BE BRAVE: Say What You Need To Say
Sometimes after hitting "publish" my mind spins through it all again...and again, over and over. (Ok who am I kidding, nearly EVERY time I write something and make it public this happens.) I think of all the possible things people could say, what they could pick apart, what they may disagree with, what I would say back. For instance, after I wrote about Bullying this week I was sure that people would call me out:
"You claim that you don't have the answer but OBVIOUSLY you DO think you have the answer. You think people should do things YOUR way and if everyone parented the way YOU say then all of the world's problems, including bullying, would be solved."
And then I think, what would I say to that? I think I would probably agree with that person and say, "Yes, you are right. I do think I'm lucky enough to see a new, better way. BUT that doesn't mean I always know what to do in the moment. Because I'm still figuring this Peaceful Parenting gig out. And I'm also really, REALLY lucky that there are people out there who already have grown children who are great examples AND are really helpful."
But you know what happens 99.9% of the time? No one says a peep or the few that do every once in a while says, "Awesome, thought provoking post! Love it!" (Ok I do like those comments though.)
Meanwhile, I'm ready for anything!
I made this picture yesterday. I pretty much love it. If you look really closely you can see Marisol's profile. (We did it the old fashioned way - dark room, flashlight, paper on the wall.) It was inspired by Sara Bareilles' song, "Brave" - you can see some of the lyrics on the right side, inside of Marisol's head. And outside words falling out... "Love... me." or the "me" can go here, "See me". And of course there is NO perfection NO masks in this sacred, brave place where we let our words fall out.
So I made a Pandora channel for the song "Brave", and the first song that that played was John Mayer's "Say What You Need To Say", and I thought, how appropriate!
I participated in a blog carnival this week. It was really fun. I was not surprised when my post stuck out from most of them - it's not the standard parenting position to have No Limits on Technology. Part of the deal when you participate in a carnival is that you comment on the other blogs. It was kind of hard for me. The standard line most people seemed to be giving out was, "you've done a great job working out what's best for your family!" - including on my post. But it didn't feel right to me to just leave a "nice" response like that. I mean clearly I have an opinion on the matter, right? So for every post I really tried to say something thoughtful. Either about my experience, or something that stood out to me in their post, or I asked them questions for clarification (for myself or them). And I offended one writer. I knew I was taking a risk with my comment and it happened. But you know what? I know what I said came from a place of love so I'm ok with that.
Then tonight on Facebook it happened again - I offended a friend. This time someone I know in real life.
So here are some thoughts I have on all this.
1) I keep thinking of these ideas I'm trying to spread as little grains of sand. I know that they are irritating some people AND they are sticking in their brains and rubbing them the wrong way. But maybe someday that annoying little grain will turn into a pearl. (I must have a whole necklace in my possession by now!)
2) As I thought of my friend tonight, I thought of her at her house annoyed at me. And I thought, wow here I am obsessing over this little interaction too! And it hit me - we really are ONE. Forever connected. More the same than different.
3) I must be turning some kind of corner here (Hopefully a good one! The kind that opens up to completely new places), having offended two people in two days. (And this is with me stating things in the kindest way I know how - filling my heart up with love before every putting my thoughts "out there.")
4) It's really ok for us to disagree. It's how we disagree that matters. This is how we learn and grow after all. I'd be lying if I said I never feel defensive. Of course I do! I feel it every time I write - that's why I obsess over every possible "come back". But I recognize it and I really try hard to open my heart to whatever lessons there are waiting for me. I guess I may be more prepared than some people are because I know I'm not stating popular opinions.
We can disagree and be loving. Heck, just today one of my most favorite-ist people commented on my post dissing Balance and now I'm thinking I owe Balance an apology! It's ok to change your minds people - I mean really I do it every day, if not multiple times! And my son shows me every day that it's ok by changing his within a split second by answering every question with a quick "No," before giving his final verdict (and it's often in direct opposition to the emphatic no, an easy going "Ok, sho"). Wrap it up in love and deliver it folks, I guarantee we'll all be pleasantly surprised in the end. We may even change the world.
GO ON I DARE YOU: Say what you need to say. I want to hear it.
And if that didn't convince you I'll beg (It worked once before!). Puuuhhhh-lease!!! Leave a comment here or on any post that made you think! Share a post! Comment over on Facebook! Let's chat and get to know each other ;-)
I have this quote written in many, many places around my house. 'Say what you need to say.' It's easier said then done, of course. And I'm learning to be comfortable in that place of disagreeing with friends, and still being friends. I'm learning. It's slow though. Being in my second year of homeschooling, and having a strong opinion about the educating practices of our local schools, it can be difficult to get into some of these discussions. I want to speak authentically, but I also want to speak from a place of empathy and support. We all gotta do our ting...and I'm realizing that simply leading by example...coming to the conversation from my 'experiences' vs my 'advice/thoughts/judgments, etc' can help my emotions disengage, but still allow me to speak from my authentic self.
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Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.