Sample ~ Third Competency ~ part four

Musical-Spoken Prompt for Reflection

One in All

selfhood in a sea of selves (who’s who, what’s what, where’s where

I need an identity
perhaps you can pick me one
can you find a single one for me

I’d like one that says it clear
I’d like one that says it all
in a language
that’s simple to read

there are so many to choose from
it’s very confusing, you see
because whenever I use one
it cancels out big parts of me

I can more than imagine
how incomplete is our bent
when we talk to each other
what messages are being sent

I know that I look
and I talk a certain way
but what does that mean
and what does that really say?

is my style or my face or my ideas
some kind of cue
and given those, I want to know
whose identity is coming through

interpretation can be tricky
it’s tricky to see what’s not bare
if I told you the “facts” of a particular life
would they persuade you, or not, to care?

I can more than imagine
how incomplete is our view
when we look at each other
do we see me or see you?

show me a country
a people, a time, a creed
that might be something to join
that might be something to leave

recount a history
a sequence of collective deeds
a tome with words and pictures
would still be incomplete

I want less to go on
less is more—can you see through
a trillion lenses
with big-picture focus
and not blur
the essence of me and we

I can only imagine
who you and I think we are

when we size up ourselves and each other
are we near-sighted or far?

I need an identity
if you find one that says it all
you might want to keep it for yourself
or maybe we could share it
maybe we could split the fee

I’d cover the cost
the entire cost
for a shield of transparency

A gentle reminder of the Third Competency:

Being the Projection Screen

Are you aware of times when certain people misinterpreted the kind of person you know yourself to be, based on your appearance and/or something you said? How did you handle that?
Reflect on aspects of yourself, as a person, that, if known, would allow people to better understand who you are or what kind of person you see yourself to be, or would allow others to empathize with a particular situation in which you currently find yourself.
Do you prefer to connect with groups or one-on-one? Why? How are you different, given one or the other?
When you find yourself in group situations, are you one to make your presence known, or would you prefer to take an observer’s position? How does this influence your group experience?
How closely do you identify with groups that you frequent, by choice and/or necessity? How does the degree of your identification influence your ways of connecting with the group and with yourself as an individual?
What kinds of details about a person or a group evoke your concern or inspire you to get involved? In what ways do those details relate to you, your identity, philosophies and beliefs?
How informed, through your senses and intellect, do you need to be for empathy to surface or to prompt participation? Does empathy come easily for you? How often do you extend empathy to yourself? Describe.
Security issues often compel us to make snap judgements about people or situations that prove themselves to be inaccurate or incomplete. Describe a couple of those times.
Is there a time in your life when transparency proved itself to be very valuable?
A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

~ Christopher Germer

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