The Fall 

If you think about the seasons, of course you know that Fall is the one between summer and winter. Although only North Americans call it Fall, as in other parts of the world we call it Autumn. The photos of today’s shooting are the fallen leaves after a storm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you think of age, though, Fall is a period of maturity verging on decline. The photo below of the dried and aged leaves show exactly how beautiful ageing is.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you look for the verb, Merriam Webster will define it, as:

  • to come or go down quickly from a high place or position; to come or go down suddenly from a standing position; to let yourself come or go down to a lower position

Now I could also talk about someone close to my heart, who fell very badly. This someone is doing well though, and has been very lucky to have escaped unharmed, except for some bruises and head ache.

This accident has been paradoxically helpful, because it has served to bring two people back to each other.

Their conflict made me ponder about the uncontrolled use and fall of words, which are inherent to arguments, where negative emotions supersede reason, creating sentences that become stories. People believe them as the only truth, not noticing the damage they create for their power to crush, to crack, and open deep wounds. People are left  with misunderstandings, which open abyssal fissures in any relationship.

These two particular people had never experienced such a conflict, because they have never had an eye to eye conversation before. But there was enough resentment ‘garbage’ accumulated, and at least for one of them, it was about time to say enough.

I am reading the book ‘Non-Violent Communication’, from Marshall Rosenberg. I am devouring it because it epitomizes all we should know to avoid the unguided fall of words in our communication with others.

“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”

– Epictetus

This book brings very simple concepts to help us take responsibility for our feelings. They are simple and for that, are one of the most difficult things to do. We are better off when we understand the root of our feelings. Think about this:

What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings but not the cause.

Well, according to Rosenberg, when someone gives a negative message, we can receive it in four ways:

  1. we blame ourselves. Perhaps because of lower self esteem and need of acceptance from the person who judged us.
  2. we blame others. We might be angry because we feel lack of gratitude for what we have done for the person.
  3. we sense our own feelings and needs. By making an effort to recognise our feelings and needs, we focus our attention on what hurts us instead of blaming others.
  4. we sense other’s feelings and needs. Conversely, we attempt to make a conscious effort to understand what is behind the person’s message to us.

Options 3 and 4 are better options. If we deepen our awareness and accept responsibility for our feelings, we will be able to connect them with our needs, expectations, beliefs and values, and might as well stop blaming others.

The two people I mentioned before, blamed each other. Big time. And lots of pride and resentment kept them apart for a few months.

I am partial to the situation and for that prefer not to ‘judge’ neither of them, and instead help them get back together.

I hope they will succeed; and that particularly they realise that love is the only thing that connects them and not a 5 minutes conversation that got out of hand. Accepting what triggered their emotional burst, being aware of each other’s feelings  and needs, and respecting it, is a wiser choice.  Pride just sets them apart.

That is a choice any of us can make everyday in every conflict, other than opting to regret it later when the situation has grown beyond repair.

I wish for these two people to find each other again, and to enjoy the changing seasons together, from Fall to Summer, many years to come.

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

33 thoughts on “The Fall 

  1. Lovely to have you back, Lucille. Beautiful autumn photos, but even more beautiful words.

    I was recently in a situation like you describe “where negative emotions supersede reason, creating sentences that become stories. ” with someone i love and respect. The only way out is love, and as you say, not focusing on the over blown emotions where both parties felt hurt, but focusing only on the strengths and goodness of the friendship. I think we are nearly out of the woods. I hope so. some things are worth fighting for, worth digging deep into our own negative emotions and transmuting them.

    thanks for your post. Im sure a lot of people will gain benefit from it. Sending much love and healing to your two friends – with a friend like you behind them, I’m sure they will make it out of the woods too.

    Big hug, Debbie xxx

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    1. Hi Debbie. Thanks for being here and for your insightful reply. It’s much more meaningful when my thoughts resonate with others and also with their personal experiences. We learn from each other, and discover other perspectives. It’s an eye opener. I hope your situation got resolved for you. The people I mentioned are still slowly communicating and struggling to find each other. I feel sorry for one of them who is doing all possible to rebuild the relationship but, it takes two to tango, and the other one seems to choose to remain locked in a mindset of pride and resentment. I don’t think I can help anymore. I feel sad for not being able to help them but I’m not responsible for anyone’s decisions and that gives me peace of mind.
      How are you doing? Plans to go back home for Christmas?
      Huge hug.
      Lucile 😘

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      1. HI Lutje :)… I feel like your friend who has done all i possibly can and more – the other person is slowly changing – I think we will make it through – its a friendship – and yes, we can only do what we can and if they other person choses to remain locked in duality – in the end theres nothing we can do… but pray. we are not going home for xmas, too expensive. we usually travel somewhere but this holiday season we just feel like staying put, despite the cold. maybe some short trips close by. so good to have you back in blogsville ! xoxo

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        1. Hi Debbie! Yes, there is only so much one can do for others. Choices are very personal and decision making studies show that humans are invariably making stupid ones. So, let’s pray!
          I wish you a lovely holiday season and trips. I’m heading to Brazil next week.
          Xxx

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  2. So nice to “see” you Lucille! Hope all is well with you! Love the message of this post and your stunning photos! I agree that Autumn is a better word, “fall” means so many other things, but it’s ingrained in my brain to say “fall” this time of year!

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  3. Good to see you back, Lucille….and I’m with you on autumn…. Also on use of language. I read George Steiner’s Language and Silence years ago, a very powerful and thought provoking book

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  4. Glad to hear from you – and a brilliant post. I used Rosenbergs book in a group of colleagues during a couple of months. There is much good advice to be had in it…but as you say, maybe not so easily done in reality. We practiced it in scenes. I guess we need to use the technique by practising often… Just like we might use autumn instead of fall. Use it.

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    1. Hi Leya. Heartfelt thanks for your considerate comment.
      How interesting to learn about your experience. Made me curious. I’m practicing it alone, what requires much discipline, and for that I can imagine that what you did was much better to achieve results. As you rightly said, we have to use it. Are your colleagues still doing it?
      Cheers.

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      1. HiLucile,
        I do not think we think about it, but hopefully something of the technique is being unconsciously used. Now you made me go looking for his book again. Good!

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  5. of course I like the red leaves, but more than them, I LOVE that last photo!! Exquisite! Where I live we don’t call it fall because there is nothing to fall in the desert! We have two seasons: hot and dang hot. Words…yeah, they sometimes get in the way of things. But for me, the biggest problem is what people “do” that makes me go haywire, or love again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi BF. Thank you! Your comments and visits are like finding a oasis in the desert. Well, you’re going to say that these are just nice words as I took sibling to reply.
      Sorry! I hope you didn’t go haywire….and that you still love me!
      I kind of know the feeling of having these two types of hot seasons in the year, though not as extreme as what you experience.
      All well there? Friends again? 😉
      I need to warn you that I posted that bridge…

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      1. Yeah…living here in the desert, I sorta like to believe I’m just like an oasis in the desert! But only you are going to recognize that!
        No worries on reply time, I’ve been more offline lately than on, and am way behind on comments and stuff. If I were in an ocean instead of a desert, I’d be sinking.
        But yeah, all is well, just busy, like you!! And I already saw that dang bridge!!!!!!!!

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        1. You know that you were very close to my house, if you visited the bridge. Did you make photos?
          Happy to learn that you don’t mind my late replies, as it’s been impossible to change that.
          Plans to travel during the holiday season?

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          1. No, I wasn’t “near” the bridge. I’m not sure what I meant by that statement?? I have no plans to travel, maybe I’ll do a Lucile and do a post about where I live.

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  6. What dang bridge? I’ll have to go looking now (sigh! 🙂 ) I know, I know- shouldn’t snoop on other’s conversations but it’s one of the joys of blogging, isn’t it? Learning from the wisdom of others and smiling at their exchanges. I miss you when I don’t make time to come here, Lucile.
    So easy to ‘let fly’ for 2 minutes but then you have to watch the hurt and the recoil. The wall of silence you have engineered. Oh, don’t I know it. Fortunately we’re still together. We don’t always talk. Sometimes safer because we are very different. Hoping for a happy ending for these two and thank you for caring.

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