Last week, I shared about what it’s like to honor your boundaries and to share with Light Holders rather than Light Dictators. We are all capable of showing up as either, perhaps even in the same conversation. However, should you find yourself showing up as the Light Dictator and wanting to shift that, this one question can transform you back into being a Light Holder.
In the midst of a conversation, a dear one started sharing solutions. I realized that I was feeling a full inner rebellion, which is what happens when I feel like I’m in a conversation with a Light Dictator. I stopped her.
First, I acknowledged her. Listen, I said. I love you deeply and I am so wild grateful that you pick up the phone when I call. I’m grateful.
Then, I shared what I needed.
This time, I’m not calling to ask you to fix this. I’m not calling because I need a solution to this problem, although there will be moments for that later. What I need right now is to be heard. I need a reflection of my strength and my wholeness. I need acknowledgement that this hurts right now, and that what I’m feeling is not crazy or weird. I would really love you to hold my hand virtually while I cry near a fountain before I go give this talk.
I proposed some options that I saw.
If you can’t listen, witness or ask curious questions, that is ok. It’s ok to say to me: I’m tired and I can’t listen right now. Or I love you and I just can’t right now. Those are both perfectly wonderful statements and I know that you just might not have it in you today. We can change the topic or talk later.
This woman, she continues to teach me grace and humility. Yes, I can see that, she said. I’m sorry. I do have a moment to really listen. Thank you for calling me.
She simply put down the sword of Light Dictatorship and stepped into her tender and fierce Light Holder space. Perhaps she does this so seamlessly because she has much practice. In fact, she is the one who taught me about this question: what do you need from me right now?
I use this question with clients, friends, and family members- especially when I’m not in a particularly mindful space. I can be running late and flustered, or aggressively walking with purpose to a destination, and this question magically puts me in a space of grounded presence. This question helps me be the self I want to be in that moment, and it supports others in coming back to themselves.
I want to live in a world where we can have courageous creative conversations without causing unnecessary pain. This is a skill set that can be developed and practiced. Recently, I was at an event and Joel Hodroff, a social entrepreneur said, “With a little bit of training, courageous conversations can feel exhilarating.”
Truth and practice help us to have courageous conversations of connection.
You get to ask for what you need. You get to hear YES and NO and then make your next right decision about where to go. You get to have your needs met (and so does the other person). It might not be with them at that time, but it is through clear asking that you will know and lean into trust.
Keep asking for what you need, loves.
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