none of them was where my head was so I decided to blog. I didn’t care who was reading it (honestly I still don’t care as much as I should who does now), I just had to and have to express myself. I feel I am more so talking to the Universe, and I am sharing it with those that WANT to listen. That is the difference.
See what I just did. I explained myself so not to be misunderstood and seen as a hypocrite. I paused before writing that paragraph but honestly, I wanted and needed you to know, even though I have an about page you can get all that from. This is what I mean by making one feel better. We explain a lot because we don’t want to be seen as something we don’t feel we are. We have this need to be represented as we see ourselves, but a really good friend of mine keeps telling me the same thing and I feel it’s about time I listen. He says, ” What other people think of me is none of my business.” I think he shared this is a quote he got from someplace else, but I don’t care either way. The truth is, he is right. All this wasted time explaining our position and for what. So you think I’m judgmental and a hypocrite; thank you for sharing that. I very well might be and as I continue my insight meditation (Vispassana) I will examine and maybe overcome that. In any case, my life is mine to live and if I feel I’m being true and speaking true to my spirit than that is all that matters.
I encourage everyone to take time to look inside their intentions. One could argue explaining things fully no matter intention is about making yourself and the other person feel better always. That might be correct. But I’m also left thinking very Zen in this moment. In Zen, the teacher doesn’t explain much of anything. It’s all about finding the answers yourself. I recall reading H.H. the Dalai Lama said, ” when you speak, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Instead of judging motives and intent, maybe it’s important to just sit still sometimes. Maybe that person is talking to feel better about themselves. You just learned that about them, and maybe there is a reason you did.
I am a person that will continue working on Right Views and Right Speech until I feel comfortable with where they are. Until then, I’ll probably continue to clarify and explain. And yes, I do feel better now.