I had a conversation with someone yesterday who didn't believe she was being heard by a third party. Her initial demeanor was tense and agitated, and she became more so as we talked. I listened, I said that I heard she was frustrated about not being heard, and that things weren't going the way she thought they should. My words didn't really have a chance in that conversation, which ended with a bit of a threat toward me implying that I would have to do something about the situation. When she disengaged, I understood exactly how she felt about not being heard.
This complaint is not a new one for this individual. What I noticed as she spoke is that she repeated herself several times, and her voice had an edge to it. In fact her body was visibly shaking from the intensity of her emotion. She stated a lot of her beliefs as absolutes (i.e. "x should not happen," "y has to be this way," etc.), and the conversation was almost entirely on her terms. She wasn't really interested in my response, and she left when she chose to do so without opportunity for discourse. Basically, she did a lot of things that made what she had to say a bit more challenging to hear.
As I sat down today to send out some pieces to competitions and commissioning opportunities, I found myself doing something very similar. When I become convinced that I don't have a chance of being recognized or acknowledged, I act in a way that makes it more difficult to get recognition or acknowledgment. I pass up opportunities, or I approach the task of assembling the submission materials as a chore and an inconvenience. In reality, what I want can become more possible if I direct my energy appropriately, but I sometimes become bogged down by my doubts and fears and my energy becomes devoted to feeding those things instead. Fortunately, I recognized it today, and I sat back and thought, "What would it be like if the music I created won this competition?" I liked what I saw, and I was able to jump back into going for what I wanted with a smile.
It's what I want for the people I encounter, whether I see them for a moment or every day. I want them to get how much control they have over whether their fears or their hopes win their time and attention. I want to be a part of their awakening to how different their experience of life could be, and that it is a choice they can make, moment by moment. And I'm realizing that I don't have to go out and make opportunities for myself to be a catalyst in this way. The opportunities for me are all around me. All I have to do is notice them.