I looked forward to my Sundays, the day I allowed myself to not get into a car. The one day a week I stayed home, refusing my velocitized-self the habit of going places fast and often. This was an act of self-kindness. It allowed me to slow down.
Today, in the midst of a pandemic, the opposite is true. I am home for days on end. I don’t remember the last time I put gas in my car. I look forward to the forward momentum of 60 mph going to get groceries.
But, this is only one of the changes the I have experienced in the last 6 months. Another is the number of very difficult conversations that I am having with friends, family, colleagues and clients. We are trying to make sense of a virus we don’t understand, as well as, facing our collective racism while shining a light on our internalized racism.
Talking with folks that think and feel like me is validating. Those are not the ones that are difficult. It is the conversations with loved ones that view the current events differently than me that leave me feeling frightened. How can someone I love see the world as flat?
These are the fierce conversations. The ones that create a vulnerability by expressing your heart and mind. Thinking of this reminded me of the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. She defines a fierce conversation as "One in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation and make it real."
This is the time of fierce conversations. Both with each other and with ourselves.
Saying I Do to You is the practice of speaking from your heart. Having those fierce conversations. But Saying I do to you is more than speaking. It is also listening. And it includes listening to yourself.
Often we listen to others while forming our righteous response. Fierce listening is listening with our
hearts. Open. Curious. So that through my listening I have learned something new about myself and about you.
Before we can have fierce conversations and fierce listening with others, we need to have them with ourselves. We have to be able to tolerate our own big emotions. Big experiences. Big sensations. Because if we won’t tolerate these within ourselves, we will not tolerate them in any one else.
Most of us are so hard on ourselves that we don’t want to hear what we have to say to ourselves. Often I hear women admit they would never speak to a friend the way they speak to themselves. So we stop listening and we miss who we are.
When you say “I Do” to you, you are choosing you and deepening your relationship to yourself, having those fierce conversations with yourself and listening to yourself equally as fiercely.
Only then can we speak and listen to others equally as fiercely.
With Love and Fierceness!