I don’t want to hurt your feelings.
I don’t want you to be angry with me and lash out.
I don’t want you to hurt me, judge me, criticize me, misunderstand me, blame me, shame me, guilt me.
All of this fear is why we avoid difficult conversations.
The more I think about what it means to be an adult, the more I realize it’s not about the mundane: going to work and paying bills. If that were all I had to do, then life would be a lot easier.
The bulk of adulting lies in our relationships and how honest, open, vulnerable and thus, authentic, we can be with one another. Or not and how to maneuver those damaging dynamics.
I recently lost a close friend of 20 years. Even though it was mutual, it hurts. After a few years of distance, I finally had the courage to start the conversation. I initiated dialogue because I was in a Dagger Danger Zone. You know this space too: when you are sending someone all sorts of energy that is less than love and total acceptance of who they are.
What falls into this category? Judgment, resentment, shame, blame, worry, guilt and all of their corresponding micro-emotions. What are the first signs of the Dagger Danger Zone? How you physically react when you hear their name or are in their company. When I see who’s calling and my reaction isn’t on the spectrum of neutral to glee. Uh oh.
It’s so easy for the Dagger Danger Zone to delude you into feeling self-righteous too. You start believing all the stories you made up in your head about how you were wronged or hurt by their actions, which may be so and true. However, you aren’t in any relationship by yourself. What’s your dirt?
As I witnessed myself spiraling into this rabbit hole, I knew the only way out was to have the conversation. These conversations never unfold the way you think they will. Ever. I did my best to acknowledge, stand in my truth, own my part and apologize. The chips fell as they may, with both of us realizing that we weren’t safe for each other.
The loss isn’t easy to process. While I believe we were in an unrecoverable place, I’m really sad about there not being a “better” resolution. I’m not sure if there was one, but I am sure of this: I’m unarmed. I’m grieving and sending love, instead of avoiding and shooting blame.
Are you currently in a Dagger Danger Zone? If so, how will you lay down your weapons and have the conversation? Peace and freedom await.