In terms of the worst advice I’ve ever received, I would say it has rather more to do with the delivery than the content. Or shall I say a matter of invitation. As such I’d have to say the worst advice is unsolicited advice.
Those moments where you bare your soul, show your underbelly and just want to feel heard without judgement. Worse yet is those who usurp the actual conversation and prompt without invitation… or should I say pry, bulldoze or other.
There you are minding your own business when all of a sudden somebody would like to “help” by telling you how they think you could be doing something better.
Not realizing it took everything you had in you to just show up in the first place, even if it is the grocery store, and how you are currently “compiled” was the best you could do at the time.
Facing the day, and braving the grocery store was the accomplishment of the day! Apparently, they believe my bandwidth is bigger and better than this, and feel the need to improve upon whatever item/process/talent/procedure/fashion or insert other thing here that you could be doing.
Well, news bulletin, I’m a human being and I’d like to be the “being part” of my human ness at this present moment, not jumping through someone else’s regimental hoops, with their perceived and possibly fictitious values, policies and life view, of which I likely don’t share, at the moment. Thank you very much.
I should really have encased this in a story, but there are just so many awful moments that I choose not to relive. With parents, relatives, in-laws of both the parent and the sibling kind, religious folks, strangers and whoever else.
Hopefully on the re-write of this, as this is just my crappy first draft of which writer Ann Lamott likes to refer to it, albeit her version has more colourful metaphors that my upbringing will not allow me to repeat.
But starting somewhere is better than starting nowhere, so here we are. Like the icky oil of the mustard container that has to get out before the mustardy part on the initial squeeze, or the first pancake, a dufus start is better than no start at all, in most cases. Although there’s value in the dufus start.
That speck of real mustard on the first squeeze or the wonky slightly charred pancake has the spark of a decent and potentially great idea. Perfection is overrated. There, I said it. OCD’ers will gasp, the religious community might hold me in contempt. Phooey. Have your wound up life and stressed out rituals.
Most people who point the finger at someone else are only triggered by it because it’s a mirror to something they despise in themselves. Kindly, leave me out of it. I’m marching to the beat of my own drum.
Which is coincidentally the best advice I’ve received! It has been a balm to my spirit body as well as soul, and served me well.
My mother said it. She and I were not only like oil and water, more like elephants and spaceships. We were not even on the same planet never mind the same stratosphere. Wonderful woman, she just “didn’t know what to do with me”. Which she said often of which I had no concept of what she meant by that. I do now-ish. We had no means of connection… not until later in life anyways, of which became fulfilling to both of us, I’m happy to report.
Most people who have died and went to heaven and ended up coming back, of which I know a few, have all across the board said that what they thought was important here, not just the stuff-ey stuff but values and principles, outlook on life and the like are different there. That’s probably more existential than most reading this would like to get and I acknowledge that, but it is interesting to note that we could be showing up differently on this side of earth and clearly there are better ways of really living.