unsolicited advice

Uncategorized Feb 17, 2021

It’s that time of year again; I’ve been considering what to give up for Lent.  Giving up chocolate seems too easy and self-serving.  My chocolate cravings would abate after a few days, and I would no longer experience its loss as a prompt to pray.  I might actually lose weight (which would probably make me feel better about myself, too proud of my self-discipline).  Same with my nightly glass of wine or potatoes or meat.  As a matter of fact, anything I could think of giving up just feels legalistic.  At the last minute I’ve decided to revisit a Lenten discipline from several years ago.  I’m foregoing giving unsolicited advice for the next forty days. 

In the past, when I mentioned this to one or two of my close friends, they, oh, so kindly told me how wise I was and how much they valued my advice.  Flattering.  I told them that I wasn’t avoiding giving ALL advice.  They could still ASK my opinion, and I would be happy to share my thoughts.  But unsolicited advice is so easy to give and so seldom valued.  I’m trying to go even further this Lent…I’m endeavoring to give my opinion less often and pepper my conversation with more questions, more genuine interest in what my friends are feeling and thinking.  I am trying to increase my compassion for others by exercising genuine curiosity. 

Also, I’m wondering if I should place unsolicited articles in this category as well.  There are a few people in my life who feel so passionately about certain subjects that they broadcast lengthy articles on topics that I either have no interest in or vehemently disagree with.  These are people for whom I have genuine affection, therefore part of me cares deeply about what they are thinking and why.  But I’m not really oriented to reading lengthy articles on-line.  It’s why I’ve tried to limit my own musings in these posts to poetry and essays about one page in length.  Any longer and I feel that I’m imposing on my friends….I try to do unto others the way that I would like them to do unto me, and so I curb my enthusiasms.  Likewise, I don’t do Facebook.  I Insta-follow my children only.  I don’t subscribe to blogs.

This is when I should tell you that if you have been getting my posts (unsolicited) in your email for years, that you are free to ask me to take you off my list.  I so welcome hearing from those of you who give me honest feed-back, even only occasionally.  I try to be honest and non-judgmental with my opinions, even my political ones.  I do a lot of self-editing and hope that you know that I’m aware that you might not agree with me on every topic, and that’s okay.   And while you are getting a mass mailing, I am seeing many of you individually in my mind’s eye as I hit “send”, and hoping that you actually might appreciate having a window into my brain.  I trust you will let me know if I got that wrong.  I will not be offended.

Love, Liz

P.S.  I’ll take advice from this little cutie all day long.  This is my daughter Meredith at about two and a half years old, and now, in her thirties, she is one of the wisest women I know.  Have you had a chance to preorder her book “All the Time” on Amazon?  You may do so by clicking on this link:   https://rstyle.me/cz-n/euat6icivex