Listen for the hurt,
the broken dreams,
and the opportunities to heal them.
Listen for the fears,
and the cue to hug them.
Listen not for the hate
that developed in a world
that rejected them,
and battered them.
Listen for the vulnerable one
they try desperately to hide.
Give them a reason to trust
and a safe place
to surrender their weapons.
I started writing poetry as a child. It was a way to express myself in an indirect way so I wouldn’t hurt the people around me, even when they were hurting me. When I started sharing it here on my blog, especially after I was assaulted in 2014 and after my mother died in 2018, I attracted the attention of a scholar as far away as Queensland, Australia. Other conscious lawyers also invited me to contribute some of my work to their publication. I am touched and fulfilled when I can support someone else’s healing, which is why I continue to share these and now invite you to use the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process to explore your own conflicts surrounding racism. First, make the Seven Choices. Then:
- Define the conflict succinctly. Take these one at a time. There are probably more of them than you realize, but as you build skill in working through them, you will be able to free yourself of them more quickly.
- Identify your interests. What do you believe about hard work and what you deserve for doing it? What do you think you are supposed to do? Is it working? What results do you need from your hard work that you aren’t getting? What do you want? What do you feel you have to do that you wish you didn’t?
- Play with the possibilities. If you could have this conflict resolve in any way possible, what would happen? Could that still happen? How?
- Create the future. Commit to taking at least three SMILE actions this week. Write those actions down. They should be specific, measurable (so you know when they’re done), individualized to you, at least somewhat likeable, and relatively easy to fit into your busy schedule, so you have no excuses.
- Stay on PARR. Plan, act, revise, and repeat, until you get the results you want. Resolution will not occur overnight. But you can certainly move in that direction one day at a time. And you deserve to.
Need to improve your listening skills?