Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Revising My Words

Words are important to me. Words have so much power. Words are beauty and meaning.

When I read a book, I care very little about the description of the location, the look of the characters, or the action taking place between the words. What I want to read is the dialogue. The words spoken as well as the inner dialogue of the characters. The thoughts that eventually, or maybe never, are spoken.

I walk away from conversations, good conversations, and start to revise what I said in my mind as I drive away. I spend so many minutes and hours as I lay in bed, rephrasing and editing what I said.

When I have been in a battle of words, I want a second chance to speak more clearly, to make my point. I want to find resolution in the words and in the spaces in between the words. I understand why I want to revise those words.

But what still surprises me is my response even when the conversation goes well, when I am out to dinner with a good friend or sitting on the couch talking over coffee. I will still often rework the conversation later in my head.

Dialogue playing out. Topics changed, less harsh thoughts, more grace filled words, more encouragement.

I want a do-over. A chance to explain what I really meant. So I spend time having the conversation again in my head. And I begin to feel a little less. A little less right. A little less of a good friend. A little less...

I start to feel insecure.

Does that person still like me after what I said? 
I am a horrible listener.
Why did I say that? 

I don't know why I feel the need to rehash a nice conversation. I don't know why I end up assuming that I hurt the other person either with my words or my lack of asking about something I "should" have remembered to ask about. I don't know why I end up walking away feeling bad about a conversation that felt really good, really authentic and really fun at the time.

I know I should not lose sleep over these conversations and I am trying not to. But I have found that through revisiting my words and the dialogue, I slowly figure out how to listen better and how to communicate more effectively.

Do you have rehash conversations in your head? What conversations do you find yourself most reliving?

1 comment:

  1. I am driving 3 hours with the kids this morning to visit my mom, to talk with her face-to-face. I am nervous and don't really want to do it. I am a bit anxious for what I will say. But this time it will be the truth, so there is peace in that. And so, for once, I have no plan for action. I will let the words tumble out. Thank you for your beautiful words.