Clear is Kind
I’m the oldest of 3 siblings. This means I was and can still be on the bossy side. I’m half puerto-rican, half salvadoran, which by my own definition means dramatic. I did not learn how to express my emotions much as a kid, which means I can speak a lot before thinking. (I’m getting better at that!) I’m a stay at home mom to younger children. This means I can be over-excited when I engage in adult conversation. I’m also a huge empath. This means I will feel what you’re feeling to the core of me, if I let it.
These are all smaller aspects of my personality that influence the way I communicate with the world around me on a day to day basis. All of it plays a role in how I communicate my heart with compassion, clarity and sometimes a straight up mess.
I’ve been learning so much about communication lately, clear and direct communication. In Brené Browns book Dare to Lead, she says, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. Feeding people half-truths to make them feel better (which is almost always about making ourselves feel more comfortable) is unkind.”
Being a recovering people pleaser, communicating clearly with courage is a practice I choose to engage in daily, and it’s never easy or fun. All of the personality traits I’ve mentioned above can both trip me up and help me. Thankfully I’ve grown to learn there’s nothing wrong with me. I can embrace those aspects about myself and move forward with resilience, always.
Thinking about having tough conversations to communicate what I feel or need can make me feel anxious at times. I’ve found myself cleaning the house to burn off the building anxiety, depending on the situation. But I’m learning to push myself towards the uneasiness because resentment feels way worse. Let’s get real, pretending things are fine leads to bitterness and irritation. And it’s all going to find its way out one way or the other.
Rumbling with my emotions, getting curious about what I’m feeling and why I’m it is essential to my process. It sets my intention with more clarity. And to be perfectly frank, after I do the soul searching the rest of my process looks like this...”Holy Spirit, HELP!” And he does. He gives me courage, grace and wisdom to enter and engage with an open heart and open mind. And many times he drops the words that feel straight from Heaven’s heart.
Sometimes I land it and sometimes I don’t. The truth is things don’t always end up resolved and pretty. Some situations take time. Some areas get messy before there is understanding. Many times I have to own my part. But I’m so thankful for opportunities to learn, grow, build trust, to understand and be understood. It’s both good and hard. There is so much gold to be found in confrontation when the goal is connection. It’s something I’ve truly discovered and something to keep reminding myself of all the time.
Practicing brave communication is one of the many practical life skills that has emerged from immersing myself in intentional community. My tribe is a nationwide women’s movement I co-lead called, Wholehearted & Courageous. Summed up, it feels like the school of life. I’m grateful for the caring, powerful women who sharpen me everyday.
Brave and intentional communication has been powerful for me and the many women within our circle whom I’ve also seen rumble with their own courage. Here are some ways to practice this for yourself.
Stop. Ask God for clarity and perspective. Get really curious and honest about what you’re experiencing, what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. Psalm 139:23-24
Reflect. How much of these thoughts are true? Am I making up a story about this in my head? What about this situation am I missing?
Pray. Ask God to exchange your interpretation with His truth. Let him speak to the places that hurt. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you feel seen, loved and cared for. John 8:32
Practice courage. If possible, seek to make space and time with the person you need to clear things up with. The key here is to remember that your motivation is connection. Ask for HELP from the Holy Spirit.
Wholehearted & Courageous is a movement that begins within the heart. We cultivate spaces that invite women into belonging, awakening and convergence, empowering them to live the fullest, fiercest, most authentic version of themselves. If you happen to live in the Sacramento area, we will be launching new groups this summer. Please reach out for more information and visit us at www.wholeheartedandcourageous.com
Artwork by: Ammie Avolio