One of the Most Important Conversations

Our days are thick with conversations.

Take yesterday: I had a conversation with an acquaintance about her marketing job, a conversation with my mother about some family tension, a conversation with a friend about handling too much to handle. Then there was the one-sided conversation I had at the front page of the newspaper about a politician who drives me up the wall.

Those are all external conversations. But some of the most important conversations we have are internal.

The conversations we have with ourselves shape how we think and feel about ourselves.

All too often, these conversations are soaking wet with “should” - I shouldn’t have said that inane thing - and self-disqualification - I’d never get that into that program, I won’t apply.

If our conversations with our friends were like our conversations with ourselves, we’d be right to seriously question if we wanted to keep up that friendship.

The beautiful thing about being human is we are made of many, many pieces. The should piece and the self-disqualification piece might be quite muscular, but they aren’t all of us. We also have caring pieces, bold pieces, creative pieces. And these pieces deserve a seat at the table.

If conversations with myself are dipping deep into no, no, no and can’t, can’t, can’t and doors closing, closing, closing, I’ve found it helpful to see if I can bring another piece of myself into the conversation.

Before we go one step further, I want to be clear as daylight that this isn’t a breeze for me; it’s effortful. Which is frustrating. Because I can effortlessly let the should and the can’t pieces of me dominate my internal conversations.

But a big reason why they do that is because they’ve gotten so much practice. So the more practice those other pieces of us get, the more muscular they can become.

And the more caring, meaningful, door-opening our self conversations can become.

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