Slaying Dragons

The other day, I was having a deep and meaningful conversation with someone… we both make a very concerted effort to be clearly understood… a skill I highly appreciate.

There had been some distance… not anything bad, just an odd feeling of “downness” if that’s a word…

Having been to the depths of depression and back again, it seems silly to classify anything less than that as feeling “down” …   It’s like a migraine sufferer complaining about a headache… you almost feel silly about complaining about something that is really minor compared to what you KNOW is possible.

And I knew exactly what was being communicated and then what popped out of my head was “You’re grey.” and surprisingly, it made sense.

IMG_1321In  the wise words of Evin, “Just because someone else’s shit is shittier, it doesn’t make your shit any less shitty.  It’s ok to be upset for a minute.”

So how do you explain something in a way that doesn’t get misunderstood? Sometimes, you have to find new words.

Ranges… scales… ways to measure the intensity of what you are feeling or experiencing.  With some, I pull the “on a scale of 1-10” and in some situations that makes total sense… but in others… There’s just too much variance for a scale like that… unless you can speak in terms of irrational numbers like pi but realistically, there’s enough irrationality going on in my head most days without involving maths.

Back to me.

So through the course of this conversation, something was said.  Feelings got hurt.  IT WAS REDONK. {in hindsight I can see this CLEARLY but in the moment?  Less clear…}

Luckily, my conversation cohort allows me the freedom to talk through the crazy… even asking for the stream of consciousness that would drive most mad… I’d share but without pages and pages of back story, it wouldn’t make sense and ain’t nobody got time for that… Just trust me when I say that the steady stream of consciousness for 4 simple texts can take 5 pages… don’t ask how I know this.

We’ve often been told that not only do our words matter, but our tone matters.  How we say things is as important as what we say. Can we all just go ahead and agree with this?

What I realized during the course of that conversation was that the scale matters too.


The words weren’t the problem…neither was the tone.  It was where I was on the scale that caused the issue. FOR ME.  My fellow conversationalist didn’t have or cause the issue here – I did.  And only I could resolve the issue by stepping back and looking at things more clearly and almost clinically. {and by the way, I did… we did… whatever}

If you’ve ever read The Five Love Languages, you are likely familiar with the Love Tank analogy.  You can give and give as long as there is something or someone giving to you so that your tank never goes empty.  You can even run down pretty close to empty even but once it’s empty, and there’s nothing left to give… until you refuel.  {I’m going to dive into this much more on Friday when I start discussing that as my latest For What It’s Worth Friday, so come back for that}

Point is… My tank was a little low.  Through nobody’s fault – just life and a series of unfortunate circumstances.  Because the tank was a little low, insecurities popped up that were not founded in anything real.

As we continued to talk through the steady stream of consciousness, what became very clear to me was that to truly show empathy, we must strive to be sensitive to the words we use and the way we say things of course, but we also need to be aware of the tanks of those we care about.

Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

Sometimes, we don’t even realize that we are fighting a battle.  Sometimes, we’ve dealt with something for so long that it becomes normal… accepted… and then, we see it with new eyes and have the opportunity to choose differently.

Taking a step back when you feel your feathers get ruffled isn’t always easy.  It’s always been worth it in my experience.  I find that when I can objectively see the trees in the forest, I can decide what the real issue is… and then that’s the dragon to slay.  And when you slay the root of the problem, miracles happen.

Happy Monday Y’all!


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