Most often my statements recount talking points and parroted opinions, and they beg to be challenged, explained and debated. That’s the essence of public debate.
At times, however, I risk speaking from my quiet center and, rather than confrontation, this voice requires hospitable space and welcome. It’s a voice unfamiliar with the spotlight. It exists in the shadows: exploring truth, listening, reflecting, and moving at its own pace.
My quiet statements come from within, a place known by many names – inner teacher; still, small voice; soul; bliss; identity; true self. It speaks from an internal, unblemished wisdom that knows me completely and offers quiet guidance.
…but, it’s a shy voice…
Even when recognized and beckoned, it may be reluctant to come forth. It won’t be forced. It prefers an open, non-judgmental, welcoming space created by asking questions that probe “what does this mean to you” rather than “how shall we resolve this.”
…that responds to grace…
We can offer this space to ourselves as well as to others. Offering this space – requiring time and patience – sits at the heart of generosity. It’s allowing people to be who they are and where they are without tossing in our unsolicited advice or nudging prods…letting them come to their own insights and understanding.
Truth is an internal conversation about things that matter, conducted with passion and discipline. Parker Palmer
Here is a two-part practice guide for asking open and honest questions (read part one) (read part two)