Recently, I experienced a unique conversation with a new friend. We had just recently met, but right away, our conversation took a character of its own. Together, we created a very open space in which the normal boundaries for conversation quickly dissipated. We talked and talked – free flowing expressions of honesty passed between us. At some point, we both became aware of our presence in that moment. We spoke about it – how time had flown by. We looked around, and became aware, for the first time, of how much was happening in our surroundings. We spoke of our presence, and of how by becoming aware of presence, paradoxically, we had become less present. Eventually, we returned to a topic that we had spoken about earlier, and again found ourselves in a vortex – connected through conversation. Subsequently, we have became good friends. We have returned to this open space a few times, each time as wonderful as the last. Although it is a new friendship, I feel that it is a soul connection: strong and raw.
The fluidity in communication was unique. I’ve had many a conversation, particularly upon first meeting someone, that has been stilted, forced and incredibly superficial. Of course, not everyone feels like diving into a deep connection with a stranger – this is understandable given the society in which we live. Nonetheless, I am sure that many folks are indeed open to such a free-flowing exchange of ideas and spoken thoughts. Creating an open, non-judgemental space for conversing is important to me, so I took the time to reflect on why this particularly authentic conversation was able to take place. What was it about this particular set of circumstances that facilitated such a strong connection? How can I learn from it, and emulate it with others (if they are willing)?
What was it that allowed for such a beautiful conversation? Was it the fact that we were both quite tired, and therefore our ‘guards’ were down? Was it an intuitive pull toward one-another? Was it the open-ness and self-awareness that both of us practice individually? That we both value honesty and integrity? Ultimately, I cannot be sure about many of these elements, as I can only know what I myself was feeling.
Although unaware of it at the time, my ego had melted away. My presence in that moment had allowed for its dissipation. My awareness of self, gone. Words moved through me, my ears and heart were open. Judgement – and fear of judgement – could not exist, without the ego. I trusted my new friend, who in turn trusted me. Ultimately, we became I and I became we – unashamedly oblivious to everything around us. Through listening, open-ness, and lack of judgement, this space was able to be created.
I hope to continually practice these qualities, in all kinds of conversation. When my ego is creeping in, judging, cringing at words and phrases that I find to be offensive, I hope to realise that within myself exists the power to change my reactions. In ridding myself of ego, of judgement, I may locate a point of common understanding with those who seem unfamiliar. I do not expect that the character of a conversation can always be as deep and rich, but openness and non-judgement certainly can allow for acceptance of differing opinions and ideas. In my experience, there is always a way to connect, regardless of circumstance.