Tender Truth

April 17, 2019 | By More

We hear plenty these days on speaking truth. This typically means that the truth in question will be personal and may or may not resonate for others. But what about the kind of truth that is less personal and more universal? A truth much more aligned with putting the sword down than with picking it up? A truth that is more unifying than it is divisive? Let me provide an example:

The relationship had hit a rough spot. The distance between them had become intolerable. If they could speak to each other with genuine care and candor across the searing silence, what would they say?

I feel so scared. Based on our track record, I have little faith that either one of us possesses the skills necessary to navigate the growing distance between us. I fear that speaking will only create more pain as it has done in the past and I want so much more for both of us. I want these wounded places to be tended to mercifully .. so that we can either renew our faith in our commitment to meaningfully weave our lives together or, if need be, part ways with a deep abiding appreciation for what we have shared. I want so much to believe that we can find the generosity, grace and courage required to move forward. I want to believe that we can bow to this grief so that new life can be born. This is what I want to say to you.

Neither person is likely to say this. Very few of us know how to speak so candidly and with such heart. Our sincerity often goes no further than guarded personal truth, opinion, and hurtful evaluations. But just because we don’t express our more vulnerable selves or know how to begin, it doesn’t mean the words expressed above would not be true. There’s plenty that lives inside us that we don’t know how to articulate.. 

If we had witnessed such tender charitable exchanges during our childhood years, we would have learned to speak differently with each other during more challenging moments. Our conversations wouldn’t collapse into defensiveness and accusation while recklessly escalating the conflict. Think how different our relationships might be if we in fact possessed both the self awareness and skillfulness to articulate the depth of our aliveness without resorting to the crude tools most of us were schooled in during our formative years.  It’s not to late to learn.

Rachelle Lamb is a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication who makes home in Victoria BC. Her annual Ottawa training takes place this month. Learn more at www.RachelleLamb.com

Category: Articles, Counselling & Coaching

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