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What do you do when you are....the elephant in the room?


This blog post comes from an experience I had this past month where I was confronted with my own uncomfortable behaviors that have left others with some hurt feelings. Those unintentional faux pas that leave other people reeling when you've made a comment or a text that left them feeling wounded.


My initial reaction was confusion. I hadn't even realized what I had said in the text message. I wanted to blame it on not being fully present during the text because of the crazy day I was having juggling kids, grand baby and my fighting dogs, an attempt to get everyone settled down and out of the house and onto my coaching call later that evening. Transition times often leave me, unaware, not fully present with what I'm doing. And the confusion started to clear. And I can't believe that my unthoughtful message said what it said. I wounded another soul and I was crushed by my own carelessness.


I had to take 100% responsibility for my lack of care and concern. But was it an innocent text? I want so badly to excuse my inappropriate behavior. But I just can't! I have been cleaning up my brain for years now and I refuse to make the blame for anyone interpreting my inability of being fully present any longer. (Otherwise, have them take blame for "misinterpreting my words", like they had some control over what I was or was not thinking or saying).


I oftentimes ignore my sweet husband. I know, you can't believe it either. He's really amazing and there are so many times I catch myself not being fully present, missing what he is trying to say to me, and saying something back with exasperation that, Hey, it's not my fault, I wasn't really in the room with you, even when my body is sitting right next to you, I have my head in the clouds and I don't want to take responsibility. I want to blame it on something else. But in reality it's a mismanaged mind.


Do I really need to spend time repeating all the things that need to get done tomorrow or for the next week a thousand times a day? It's like I have OCD on thinking and planning. It needs to stop. When I put things before people I have a tendency to completely check out. So why do I think it's a good time to text someone when I'm not fully there? I have this inner need to complete things, like a check off list in my brain. But when I do not take the time to be present, to pay attention to the person I'm communicating with I show them that they are not as important as what I think I need to do. And that is not the person I want to be.


I'm not saying that my tasks aren't important. But the message I have been sending to others it that my to do list is more important than being present with others.


In the past I've had friends sit me down and tell me how frustrating it is when I check out. I used to isolate when life in my head became too overwhelming for me. Checking out for a time to rest and give myself time to breathe wasn't the issue. It was checking out to the level of completely ignoring the relationship for days, weeks, sometimes months. And the message that I was sending was, you just aren't that important to me.


Now, for those of you out there who know me, you'd pause right here and say....Shel you are being too harsh on yourself, you are such a sweet person, you always make me feel so loved and supported. It's impossible that you intentionally set out to harm others with your unchecked mind. You may even want to give me permission since I'm usually working several jobs and dropping things to support others. (Awe, thank you!!!) But it's a lie. I'm not always fully present when it counts.


Sometimes I say harmful things. I just want to own them. I want to be more present, pause and just say I'm sorry. I want to address that I can create situations where I am not present, therefore, I'm not taking you into consideration. I am not fully hearing what has come out of my mouth or into a text and you deserve better from me.


I am not saying I need to be perfect. As a matter of fact, it is in moments like this when I'm faced with my imperfections that I am really able to grow and become more of the me I truly want to be. A kinder, more connected version. I want to practice really being present with the people I'm sitting with, that includes the person that I'm in a text conversation with. Because people are important to me. And maybe by revealing my own failings I can help you be more present too.


So what Is the confession all about? I want to bring awareness to my own shortcomings in an attempt to just own the life I live. I desire to slow down, and really connect. And it starts with me. When I am honest that I don't have it all together I can invite you into not having it all together too while challenging myself (and maybe you) to take some time to let go of the to do list, or the things list or the worry list or the doing it perfect list and just jump into the people list long enough to decide that when you blow it, like I do..... allow it to bring you into the present, let go of your excuses and tell the other person.....I'm sorry, I see what I did, I acknowledge the pain that was caused, I care about you and want you to know that you matter, your pain matters to me.


I spent years being disconnected. I want to live a more present life. I will make mistakes. I will try to blame "misunderstanding" on you, but it's really me. And I am owning it. I'm owning that I sometimes am the elephant in the room. I'm that thing that everyone else is afraid to talk about....I'm talking about it because it's important. I take responsibility.


Taking ownership of managing my mind is 100% my responsibility. Being present is my responsibility. Choosing people over things is the most loving thing I can give to myself and others. Yes, it's normal for the mind to check out at times. But when I have the choice to send a text or respond to a conversation I want to be present for you.


Practicing presence takes courage sometimes. Owning when I've blown it, takes a lot of courage. Bringing things into the light is worth it. It allows me to have more compassion for myself and others when they blow it too.


Being human can be hard work. Being present with other humans is always worth it.


Coach Shel

DammGirl Coaching



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