Ugly beautyApril 20, 2012
There are many ugly pictures that come to mind from the shared past of most any family. We try to banish them to the lowest and furthest recesses of our consciousness but they repeatedly push their way to the forefront as if they are the most important memories and by damn, they intend to show us.
Maybe they are the most important. Maybe they do have the most to say to us about life and what we should learn to continue on our paths. Maybe that is why they are so doggoned persistent.
I can’t recall a single instance when things were spiraling downward into an abyss of contention that someone involved couldn’t have said, “Stop, let’s think for a moment.”
Why don’t we do that? Why do we need to put forth our argument when, usually, our opponent-of-the-moment is not hearing us? What is it about voicing our position that makes us feel vindicated, correct? Why does our opponent-of-the-moment feel the same when we are not hearing them either?
Saying it makes it so, except it doesn’t.
Closing our mouth and paying close attention to the family member who should never be our opponent can allow us to take a step up to learning about what makes relationships work. Closing our mouth can put a spotlight on a family member who continues to rail against the topic of the moment, while we look, listen and evaluate. Closing our mouth can cause an awkward silence in an argument that has ceased to be an argument and has become a study.
Closing our mouth can allow the beauty of silence to begin to penetrate the minds of those who should not be arguing. Once silence reigns we can take a look at ourselves and devise a new way to discuss old arguments. We may find that by closing our mouth we have created beauty from ugliness and saved a connection that is more valuable than any other relationship—that of a family member.