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Art of the Force

I often wondered why people slap at the hand that reaches out in friendship and compassion. Why cordial relationships turn into bitter rivalries. People often complain that their prayers aren’t being answered. Why, they ask, does God (or other Deity) not pour out His bountiful blessings?

We are experts at asking. We are not gracious receivers. We say no to the gifts presented to us because we don’t understand the math behind the magic.

I see people receiving exactly what they ask for. They feel hungry and right then, someone will offer some bread. They say dismissively, “That’s nice of you but I don’t like Wonder Bread.” Then in the same breath they say, “I’m starving.” I’m sure someone’s rejected your kind offering before, and you felt bad about it.

ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

I felt bad yesterday evening. A subscriber asked me if I was reading his posts because I have liked them. Apparently, he was also entitled to comments. Entitlement gets us nowhere. I wished he had asked me for a comment instead of accusing me and others of defacing his blog with our Gravatars.

There’s an artist on WordPress whose work I greatly admire and covet, but who has told me hates me and everything I stand for. Every time I show appreciation for his new set of paintings, he sends a kind email to thank me. He is professional. He does not accuse me of abusive behaviour.

The person from yesterday has subscribed to my blog but does not support me. He has “sometimes” read posts. I read all of his and appreciated his work. I now thank him for his complaint because I will now only make time for subscribers who appreciate me.

This blogger is not discussing a UN Security Council report or parliamentary transcripts from New Zealand (lunch break hobbies, don’t ask). He is not publishing a calculus workbook. It’s prose fiction.

And how up myself would I have to be to write detailed critiques without an invitation? Many of my subscribers have actual problems. Like stroke recovery, empty nests, depression, cancer, fibromyalgia, affairs, divorce, bad romances and the loss of loved ones. They ask for support when they need it.

Hours before I got blasted for reading a blog without leaving a comment, a lovely young woman from Indonesia submitted a comment on S/M. I had read her review of the 50SOG film and wanted her to add a positive appraisal of (the film) to the discussion here. I asked her to please read my post and write a comment. It took two days before she finally agreed, and then I had to persuade her to not worry about the level of analysis in other comments. I value her contrary opinion. I might watch the film now. Her compassionate viewpoint is changing my mind.

The process is simple: Ask. (Wait.) Receive. Thank.

A few months ago someone published a photo looking really similar to my rig, which I’d published days earlier. My comment answered the author’s question, “What is art?”  I also explained the similarities in our posts. I was greeted with, “How did you find us because …” I got an eyeful of words. I thought, “Did you not just ask a question? What is wrong with you?!”

We are not gracious receivers and because of that, we punish people who are trying to be nice.

ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

Back to my first point…

Wonder bread. Occasionally, a person will take the bread and grind it underfoot. You could say that such a person is ungrateful. I wouldn’t worry about name-calling. Instead, think about how many gifts you might have turned away yourself and try to pay extra attention next time. Your sworn enemy could be His Ambassador. Your arch rival’s hiccup gave you a two point advantage. Warmly thank the person. You needed the win this time.

One of the reasons I have a strict GOYA policy (I’ll explain on March 30) is this. The genius mathematician upstairs doesn’t care that you want a pastrami sandwich on whole wheat bread with the ends cut off, coconut oil spread instead of butter, black cheddar thinly sliced, dill pickles and a dollop of sour cream, served by a tall redhead in a tight shirt.

He hears you yelling at the top of your lungs, “Please give me something to eat RIGHT NOW.”

Let’s play a game, Jedi Knights. Pay closer attention next time you use the Force and answer these questions from Björk’s song, All is Full of Love:

  • Are you receiving?
  • Is your phone on the hook?
  • Are your doors all shut?

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

62 replies on “Art of the Force”

My favourite country I’ve never been to. But I can correct all that soon enough. The Sugar Cubes will get a lookup soon. Thank you for the reference. xo

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I have read this one before but re read it again because after reading your recent Jedi post. Received the words more deeply this time around, maybe I can relate to it. The 3 questions at the end had me thinking of myself. Caused me to be more open in a comment, than I normally would be. I recently been mulling over the relationship of a friendship at work, and its good sometimes fun, like this person though we are different. Sometimes creative banter and other times anger towards each other. I thought about not trying anymore, shutting down a bit towards this person. But I like the connection, this person is a creative, I have been inspired to write and make many pieces of art out of our good / bad encounters. So I wonder if I am not that gracious receiver or I expect too much from this person and just stay open..This post really does make me think!

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Thanks for commenting Jennifer. I am having the exact same problem. Except, the person doesn’t inspire creativity; only stress eating. I realise that staying in this situation will drain my energy, which is not true friendship does. We should feel invigorated around friends and be buoyed up by their loving support. We are around a person out of habit and not wanting to come out of the toxic situation because it’s too much of a burden to start over. I was going to write a post about it but I thought I want to focus on “not pain.” Thank you very much for sharing your story.

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Thank you for your words. Sometimes we need to feel the pain to get past it and move on. I appreciate your feedback. You are correct we don’t need to be around people that are a drain of energy and toxic. Moving on sometimes only option. Have a great day!!

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Some people do not want solutions – they have a problem for each one. Oh the whingers of this world are exhausting!
Damned if you show appreciation or care, damned if you don’t. Fear (of change? of success?) is one thing but I have seen self-sabotage far too often. Stuck in quick sand, they call you over not to be pulled out but so they can drag you in too.
There is no cure for their diseased minds so best to walk away.
Gosh, I am sounding frustrated here. Oooops!

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You don’t sound frustrated, but right on the mark. Thanks for reading the post. I had a scary experience with a blogger and I am hoping he clicks through and reads this article. It is time we stop supporting the types who don’t support our blogs but believe their work is the Second Coming. That attitude is just silly.

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+1
I have no time for the entitled and I am glad you feel the same way.
If anything, I feel guilt when my day job keeps me from blogging and reading and commenting. Sometimes though, I just can’t think of anything clever enough to say 🙂 But that’s ok because there is a great supportive community on here xx

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Thank you very much. “Adventures with oversized egos in WordPressland.” You’d be surprised at how many expect that readers are waiting to worship their every utterance. I don’t want to change these people, as they’ll usually get disillusioned and burn out, leaving the really nice folks to enjoy harmonious fellowship. Thank you for commenting.

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SB, you’re so right when you say we all have busy, and sometimes frustrating lives, and unfortunately as our WordPress friends list grows, we don’t always get the time to comment on every article we read, but it doesn’t mean we don’t take it on board. I’m sorry to hear that another blogger gave you such a hard time, over something that; in the grand scheme of things is meaningless. Keep writing, smiling, and let it go over the top-of-your-head::D

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I first read this in a hurry while I was leaving work- I was skimming (something I too frequently do), and I thought it was about commenting on blogs. Rather I thought it was about praying for blog comments… which I found absurd. Then, I realized in my feverish haze… (I have a cold or something more sinister which could result in the need for medication) that I misunderstood, and I should read it again later.
SO, here I am trying to find something witty and helpful to say- and I am at a loss of words- and this may in fact be a ridiculous and hard to follow comment (After all, it has only been a few hours, and I am certainly not healed- I just WANT TO WRITE SOMETHING!!!)
So, here is my contribution- it is probably horribly off topic, and later when I reread this- and comprehend it- I will be ashamed.
Here goes- I love when people comment on my blog- I always try to reply= and I get a silly little thrill that they spoke to me. I also wish there was a like button so that I can like when people like what I write. (It leaves me flattered and humbled.) SO, just know I am going to reread this later. I miss chatting with you.
Oh!!! Want to hear some fascinating news??? The man I call The Blogger shared one of my post on his blog!!! I felt like a movie star. IS that silly? Okay. bye for now. Hope this is not too much of a mess. I can’t wait to read this when I feel better- I feel like it was something awesome. I hate missing out on awesome
yours,
Ladyquirky. 🙂

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Thank you LQ, I enjoyed your comment a great deal, and I’m sure readers will, too. It is a confusing read for skimmers and I sometimes enjoy when people misunderstand my point, so that’s okay. This post had nothing to do with blogging. I had it queued for a month in the future. However, I had to move it forward when a subscriber accused me of trolling his blog with my like button. I thought I was being supportive by reading and liking his post. That’s why I added the emoticons before and after the rant, because it was not originally a part of the post. The point I was generally making was that people pray for things and then when the flood gates open, they curse God, forgetting that every time they prayed the rewards were stacking up with each request. I was writing about someone I know, who regularly says no to people offering advice and support just because she doesn’t want to be their friend. I often get helped out by people who dislike me in ways they are not aware of. I have a “don’t hate” policy because of that. You never know who’ll deliver the goods. I wonder about people sometimes.

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The amazing thing is- sometimes even not understanding something can help you. You get what you need from reading- and it does not always matter if that was not the original intent. (Just my humble opinion.) but, how could anyone hate you???? You are uber supportive and kind!

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One of my favorite mentors taught me one day “that without an asshole I would die.” They serve as the portal for shit moving from inside to the outer world. That is their function. 🙂 When I am acting in right right mind they force me to me mindful of how I handle my own shit. You turned shit into an eloquent perfumed reminder for us all.

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Thank you so much, PG. I just had to vent my frustration with people and how they can’t just do a simple thing like be polite and ask for something. And you’re right, it was an opportunity for self reflection on how I treat others. Be well, SB.

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I thought you did a masterful job and provided an example of what to do with assholes. 🙂 Maybe you could do another one with other body parts.

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If he has the discriminating and exquisite taste to read your work then I would venture he is most excellent.

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PG, Surf Sensei has commented on your repsonse to S/M. At some point, when you find the time, would you be good enough to read it? He was appreciative of your sentiments. Warm wishes, SB.

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Well, everyone thinks that they’re the coveted Protagonist in their own story (ignoring that they’re just extras in the novels of everyone else) so that’s where the entitlement comes from.They have to get what they asked for when they want it and the exact way that they imagined it. I’ve found that most people like this cannot be helped. Special little snowflakes don’t need to thank.

Life has taught me to be thankful for everything I get no matter how small it seems to be. Though I realized that sometimes (when fail to respond to comments, forget to text my friends back, when I have to do real life stuff) I could come off as aloof or ungrateful, not because I am ungrateful but because I’m awkward. I guess the moral of this is to be careful with assumptions.

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Thanks so much Tahira, and you’re right. We have to be careful with assumptions. You’re on target again. That’s what the A in GOYA means. It is always good to ask questions and follow through, but part of friendship means trust. And there’s that give and take which is necessary to keep the relationship going. Supporting each other means letting the person go off on their own and then warmly receiving them when they get back. So, I think you’re doing quite fine. Your comment is much appreciated, Tahira. Have a great day.

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This is quite a funny coincidence! I just saw a beggar on my way home. I would have given him a larger amount but I don’t have much change with me. so, I gave him a one dollar coin. Instead of being grateful, he glared and shouted at me that I should have given him a larger amount… I just told him that he should be thankful that someone even cared to give him something and I just left afterwards.

Btw, that blogger was very rude. He should also be grateful that someone gives a damn about his blog. Instead, he just whines like a brat.

Based on the comments of other bloggers and what I am seeing myself, it seems that there’s quite a number of assholes on wp. I’m surprised that I haven’t personally encountered one myself (hope to stay that way but I knew better 🙂 )

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Thanks for your support. I encounter chooser/beggars all the time. It’s amusing because they would rather “starve” than say thank you. I was livid yesterday, but this post was queued before the incident. I just got a vivid example to go with it and had to just stick up for myself. It is true we just need to see the situation for what it is: we are getting what we ask for. The thing you want is right in front of us. There are lots of AH everywhere. Thankfully, I’ve been to battle with them and have the necessary training.

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I always encounter their kind in the workplace and in everyday life. So, a fly could distract me far better than they could…

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Well, I happen to have turned to the Dark Side, anyway… In my times of trouble, I am receiving more than I’d ever been asking for. It took me a little time to acknowledge it and redirect my energies to opening my doors to what’s coming, instead of letting them shut behind what was gone. And btw nice to read you again, my friend. Hugs, HC

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Thanks a lot for this. This is something I am vigilant about every day. I do want to make sure I am paying attention to what I am asking for and to be ready with gratitude when it comes to me. I am glad you’re using the Force in your own way. Warm hugs to you and I am happy to have your support. SB.

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A complex issue simply argued. For a long time I worked with business people who were struggling with financial crisis, sometimes for years on end. I was surprised how many people refused my help. One day, after a particularly odd meeting I asked the CEO why he turned me down. He replied that his struggle had become comfortable for him, he knew his place in it and anything else scared him.

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I’m shocked by what you’ve just shared because that is a remarkably honest answer from the CEO. Yes, it is true that people will say no when the help is right there even though they’re struggling. Change is scary and sometimes being loved unconditionally is scarier, too. An important lesson to learn. Thank you so much for adding this personal story.

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In all graciousness, I appreciate you SB. I am suffering from intense empty nest and quite a few doors have been shut in my life. I treasure friendships, and I especially treasure ours. I appreciate you with all my heart because when I made a transition from my artist website to WP blog, you were so kindhearted to welcome. There is a few windows opening slowly with a few cracks of outside air coming in. Thanks for your post, but most of all the friendship. May you always be blessed. BHB

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Thank you so much, BHB for your friendship and continued support. Every single person who supports me receives a large amount of gratitude. Just how many painting projects have been inspired just by the warmth I’ve received here… There was a time when I was lost and thought I would never find my voice again. Being here among beautiful people gave it back to me. May you always receive His richest blessings, Barbara. Love, SB.

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I have the same gratitude for you. Your support and encouragement are a gift. Thank you my friend, SB. Much Love to you.

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Thanks, Nidhi, as always for being the wonderful Hallucinating Angel. The doors that were shut were the ones that needed to be shut and the new ones are pointing you in the right direction. Lots of love, SB.

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