Monday, 20 May 2013

Waiting Room Chat That Left Me Questioning.

Making new friends or being friendly with strangers often is a result of finding our common ground and building from there. But why is that we we so often seek misery as our foundation for building? 

This week, as I sat in the waiting room at the Breast Cancer Centre, I really listened to what was happening around me. I was with my mom and we were waiting to see the surgeon for her post surgical follow up. (All of Mom's results were really positive. Thanks for asking.) This particular doctor is one who takes her time with each of her patients -- whatever time is needed. Often the wait can be long as she gets backed up as the day goes on. Waiting is fine with us because we know that when its our turn she will give her undivided attention to only those who are in the room, and answer every question more than once if necessary to be sure all are leaving her office feeling the very best that they can. The waiting room was a two and a half hour experience and it was so incredibly interesting to me.  

Hi, my name is Kate and I am an eavesdropper. ("Hi Kate").  I can't help myself. I am so incredibly interested in people, the way we think, and in trying to offer a perhaps new or alternate idea, that any chance to hear people share their thoughts on anything captures my attention. This was not only no exception, but it was an incredible eye opening experience. 

For years I have been learning and now teaching that what expands in your life is whatever you choose to give your attention to. (The Law of Attraction) And now here I was sitting in a room full of women who were in some stage of their cancer treatment and I couldn't help but notice that there was not as much focus on healing as I would have expected. My mother, and perhaps one other, were the only ones who were focusing on the good stuff that was going on. (I am convinced that that is one of the reasons that Mom's results have come back as wonderfully as they did. Her outlook has been exceptional.)

I was not at all surprised by the sharing that was going on. I think women are known for enjoying bonding time with each other. I think that that sharing is important in building any kind of expanded outlook or idea in the world. Sharing a new favourite wine, restaurant, hairdresser or blog is a wonderful way to find what's good. Sharing about what is "less loved" can also be helpful. Tried, tested and unloved is often a great product to avoid. But Ladies, where is your focus at????

The conversations were varied in topic and yet the ribbon theme was "lack" and the underlying energy was dark. On top of that, each topic was shared with a powerful emotional attachment. Uh oh.....

Topic + Strong Emotion = Manifestation

The ladies that I listened to complained about not only the long wait (which was mildly surprising considering the level of committed care we were all receiving in turn). They complained about Dr.s that they had not had to work with but had heard bad things about. They compared their individual levels of hardship in life as if they were competing for some sort of prize. They chatted about our heath care system in general, a likely topic on which to find common ground given the current hospital waiting room situation. But the conversation was NOT about how well they been cared for in our Canadian health care system or how blessed they felt to be here and not elsewhere. The conversation WAS about sharing stories of those (known or unknown) who were not in Canada and who were struggling to get the care needed for a multitude of reasons. To an outside eavesdropper it was so clear that each woman stood on the same side of every issue, yet not one of them talked about the side of their good fortune. A bond was so clearly being formed among like minded souls and yet the foundation being laid was in a perspective of lack.  From there they shared the same opinions of horrible news headlines from the recent weeks and of similar tales from headlines of years gone by . Headlines of murder and fear, not of the miraculous recovery being made by the three young women found alive after having been missing for 10 years. Again, each of them was of the same opinion but none of them was approaching the conversation from a place of power. Ladies. Focus on something else please. Talk about the sunny spring weather or something I am begging you. Put your energy somewhere more uplifting.

Why is it that we bond over strife more often than over success? Why don't we cut the modesty and share some good news? Is it that sharing the ugly stuff is some mixed up way in which we are trying to lighten our load, or have we really just become that much more comfortable with our suffering sides that that is the one we put forward to a stranger, in a waiting room, to build a bond?

I am certainly not in a place to say why anyone would ever contract a disease of any kind. And though my thoughts have wandered many times to the link between our healthy positively focused minds and our healthy positively focused bodies, I am not one who has done research in fully understanding the connection. But say we spend some time and energy in reforming some of our habits of thought. Maybe we put a little effort into deliberately changing our approach to a few things. What have we got to lose really? A few "less than awesome" habits that perhaps aren't serving us well anyway....?? Sounds like a gamble that I will take myself. 

I would love for you to use the section below to tell me about your approach to creating a bond with a stranger or a friend? What topics do you use as your foundation for building common ground?