It’s not easy to talk about unhealthy behaviors.  Sometimes, though, difficult conversations are necessary in order to find health within a situation.  But, before those conversations occur, I believe we should be sure of what we see.

Take a tree hanging over a riverbank: If the river underneath the tree’s branches is fast-moving and shallow, there’s no way the river’s surface will reflect the branch.  But, if the river is deep and still and the sunlight is bright, an almost perfect image of the tree will dance on top of the river.

Any reflection is a complex system of light and shadows.  The branches and the water must be still so that light and shadows can dance around the branches and through the water in balance and harmony to create the branches’ reflection.

But, what happens when there’s no harmony between all of the dancers?  For example, on a cloudy and windy day, the tree will shake and the water will ripple under the weight of blowing gusts.  The branches will not see their reflection on those days: There’s simply no balance or harmony between the dancers.

Any conversation is a verbal dance between people.  When conditions are in balance and harmony, people will understand each other.  One person will speak and the other will understand and they will create a perfect reflection of the other’s meaning.  The quickest way to ruin that harmony is to add judgment.

Judgment is the wind that distorts the dancers and ruins the still upon which communication can occur.  We may see someone we love behaving in a way that we see as unhealthy.  But, what we see may be little more that our own insecurities and doubts reflected against our loved one’s behaviors.  The judgment we cast is only what we feel about ourselves, we may not be seeing our loved one at all.

Tough conversations sometimes need to happen.  We just have to be sure that we see the behaviors for what they are, not for what see along the surface of our own reflection.