The other day, I was getting off the subway and walking to my usual exit when I saw there was a chain on the exit turnstile. It was odd for this exit to be locked midday on a weekday, but it was. So I turned around and told the people standing behind me waiting to exit. We all changed directions and began walking towards the open exit. I and a couple of other people began informing people walking towards the closed exit that it was closed and they should turn around to go to the other exit. Most people were grateful and listened. Once we were almost halfway down the platform - I saw a woman walking towards the closed exit and told her the exit was closed. She didn't seem to hear me, so I waved my hands at her and told her again and pointed "That exit is closed". She didn't listen to me and kept walking. A couple other people behind me tried to motion to her as well. I thought for a moment that she might be wearing headphones, but she wasn't. She was walking fast so I guess she was preoccupied. We watched her get to the closed exit, realize it was closed and then started saying some expletives and we heard a "Why didn't anyone say anything?!"
It was a strange, but mildly funny moment. And it made me think of myself in that situation. Not in a subway. I think I would have stopped if that many people were trying to tell me something (maybe not, depends on the day). But I stopped to think about me in this situation in life. How many times had people or situations or circumstances try to tell me something I needed to hear and I just kept walking? Because I'm stubborn and hard headed (same diff, right?) and I like to feel independent - the number is probably high. Very high, and I begin to feel bad about that. At moment's like this, my husband often quotes a workshop of a new musical I did once - "Regret is a wasted emotion". I agree, no real value in regretting what was past. However, it's a great moment to revise a method of working/being for the future. So the question becomes:
How will I listen more to what I'm being told?
It probably starts with me not talking so much. (You're laughing at me if you know me) It also includes me making space, to live, breath, hear, and just be. It's when you have this space that you can see/hear/intuit things more clearly, I believe. And then I think there's something to knowing and discerning the voices or influences that you trust and believe to be full of wisdom. Obviously, those would be the voices you listen to closely.
But then this idea comes up: How many of us have people in our lives who really tell it like it is?
See, I think people say that they do. I promise you that if I put this out on Facebook or some other social media thing - people would say, I have lots of honest friends, my friends tell me things all the time. And I have to say - that I won't negate people's experience - but in my own personal life - people I know well, know pretty well and know peripherally DO NOT have those people, those voices of truth. But why?
I think it comes down to this - everyone wants to feel good. The truth is not always flattering. I could expound more on this...but I think I'll save it for another day =)