As long as You’re Fighting, You aren’t Growing
Words were spoken that weren’t necessary.
First by another, then by me.
Not angry words, just redundant, annoying words. It’s one of those bursts of conversation that’s been bouncing around for years. You know, one of those conversations that isn’t really about anything major, but yet it is.
But nothing ever gets resolved, nothing ever comes to a closure. Yet the conversation never completely dies. It might be invisible for months, maybe even for a year, but then something sparks it and it resurfaces. And each time this particular conversation rears its head, I quench it as fast as I can.
To me, it’s a slow motion whack-a-mole game.
It’s an instinctive response, because it’s the same response I’ve had for years. It comes out naturally, without effort. I can’t change the circumstances surrounding the conversation, so I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to discuss it. I don’t want to argue about it. I just want it to go away. I never want to hear about it again.
This time was no exception and the conversation was soon safely back in the dark where I think it belongs. We both went our own way. But for once, I allowed myself to think about it more. Though I feel the conversation is unnecessary, apparently the other person doesn’t, so why is it so hard for me to engage in it?
I’m frustrated with my reaction. Why can’t I allow the conversation to continue? Though the topic of the conversation involves me, everyone agrees I haven’t done anything wrong nor can I do anything to change the circumstances that feed the conversation. It simply is what it is.
I also know I haven’t done anything wrong, but since the topic keeps resurfacing and since it’s about me, it makes me feel like I am somehow wrong.
But for once, I ponder my strong reaction to it. A strong reaction is often a clue that there’s something there to explore. So I begin thinking, processing and allowing myself to follow random trails in my mind and my emotions.
When you’re willing to learn, you will find answers in places you don’t expect.
Another day, another place, I go to dinner with a friend and in the course of our conversation, when we were talking about something and someone else, she says, As long as you’re fighting, you aren’t growing. Which struck me as profound truth.
Driving home I’m thinking about that bit of wisdom and I apply it to that annoying-energizer-bunny conversation that never dies. And I realize by shutting down the conversation immediately, I’m fighting it.
I’m fighting it.
I’m fighting against the conversation.
Which suddenly explains why nothing ever gets resolved in that conversation.
Maybe I need to grow, maybe the other person needs to grow, maybe we both need to grow… but not having the conversation is killing any growing that could happen.
Another day, another unrelated incident, and I learn more. Someone mentions that when a person keeps talking about the same thing, it probably has more to do about what’s going on in their life, then what is going on in anyone else’s life.
This idea isn’t new to me, but I hear it more fully this time and I think about it in conjunction with the whack-a-mole conversation. And it changes my thoughts about it. I have been taking it so personally, when maybe it has much more to do with the other person than with me. Maybe by engaging in the conversation, I will learn something about the other person that could be helpful in our relationship.
When the conversation raises its head again, I’m going to try to engage. I’m going to try to listen closely. I’m going to try to really hear what is being said. I’m going to try to find out why it keeps reoccurs. Why the other person feels the need to talk about it again and again and again…