So I made the previous two posts private because X and I had a great conversation today and I wouldn’t want her to go back and read what I wrote and get upset. Not that I thought what I wrote was wrong, because I don’t think that. If I had to do it over again I would do the same thing. And my blog is my blog – I blog about everything. But now that I now her on a more personal level, and the issue has been dealt with, I think that if she ever came across it, it would be hurtful to her, and it’s not worth it.
I’ve also been thinking about Right Speech lately. Right Speech is a concept from Buddism that has four precepts:
avoiding four types of harmful speech: lies (words spoken with the intent of misrepresenting the truth); divisive speech (spoken with the intent of creating rifts between people); harsh speech (spoken with the intent of hurting another person’s feelings); and idle chatter (spoken with no purposeful intent at all).
It is so relevant to me because I use words all the time and my words can be biting, and sometimes, while my main intent is not to hurt, sometimes I just don’t care. Especially when I’m speaking/writing about some principle I hold dear (and there are many – too many), I sometimes allow my words to get away from me. Other people have described them as daggers, really piercing, really hurtful. It’s hard to strike a balance to figure out what is speech that people just don’t want to hear, and speech that’s divisive in a harmful way or speech that’s only intended to hurt. In general, though, I try really hard to stick to these precepts.
Anyway, on a website about Right Speech, it said that the foundation of Right Speech was Deep Listening.
In his book The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Deep listening is the foundation of Right Speech. If we cannot listen mindfully, we cannot practice Right Speech. No matter what we say, it will not be mindful, because we’ll be speaking only our own ideas and not in response to the other person.”
I had never thought about listening as a part of right speech. And it was in having our conversation today that I wanted to take down the posts after we’d talked. The conversation was the main reason I took down the posts. Because once I met her and listened to her and we really talked, we came to a common understanding that wasn’t about right or wrong but was about learning and growing and moving forward. It was more important to me that things change than me be right and righteous.
I realized that the way I approached her, even through email, was not the way I would have approached a friend, that I went into it with my guard up, feeling like I needed to protect myself, quite afraid of what the outcome was going to be. I don’t think that was wrong in the moment; again, had I to do it all again, I would do it the same, including writing the posts. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone in my feelings, and I felt singled out, like the only girl not invited to the prom. But afterwards, I realized that she was really interested in learning and growing from the experience, and now, if I were to ever again have an issue with her, I would approach it so very differently.
I enjoy how life comes together and creates a confluence of events that teach you so many things. All’s well.