i have found that the manner in which i approach a conversation will directly effect the outcome of that conversation. if i am already angry, upset, defensive or hurt then the chances of that conversation not going well are pretty good.
if i approach a conversation with humility, honesty, respect, vulnerability and the desire to listen and understand then it is an entirely different outcome.
when i bring old emotion into a new conversation…disaster. when i seek to be understood to a greater extent then i’m willing to understand…disaster. when i ask questions i think i already know the answers to…disaster. when i am not present or attentive to the present feeling, emotion, information, or meaning being conveyed…disaster.
but, when i show a genuine desire to understand someone…when i look into their eyes see the emotion and meaning…when i pick up on their body language and understand if they feel safe in what they are communicating…when i can affirm their understanding without matching their hostility or upset…when i can not loose myself in the process of another sharing themselves…when i remember that conversations are sacred and holy and the very act of sharing oneself is an act of vulnerability and every time someone does it they run the risk of being hurt…then the conversation goes somewhere.
conversations are like fashion. old conversations don’t make sense. in as much as jean shorts for men don’t make sense and seem out of touch so does one person living in a past conversation. skinny jeans for people my age, neon anything, ac/dc t-shirts, fanny packs…i could go on but you get the point. it’s like the plastic covering over your grandma’s couch…u can tell when someone is not in the present.
conversations cleverly disguised to change someone, to manipulate someone, to deceive someone, to avoid fault, to shift blame or to convince someone how right you are…these are bad conversations and end the same way every time. they involve one or more of the participants not being in the present but in the past or the future – blaming for a previous action or manipulating toward a desired response.
better conversations require being in the present moment…with kindness, calmness, and wisdom
when i find myself engaged in a conversation in which i want something…i’ve failed. that is a request…not a conversation.
christians are awful at this. we want to engage in “conversations” with people who live differently then we do, so we can convince them to change. generally speaking, people are not stupid and they see right thru this.
people who are in the present experience each moment for the value and worth and meaning it contains. they are open to others, they are not threatened by others, and they have a genuine love for others.
when i continue to bring old emotion into the present…people in the present see it
when i begin a conversation with an agenda or motive…people in the present see it
when i try and use a conversation to change someone…people in the present see it
maybe i’m by myself here…sometimes i care too much what specific people think. i am tempted to leave the present and relive the past or guide to a future outcome (which is usually an outcome of acceptance)…when i do this i miss out on the moment that is before me. a moment to hold the essence of another person in selflessness and love.
there are better conversations to be had