Communication postscript

The Bar Nuts recipe is posted! I'll be making them later today and can't wait to enjoy the fragrance they leave in my kitchen and indulge in them tomorrow evening.~~

Many of you commented on how much my recent post, Communication, resonated with you. As always, I am grateful for both the reading and feedback. Since writing, I've realized that those reflections told only part of the story. While I believe wholeheartedly that communication deepens and enriches our relationships, the course and aftermath of doing so aren't always happy or feelgood. This is one reason that tough conversations are often delayed, glossed over or not had at all, and is why broaching difficult topics can feel so fraught. It's hard to say things that might be hurtful, and it's certainly hard to hear them, especially if they're true. Hearing without defense is tough; just look at what politics has devolved into- a partisan screaming match in which all but a small few neither care nor try to hear what the other side has to say. Compromise has become a sign of cowardice, weakness, and both sides have become entrenched, heels dug in, ears closed, talking points now shouting assertions. Is it any wonder that nothing much ever gets done even though our country is, in many ways, crumbling around us?

Certainly, real communication is more challenging than tuning out, not caring, pushing aside or maintaining a degree of superficiality. Men can do this well, and I mean no judgment there. I envy that ability not infrequently because although I do believe what I said about life really being experienced in the details -pretty and otherwise- the emotional angst that often accompanies difficult dialogue can be exhausting. And thus, growth, self-knowledge and important realizations are often tinged with sadness, regret and/or a sense of loss. This is particularly true, in my opinion, if you tend towards the sensitive end of the spectrum, if you tend to look for the fault in yourself, if you tend to personalize things.

Perhaps the best we can do is be aware of all this through the lens of our own personality, try to stay open to new learning and new ways of seeing situations, remember that we are all flawed and that is OK. Remember that with living comes hurt, through hurt can come wonderful growth, and in growth, potentially enormous change both in ourselves and in our relationships.