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An Ongoing Conversation

Important issues often require an ongoing conversation. Sometimes we feel frustrated that something that seems so simple is not resolved after one or two or more conversations. And sometimes there is a needed movement between people, even when it doesn’t feel like it and or the conversation feels bad. So what we have, what we control is really- am I doing my part? Am I really listening to what the other person is saying? Two people (in relationship or strangers), can be in the same place at the same time and yet have wildly different perspectives on what happened. Thats normal. The more different from our worldview, the more it benefits us to really try to understand the other person and their experience. With this, am I doing my best to be aware of my tone, and be kind with my words and phrases? 

Listening first can feel like pride swallowing. In a given situation, we are typically very aware of our stance, what we feel and believe. So to allow the heat of our own convictions to dock on the side for a moment can feel tough. But we do our best with it. To listen, to try to absorb where the other person is coming from. To set aside for right now, our responses to what we anticipate the person may say. And when it is our turn to share about our experience, we work to not sugarcoat/kiddy glove, and yet to not be abrasive in sharing what we know. 

The “ongoing” part of this is- allowing us to learn together. Whoever “us” is- romantic partners, family members, friends, co-workers etc. To allow there to be space for a malleable dynamic between us. To allow ourselves to be educated, despite our fury, outrage, disappointment, pain. And often not only despite these feelings, but because of them. Can I allow myself to be educated, to broaden my view? To consider, even amidst my conviction? Sometimes the answer is no. Thats alright. And sometimes in the quiet away from whoever we are in relation with- it gives us chance to try on what they’ve shared with us. 

Over time the conversation changes. New details emerge, our understanding evolves, we have new data points and experiences with the other person. If I allow myself to step away from my pride for a moment, I can recognize where we have moved from the initial conversation, and what is different-including within ourselves.

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