Friday, February 20, 2009

Hard Conversations

"The hardest conversations are the most important ones." India Arie wrote those words in the liner notes of her album, Testimony: Volume 2 Love and Politics. India's words often connect with me at a perfect intersection of time/space. I read those words a short time after having a very difficult conversation with the someone I love. India's words made me take a hard look at myself and how I show up in my life, especially how I choose to show up in relationships during difficult times. What I discovered during this self-reflection is outlined below.

Hard conversations make you want to run away because you just can't stand to be in the company of the other. In that instant, it is most important to stay.

You do not stay to continue a conflict but you stay maybe to stand up for yourself or perhaps for someone else.

You stay so maybe your fear does not win out.

Stay, in order that the one you love may understand that even when you do not like him, do not agree with him - you still love him.

Stay so that even when you do not feel heard; you can show him you do know how to listen.

Stay so that your past hurts no longer hold you hostage.

These hard conversations may make you feel like your head is going to explode. In that instant, it most important to find your breath.

Breathe so you may remember one of the Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally.

Breathe so you may remember that your buttons are being pushed because you allow the wires to continue to be intact.

Breathe so you may remember that the other is always your mirror reflecting back where you need to grow.

Breathe so you may remember that Spirit resides in the breath. When Spirit is present anger, judgment, impatience dissipates.

The hard conversations are the most important conversations because they offer us an opportunity to remember who we really are. The measure of who you are can be found in these hard conversations. They can be the barometer of how big or small you are in these moments. So how big are YOU?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Companion on the Journey

Writing is my spiritual companion on this Journey. In my valley experiences and during my mountain top highs, writing is there to sort things out for me. On the page is where I metabolize my life. It is not simply a recording of the Journey. At times, writing gives me the sign post for which way to travel. It is the warning sign for dangers ahead.

Writing rarely allows me to be stagnant. It moves me both figuratively and literally. Through writing, I am able to move pass anger to discover the authentic truth. I may start off complaining about who has done me wrong but writing will not let me stay there. Soon I uncover how I put myself in the position to be victimized.

When I am on top of the world, writing helps me appreciate the beauty of the landscape even more. Through writing I notice the brilliance of the colors on the mountain. Captured in the words on the page is how the bird's song on the mountain sounds harmonized.

I have even found parts of myself on the page that I did not know existed; some parts I wish never existed; and yet still other parts I thought were long lost but I found through my companion, writing. All of my fears are exposed on the page. Writing will not let me hide.

I can not imagine this Journey without writing. It has been there from the beginning. My writing as child was done in a diary with lock and key which is still within my reach at my bedside. As an adult it is done in colorful bound books that fill baskets all around my bedroom.

Writing is the best brand of therapy I know (and the cheapest). It holds my confidence. It is unrelenting when it has to be. Gentle when it needs to be.