Change, Choice, Courage, friendship, Growth, Relationships, Truth, Uncategorized

Having Hard Conversations

I am with a friend this week and a hard conversation comes up.  If you are in the US you know we having a lot of division regarding the killing of blacks by police. That is a stark statement, but that is what is happening. So people are lining up and taking sides. And we have peacemakers who say #lovematters or #alllivesmatter. But it does seem we called upon to choose a side. That is a problem for me. I know there is good and bad in each segment of the population. I can’t really choose to support one side over another.

But apparently my friend could, as she came down on the side of the police. And she made some racist statements and then ended it by saying “well, I am a bigot” in this offhand manner. I know I was supposed to laugh it off, I know I was supposed to ignore the statement. I know she expected me to support her or at least not call her out. Sigh.

These are the hard conversations, when it is your friend, your family, someone you want to have  a continued relationship with. It is easy online to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are in company of like minded people to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are disguised behind a keyboard to stand up for what you believe. It is hard when you are one on one with a friend and you have to say “well I am not a bigot, and this is why”

But I did it. If I am going to present myself as a person who does believe that all lives have value and that we have a problem with racism in our country, then I have to stand up and say that. Am I willing to risk being uncomfortable or offending a friend?  Are my beliefs worth that?  Yes. Am I willing to say I feel differently than you, I believe you are wrong? Well I guess I am.

speak the truth

So we had a conversation and I saw some of where she was coming from.  Her experience with a black person (beyond superficial) was not a good one. It was traumatic for her, and the police were her angels. And from that place she built a belief system on who is right and who is wrong. And the police came out on top.

I know what she went through was hard, and she struggles with it to this day. But I have a different experience. I have a close long term relationship with a black man . I have friends who are black. I am able to hear and see some of their struggles first hand. And I shared that with her. Maybe, just maybe, she saw some common humanity in all of our struggles. Maybe.

But this is what I know. My job is to speak my truth, even when it is uncomfortable. My job is to back up my thoughts with my words. Even when I don’t want to . It is not enough to stay quiet anymore. It is not enough to not “rock the boat”. That is how we got in this mess. It is not about being loud or forcing my ideas and beliefs on someone else.  I can speak respectfully, I can listen to the other side and I can learn from a different point of view.

But I will not be quiet anymore just to keep someone comfortable. I will speak my piece and call out racism, homophobia, misogyny or any other belief that keeps people down. If you are uncomfortable with that, I am not even sorry.  Because it is when we are uncomfortable we know we have work to do.

So speak up,  have those hard conversations. That is how we will make the changes we all want and need in our lives. Stand up for what you believe and do it with Love. Be willing to be the one who opens the conversations. Be Brave.

Namaste

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Connection, Honesty, Inner Voice, Inspiration, Spirit, Truth

The Clues Along the Way…

Paying attention to the little things.  That instant in time when you think something might have happened but you are not sure…. did you hear something, feel something, did something grab your attention, wake up, it all means something.

This came home to me again tonight when I found the milk leaking all over inside the refrigerator. As I was cleaning it up I remembered a moment on Friday. The milk hit something, I don’t remember exactly what. I remember thinking “hmmm wonder if that cut the carton”.  But I didn’t check, I just moved on. And today I found out well yes, it did.

We get clues all the time, little clues, big clues. We have to pay attention.  Life moves fast and it is easy easy to overlook what we don’t want to see. Way easier than dealing with it. I remember dating a guy once and finding a cut straw in his kitchen. If you have been around drugs at all you know what that means. I knew what that meant, but I choose to ignore it. To believe it was meant for something else, or leftover from a previous person. Or whatever lie I told myself so I didn’t have to deal with it. But eventually the truth came out. it all blew up and I could have avoided all of that angst and drama if I had not chosen to be asleep. But the lesson in that was learned and I never forgot it. The truth is the truth, even if I turn my face from it.

People drop clues all the time to who they really are.  I do it, you do it. It is human to do it. We want to tell our story, we want someone to know us, really know us. But it is hard to be transparent, sometimes it is not safe. So we test the waters and we see who cares enough to find our truth.  And those people, those precious few people become our safe place in the world.

I need to look at myself and see how am I doing. Am I being that person, that safe place?  At this point, I get it. It is not about the fancy house or car.  It is not about the power job. It is not about the social ladder. It is not about the money in the bank or the vacation. It is about people and how we make each other feel. All the money in the world, all the trappings, cannot take the place of compassion, kindness and awareness.

My job is to be awake.  My job is to be gentle with the world. My job is listen to the answer when I ask how you are. My job is look past the smile into your eyes and see the truth. My job is to be aware of your body language. Are you shut down, are you in pain?  Do you need a hand? What are your unsaid words saying? The part you leave out may tell me more then the spoken words.  My job is to to listen past the “good morning” into the knowing of how you really feel.

I don’t have to have every detail to give a kind word, a smile or pat on the shoulder.  I don’t have to bleed with you to be compassionate with your pain.  A hug, a smile, a “I know how that feels’, a shared thought, can go so far in today’s crazy hurry up world. We are all so busy and so fragmented that we rush past each other. And I am guilty of that also. And I need to be honest. . If I have had a hard night, say it. If I am a little sad, say it. I don’t have to expand,  but I can be real about who I am. And maybe that gives you room to be honest also. Or maybe it gives you the opportunity to practice compassion, which is awesome.

And my job for myself, stay awake. Listen to what the Universe is telling me. Because that is where Truth comes from. The truth of who I am. That inner all knowing voice inside has only  my best and truest intentions and will never lead me down the wrong path. I can trust that voice.  I cannot afford to close my eyes to what is uncomfortable, scary, sad,  or challenging.  It won’t disappear because I don’t pay attention. It will come back, messier than ever.

It is time to live with my eyes and my heart open.  To gather the clues I am being shown and work with them to make a better way of life. No more stumbling through life, saying I should have known.  The truth is I did know and I did not pay attention.  Everything means something.  Most of the time it is so far removed we cannot see the connection, but it is there. So pay attention to the world. Pay attention to the signals the Universe gives.That inner knowing will warn you of pitfalls and the Universe will always guide you to Love.

Namaste

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