Conversation or Confrontation: Speak Your Piece, Live Your Peace

March 7, 2012

What’s scary about conversations? What razor teeth are threatening enough to chase confrontation into the dark?

Are we worried about being revealed? Worried about being wrong? Afraid that if we ARE in fact wrong, there’s no way to right ourselves to a new view? And what exactly IS confrontation? Have you heard these words cross your mind or lips?

Is something I’m saying confronting you?
Are you shutting me down because what I’m thinking out loud is making you see and feel things you don’t want to see and feel?
Am I the bad guy for saying what I see? Versus, say, recognizing the perpetrator as the bad guy?

What threatens so deeply about talking something out, without sleights of hand that detract from the point.

Hello, passion plugged in. Welcome to Waking Up.

Turned up. Shut down.

In the wake of March 1st’s post on the potential of racial bias in U.S. Congress and the country, I noticed conversation would spark, and then talk would be quickly shut down. Shut down by others as if the talker were naive for bringing it up.

Conversation over. Crickets. Setting sun. Go about your business, there’s nothing to see here.

This in turn shut me down. A week went by. I got wrapped around an obstacle.

Do people want to hear this—“this” being curiosity about the topics that keep us sleeping?
Do I have authority to talk about it?
Am I naive for bringing it up?

Don’t hold your peace. Live it.

I can thank Rush Limbaugh’s current breach of decency for showing me the way. Rush attempted to shut down critical conversation by shaming a woman for talking.

Aren’t shame and fear and control the reasons most conversations get censored and self-edited? Fear of being misheard. Fear of not being accepted. Shame for one’s belief’s in contrast to a louder voice’s beliefs. Fear of repercussion. Control of the  relationship, lest it…evolve into something different?

Speak now.

Talking is powerful action. Listening is a seat of power, and a gift of creation, collaboration. Listening is growth for both the talker and the listener.

If you cannot say a thing, think it. Write it down in private. Yell it into the woods. Let your beliefs live somewhere. Like us, they have a habit of growing, and bursting out of seams that would hem them in.

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Irka March 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Thanks dear Pema for your words, for writing down this thoughts and feelings- and yes, you have the authority to talk about it! I think that everybody who feels awakening or who has lived it at least in one field of life… has the authority to talk about it. You encourage people. You are authentic. And you write it in such a lovely way. I love it that you do it and that you have the courage to write it to the world… this will encourage people to wake up, because the awareness grows and this is for me waking up.. yes waking up is the growing of awareness.


Pema March 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks, Irka. What a wonderful confirmation. Writing this idea in community, thinking it out loud and hearing it back in others’ experience is key to me. We each have our single voices, our own stories of waking up. Plugging them into a community conversation lights up the systems we live in, with new ideas and familiar ones, and a living conversation of what is and what is becoming.


Irka March 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

Yes! I will wake up in your wake-up-week at 4 a.m. but in Germany and I will write you my experiences… love and happy to meet in this times of awakening, I


Pema March 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

Terrific! So looking forward to reading about your experiences.


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