Have you ever had that moment when you know you need to have a hard conversation?
I used to waste whole days thinking about what to say in those moments. Most of the time, I would rehearse my words over and over, but I rarely, if ever, would express them.
This was tragic because the people in my life didn’t really know me, and my relationships became shallow and more complicated.
Here is how I moved toward simplicity in saying what needs to be said.
A couple months back I was beginning to have a conversation in my mind with a friend who had hurt me. While doing this, I was frantically sweeping the kitchen floor. I often go into a cleaning frenzy when I don’t want to face hard things and I just want to control something in my life. My husband saw what was going on and said, “Why don’t you just call your friend and tell her how you feel?” My first thought was: “I can’t do that.” “I need more time to think this through.” But I didn’t need more time. I needed to face my fear that my friend would not understand me.
So I faced my fear. I decided to go for it. I put down my broom. I left crumbs on the floor and I called my friend. As, I tearfully bumbled though how I felt I was amazed by the love and grace she extended. She forgave me. She told me she loved and supported me.
Looking back, I am so thankful I put down the broom. I’m thankful I called instead of having another hard conversation stuck in my head. If I had said nothing I would have missed out on hearing the sweetness of her voice as she shared her heart with me. I would have missed the opportunity to be known and to know her better. And honestly, I would have wasted countless hours thinking about what and if I should say anything.
This experience taught me there is great beauty in the rawness of our unpolished words. I doubt all such conversations I have going forward will turn out this well. But, I still think it’s worth the risk to simply communicate. While the risks are real, the potential for richer relationships is real too.