Friday, June 4, 2010

On Difficult Conversations

Yesterday was a stress filled day. In the spirit of vagueness, I won't disclose all of the reasons why, but let me say that they centered around the theme of conversation, speech and presentation of information. To me, these things are an art. I pride myself in my ability to navigate them and do them quite well. I think one of my positive contributing factors is that my Father is/was a minister and a teacher. He has spent the majority of his life communicating messages that require passion and boldness and that is my model. I try and want to do the same, but no matter how comfortable or secure one feels about speech, there is still a challenge in certain subject matter.

Yesterday afternoon, I felt this in full anxiety. I was at my desk and my jaw began to ache. At first I began to think that I was suffering continuing dental pain, but I realized, I was nervous. The weight of words was felt heavily on my shoulders and clearly pressing in on my jaw. What a bizarre feeling. So much of that anxiety is tied up in the subconscious. I'm pretty good at talking myself out of being nervous, but there is a reason this happens.

No matter what you say or how well you say it, there is still an underlying raw reality to that which you are communicating. You can do it with precision and ease, but your message has a core and a heart and there is nothing you can do about that. You have to accept it for what and trust that it will run its course no matter how badly or beautifully you share it.

How is that for vague?

I think personally, what I am highlighting in saying this is that relationship, communication, interaction require an element of surrender. We have to give up control if we truly want to do these things and that is incredibly hard. Especially if it is something you think you're pretty good at, but no matter how good you are, these things require the surrender to content. If you feel strongly about the content, you have to trust that it will speak for itself.

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