Better Conversations Week Starts Now
In the US, we are gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving. Traditionally, this holiday is marketed as a time of celebration and family comradery. In reality, this holiday tends to have people taking more Xanax than prescribed and relapsing on their health goals. In many houses, the focus will be more on football and turkey than the actual living breathing people in the midst. This year in particular, I have heard of more election related shenanigans than in any year prior, such as:
- I will not be going to Uncle Bob’s house because they voted for so and so
- I will be boycotting the dessert Aunt Betty made because she voted 3rd party
- I will be poisoning cousin Richie because he didn’t vote
Aside from being very afraid to mix up my glass with cousin Richie, this hurt my heart. I am -by nature- a peace keeper. I don’t like to be in or around volatile situations. If friends are arguing, I tend to try to mend the fences for them. I like to make sure the introverts and extroverts are getting along in social situations by navigating the conversations. This year, the election has given me way more than I can handle in terms of smoothing wrinkles. So, when I stumbled upon this beautiful topic, I felt the universe give me a hug.
Folks. It’s time.
We can still be mad at Richie, we can still disagree with Aunt Betty, and we can even lack total understanding of Uncle Bob’s decision. We can still have all the feelings, but we cannot let the feeling and emotions run the train off the rails. We cannot wait until a eulogy is being read before we realize the importance of those around us. We are better than that.
Now, more than ever we need each other. We need to connect. We need to be with the ones we love, and even the ones we only tolerate once a year. We need to find a way back to real connections. Connections that are not dulled by prescription numbness. Connections that are not diluted by alcohol and sugar overload. We need to connect, and feel it. Some connection will be warm, soft, and amazing. Other connections may be painful, and raw. In every instance, however, there is a connection and a lesson; something to take with you, and something to leave behind.
This week, why not begin to allow the healthy connections you already have in place grow by celebrating one another through conversation? Why not take the time to really listen, to really see whom you have with you? Why not take this opportunity to speak. Let those who are with you and for you know their place of importance in your life. Let those who you cannot imagine a life without know that they matter to you.
Amazing things happen to plants and relationships when they are nurtured; they thrive. Conversation is the fertilizer to your relationships. It enriches them. It brings value and energy. Conversation binds us together. Isn’t that the point? Don’t we want that? Without depth, our relationships are more like a silk plant. While pretty to look at, they don’t bring anything else to the table. They don’t provide anything. They simple exist. Real relationships give as much as they get, just as plants provide us with food, oxygen, and more.
By nituring and caring for the relationships that matter, you will also begin to recognize the ones you can live without. That doesn’t mean I think you should cut Uncle Bob out of your life for good. It means that you need to learn to surround yourself with the necessary so you can avoid, or endure in some cases, the unnecessary.
So, let’s honor this week by being proactive. Reach out to your loved ones. Begin to cultivate the relationships you hold near and dear. The rest of the stuff will work itself out. The universe has a tremendous ability to recover, and so do we.