It happened the other day, I was on the phone with my sister. We talk several times a day during this time of grief, pandemic and my not feeling well.
We are very close, but that is not to say that we don’t have our times of disagreement and conflict. Hey, we’re human and we love each other so, we are bound to connect often enough to have conflict. But this was just a conversation about the day, no drama involved. It was going along fine until I heard it, the edge in my voice at something so small that as I type this I am struggling to remember what it was.
Then the silence and the sound of the air being sucked out of the room. And then my sister who knows me so well says, “talk to you later” and I agree and am left to think about what just happened.
I am a walking recipe for conflict right now and in realizing that… I recognize that so are most of us. I am not myself nor in control and I need to be in control or at least I like to be. Knowing that so much of what is happening in my life is not something I can strategize and manage into an order that suits me, leaves me susceptible to developing an edge.
You know what I’m talking about.
That sudden change from a natural or nice tone, to a sharpness and a slightly or even incredibly irritated tone that’s meant to cut, take the wind out of, or stop whatever might be said next by the other person. And this edge is sneaky because it comes from within and I know in my case, I didn’t start out with it and I did not feel it coming, but nevertheless…
Yeah, we are in danger of being taken over by that edge unless we take the time to deliberately take stock of ourselves. In my case, even though it has been over a month since Warren’s death, I have had little time to consider it and grieve. This pandemic swept over our lives and the time and attention that I needed just for me, I wholehearted gave to showing concern for family, friends and colleagues. Almost as immediately as Corona struck, my body rebelled against me and nothing I did would tame it.
The edge had lots of space and reason to grow. The real kicker is that having severe stomach issues, while having no decrease in appetite, is like some sick joke on me. I am the person that Snickers® based their commercial on. I AM NOT MYSELF WHEN I AM HUNGRY!
I am certain that this reality was not lost on my sister at the time of our conversation. So, I am a ripe candidate for The Edge.Think about it. So many of us are.
So, this comes as an opportunity to expect edginess in people. I maintain that this is a time of much conflict right before a time of severe conflict. Right now, many of us are giving way to inner conflict and the conflict of being driven by fear and pain.
The Edge is just the beginning of what’s to come. I want you to listen for the edge in others and meet it with compassion rather than an edge of your own.
I want you to listen for your edge and acknowledge it and then examine the source of it. I am on the listen for mine and am determined to cut it off at the pass by resting more, being grateful more, showing more compassion and being as honest as possible with myself about the reasons for it.
Oh, and apologizing when it gets the best of me. I love my sister and I am so glad she loves me too. We can hear the edge in each other, and choose to drown it out in the honest laughter of how silly we sound in the moment and by noticing just how much there is to still laugh about.
Let’s be kinder to each other during this time and let’s remember to include ourselves in that kindness.
The Edge is a lot closer than we think.
P.S. On April 23rd, I’ll be a panelist in the amazing virtual event, The Derby Diversity & Business Summit: Digital Dialogue Series. Social Distancing does not have to mean we stop networking! In this time of crisis, collaboration and establishing new connections to gain access to new resources is more important than ever. The Derby Diversity & Business Summit (DDBS) facilitates private and secure, virtual one-on-one’s after each panel discussion. A great way to network while we are all quarantining! More info: https://derbydiversity.com/digital-dialogue-series