“Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” - Francis Bacon
It is true that she who is best understood is also best at communicating. The broader your vocabulary, the greater your eloquence, the fewer instances of ambiguity you create. It has always been my ultimate goal to be understood. Not just by others, but by myself as well. I want to know WHY I do the things I do, why I say the things I say. What are my intentions? How can I know these things unless I ask myself and then attempt to explain? On more than one occasion, I have experienced epiphany through writing.
When I am hurt, angry, frustrated, or confused, I tend to gravitate toward the nearest pen. I document my stream of consciousness, whatever words appear, I put down. Usually, I begin in a frenzy, the pen furiously dancing across the paper, with no concern for my penmanship; at this point, I’m just trying to capture it all. Then, I come to a point where the heat has left my hand, and the steam has evaporated from my head. Catharsis achieved, the fogginess of my emotions clears and I am left with one question: Why?
Why did this upset me so much? What is it about me that reacted the way that I did? If I was crying, I wonder what it was that hurt me so. If I was angry, I question the source of my anger. Each of these lines of questioning inevitably ends in a self-revelatory conclusion. Sometimes, I must admit things that are difficult. Damn that Day 5 of the Course in Miracles. Started reading it over 2 years ago, one meditation a day for each day of the year. I stopped at Day 5.
“The reason you think you are upset is not the real reason you are upset.”
When we know our reasons, we know ourselves. Occasionally, when I decide to be the better me, I try to consciously monitor my intentions behind my every word and action. It is when I do this, that I am jolted back to the reality that I am not the altruistic wondergoddess I sometimes take myself for. I can be just as petty, just as small-minded, and just as mean as those I criticize. It is these characteristics in me I loathe so much that drive me to admonish any person I witness displaying them.
In order to improve ourselves, we must accept that we have areas in need of improvement. I may not be perfect, but I will strive to be the first to notice my flaws, and if I am bested, I will strive to react with the gracious demeanor of one who is informed by a good citizen that she has toilet paper attached to her 5-inch heels -- with grace, dignity, and a modicum of appreciation.