Clips, Concerns, and Connundrums from Candace

Shared Conversations I’ve Had

I have come to the point in my life, and after using my four-inch roots as a yardstick to measure my COVID sheltering, understand the real invaluable role that conversations have in our lives. Most of the time, it just causes nothing but problems but it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t need to drown in the hot mess we find ourselves in when misunderstandings occur or when we say things that damage trust, intimacy, or good intentions. My time at home, retired and experiencing my senior life sheltering instead of traveling as we had hoped, has given me hours and hours to consider things, to have conversations I probably would never have had, and to reevaluate what really matters in my life. This will be an ongoing series of the conversations that have passed my way that have changed me, indelibly. I will continue to unpack them for the rest of my life.

I had two conversations recently that influenced this post.

The first came from a person, a “friend” on Facebook. We were having a lively exchange about how we each perceived current events. In one of our exchanges, I suggested that I agreed with something she said, but my interpretation was 180 degrees opposite of how she saw it. She then suggested we are watching different movies.

The second came from a discussion with a dear, dear friend who has faced discord with her family regarding political differences. She was able to finally have a conversation with a beloved aunt and before she hung up my friend said to this person she loved and respected, “Thank you for loving me enough to have this conversation.” Nothing changed but everything changed. They talked and listened to each other.

Reflecting on these different conversations I had some “lightbulb” moments. There is so much low hanging fruit of “ah-has” out there these days, “fruit” in the form of ideas that allow us to expand who we are and how we see the world.

We all know someone who never sees things the way we see things.

It will always be that way.

We’re not supposed to see things the same. It is only out of a need to convince or win someone over to our ideas that causes the problem.

All we can do is watch the movie that is ours to watch, the same movie as the person who sits next to you munching on popcorn and sipping a soda, while you, terrified, grip the arms of your chair with heart palpitating and hands sweating. This is a common juxtaposition we live in today given the extremes that smack us in the face with every sunrise, with each news flash.

In the true spirit of communicating, and reflecting on the first story about “seeing different movies,” I wholeheartedly disagree that we are watching different movies. We are all in this together. Same movie, same news (mostly), same fears of COVID. But we see it differently for so many reasons, far too many reasons than could be articulated in a Medium post.

So for arguments sake, let’s say that one person watches a movie and focuses on one theme, while the person sitting right beside them sees if completely differently. No matter how crazy their perspective is, it cannot be changed with arguing, berating, yelling, screaming, pleading. The only change that comes for any of us is on the whispering wings of example and through respectful communications.

Isn’t that the beauty of being human? One person cannot “see” everything; we only see what is within our conscious awareness to see. What we have learned, what we have been exposed to, what deity we worship. We each have our eye pinned on our own telescope, aimed at a narrow, specific view. Until we swivel our personal telescope, we’ll never see anything else.

Everything in life is experiential and interpretative. This makes each other’s perspective invaluable as we grow into and become comfortable with our own skin. We need to at least hear about a different experience to know whether our “seeing” is on solid ground. Listening can also help us shift and change so we don’t fall into the ever-widening crack of our own misconceptions and be crushed by it all.

Which leads into the second conversation I had with my dear friend.

Do you love the people you care most about in your life enough to have a civil conversation about the movie you are watching together? Do you love them enough to do that? And can you make it safe for them to have the same conversation with you?

There is so much to digest in the complex world we live in today. Issues that have long been ignored are now exposed. As a nation we stand on one side or the other, when it comes to racial fears, political differences, COVID solutions, freedom to do what we want, our “rights,” their “rights,” what is “right.”

There is so much to unpack, but until we have the conversation, clean off our own mud splattered windshields, we are all going to end up in a deadly pileup. Nothing is segmented or partial; a coin cannot be split into one side, especially when it comes to systemic racism and community violence that rears its head through gangs and outliers. It’s a perfect storm for destruction. But each side has its story, it’s logical reasons, for their fears. Not an easy conversation to have. Most of us would rather eat ground up glass than have this uncomfortable conversation. We feel mental discomfort because we want to be heard, we don’t want to be challenged. We don’t want to “give up” our opinion, even when something whispers we need to reevaluate things.

So, do you love your family, your friend, other humans enough to respect them and quietly listen? Can you consider what they “see,” or consider “why they see” what they see? And, if or when you take this risk and they attack and abuse you, can you walk away without violating them in return? One way or the other, it is important to love each other enough to risk it. But without the conversation, it is a hot lava volcano that will erupt and end up hurting us all.

Peacefully holding your Truth and your values, while at the same time having a willingness to consider there may be more to understand, will bring you peace and more important clarity. There is nothing to defend. There is no one to convince. We are here on this beautiful blue globe to care for each other and share what we know. Despite the times we find outselves living in, this is a perfect time to begin.

https://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-What-Matters/dp/0143118447/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=mattmorcom-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=XSJOBCL3XDA27GFV&creativeASIN=0143118447

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2KRUANFQV6ZUF&dchild=1&keywords=books+on+communication+in+relationships&qid=1598985999&s=books&sprefix=books+on+communicati%2Cstripbooks%2C203&sr=1-3

https://www.amazon.com/Nonviolent-Communication-Language-Life-Changing-Relationships/dp/189200528X/ref=sr_1_6?crid=2KRUANFQV6ZUF&dchild=1&keywords=books+on+communication+in+relationships&qid=1598986029&s=books&sprefix=books+on+communicati%2Cstripbooks%2C203&sr=1-6

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Learning about yourself and the people you care most about is the most important knowledge any of us can have. If you are an explorer who likes to leave the beaten path and forge your own way, please visit www.jovianarchive.com and discover what that can mean for you. If you have questions or wish to speak to someone about what you discover, please contact me at candaceconradi@gmail.com. I will be happy to share what I know.

Candace is a published writer, teacher, coach and student of history. A wife, mother & grandmother, writing has been her life-long passion.

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