Have you ever been in a conversation where you each have a differing opinion? Of course you have, that’s a large reason for conversation! And while you know that you’re having a civil, perhaps even pleasant, discussion, you increasingly feel that you’re getting further and further apart? Despite the fact that you’re really listening to each other?
It’s because really, you’re not.
“Allowing each other to talk” is not the same as “listening.”
There’s a pattern of discussion that we believe fosters listening, when in reality it sneakily hinders it.
Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you want to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ~Barbara Kingsolver
I’m pretty good about speaking up when I have something to say. Just ask anyone from my grade school playground, my college roommates, or my husband.
What I’m not always so good at is recognizing what it is that I have to say.
I can outlast you in the car at lunchtime in not making a decision on where to go to eat. And I justify it by the fact that I truly have no desire for anything specific in that moment. I even say aloud, “No, really, if I had an opinion about it, I would most definitely say so.”
I don’t need to have an opinion about everything. And yet…
The hardest part of speaking my truth is identifying what it is that’s worthy of sharing. Worthy to whom?!?
That’s actually hiding. Playing small. Staying safe. Not putting myself out there.
Because it doesn’t have to be perfect before it’s portrayed. We write, speak, paint, sing, create, and breathe for ourselves, not for others.
And Life needs us to participate. Just as we are. Now, in progress. Perfectly imperfect.
We don’t need to wait until we’re fully inspired before we speak. We don’t have to “save” it for the big stuff. Life is an ongoing conversation, not a final decree.
My voice is for whispering in the meadow as well as shouting from the mountaintop.