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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

We all have an inner conversation that is taking place whether we are aware of it or not. Some call this conversation “self-talk” some simply say, “I was thinking about…” I tend to call it our inner conversation.

The other day I was having a conversation with a woman. She was sharing with me the events of her day, her thoughts, feelings and opinions about all of it. The conversation was flowing quite well until she began to feel  bad about something that she had done. Automatically, she entered into this self-loathing, disdainful attitude toward herself and the conversation was over.

Her conversation ended with me but also with herself. I found her shutting down, unable to process, and grappling with words to rescue herself from what appeared a pain producing experience. What happened? Where did she suddenly go? One minute she was present and available, the next she was absent. Here is what I discovered.

There is a vast difference between  conversation and condemnation. Conversation is interactive, dynamic, engaging, and full of life. Conversation creates wonder and curiosity. Condemnation produces judgement, guilt, hurt, and deathlike features. Where conversation opens, condemnation closes. Conversation permits the opportunity for growth and discovery, condemnation ends all learning, avoids possibility thinking, and leaves a person in the ruins of  feeling inadequate.

As you reflect, ask yourself, Are you having a conversation? Is it leading to discovery and growth? Are you entering into condemnation, therefore closing opportunities to learn? Conversation or Condemnation, that is the question!

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If someone were to ask you, “What is your conversation with life?” What would you say? Your answer might be, “Oh, uh, my conversation now is with you, what do you mean?” Or they may refer to conversation meaning to talk. Well, as I mentioned earlier, all of us are having a conversation with life. Every waking moment, thought, feeling, relational engagement, or circumstance is in fact a conversation with life.

Conversation comes from the Latin ‘convertere’ which means to turn around or transform. It was a compound verb formed from the prefix ‘com’, and ‘vertere’, to turn. From the Latin ‘vertere’ originated a specialized form ‘vertare’ denoting repeated action. From it came  ‘versari’ and then developed to eventually produce‘conversari’ which means to dwell, live, associate or communicate with others. Conversation got passed from ‘converser’ (French) into English and suggests the notion of dwelling and social life. Conversation never meant ‘to talk’ until the late 16th century.

Why all of this root word analysis? I think it is important to note that the word conversation originally meant something much different from how we define it today. Conversation originally meant to transform or to turn around. It meant to dwell or associate. Imagine if more often we realized that our conversations have the influence and power to change. How would we handle our conversations knowing that they are a catalyst to literally transform others or to be transformed? So… what is your Conversation with Life and how is it offering you and others a place of dwelling?

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