Sigh. It's another night where I'm just going to have to ramble. I always end up somewhere...I just have no clue where, and don't have a good starting point. The only starting point I have is right here, right now. We'll see together where we end up.
The wonderful moment of the day: I saw a little guy for a session this morning that was just fantastic. This was our first session together, and he is just one of those really super special kids I fall in love with right away. I walked him and his caregiver to their car and helped him get strapped in to his car seat. "I'll see you in two weeks, buddy," I said. "It was so nice meeting you today. Thank you so much for coming in to see me."
He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, nervously. "Do you like me?" he asked.
"Yeah, buddy," I said. "I like you a lot. I had a lot of fun meeting you today, and..."
"It's because I'm awesome, right?" he said.
"Absolutely," I said with a straight face. "You are made of 100% awesome." He grinned. My heart pretty much melted. I am so lucky to have contact with so many beautiful little souls.
The not so wonderful moment of the day led me to think about the importance of speaking our truths. I don't mean telling people how you really feel and being bitchy about it. People seem to think that's what is meant by "speaking your truth." It seems like some people think they can say all sorts of awful or slanderous things and, if they follow it up with "I'm just speaking my truth," everyone should be all cool and zen with it because, you know, it's her truth, man.
When I say "speaking your truth," I mean saying what it is that is true, for you, in that moment, and owning it. It's not about saying "you made me feel X, Y, and Z," it's about saying, "when I hear you say this, I interpret that as X." "When you said that, I heard you saying this." It's about saying: "for me, this was the impact of your words." This way, it opens up space for the person to clarify the intention. Perhaps the intention and the impact line up. Perhaps they don't. But there is so much power in being able to say, "this is what I think happened, and it hurt me." This is what I am hearing, and it hurts.
Over the years, through a variety of situations, it has become extraordinarily important to me to make sure that I "own" what is mine in an argument or a relationship or a problem. In the same vein, it is just as important to me that the other person "own" what is theirs. The part of this whole thing, obviously, that I can't master, is being able to have this conversation without attachment to the outcome. Knowing that I have spoken my truth just isn't enough. I want to know that the other person has received it, that they "got it," and that we are moving somewhere. Obviously, none of these things are things I can control. But man, I really wish I could. I don't have to write the whole script, but if I could just write the ending....
What I'm trying to figure out is this: if you know (from previous attempts) that any sort of conversation in which you speak your truth is NOT going to go well, at what point do you just let it go? At what point do you just cut your losses, deal with the stomachaches associated with not speaking your truth, and move on? At what point is speaking your truth not the appropriate way to draw boundaries? Particularly if this is a person you need to continue having in your life?
I wish I could have the...I'm not even sure of the word here...shamelessness (?) to just ask the questions like my little client did this morning. "Do you like me?...It's because I'm awesome, right?"