Part 1 of 4
I wanted to know what my students would tell others about the act of stepping up to a difficult conversation, now that they had, albeit by force of assignment, completed their own. Here’s what they told me:
- It wasn’t remotely as difficult as my worst fears anticipated it to be.
- It’s freeing. It releases you from something holding you down or holding you back.
- Stepping up with intention makes you a better person, helps you find a center in a chaotic world.
- You shouldn’t be afraid to step up and look into the big black hole. You will not lose yourself in that hole!
- You won’t be alone in that conversation for more than a heartbeat, because the other will join you fully when you know how to do it. They’ve been waiting, too.
- It’s empowering because you’re deciding not to be a victim of the conflict.
- At the other side of the conversation, I found myself—the person I had lost for all the years I had avoided that conversation.
At the other side of the conversation, I found myself. Can there be anything more powerful than that?
I’m humbled by what my students did, because sitting there in that classroom with them, I could see that they had really, truly stepped up. They had spoken up and gotten to the heart of what mattered. They had made a difference in their own lives and in the lives of another person. And in mine.