In the past six months, I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) and had to deal with many family difficulties. I hate to say it and be cliche but the thought of becoming a parent has changed me. Instead of shying away from the awkward conversations that arise when people make poor choices, or do things that negatively influence you, I now find it necessary to address the elephant when these things happen. Why? Because my priorities have shifted. Because during this time my faith and friendships have grown stronger as a result of having these key conversations. I will not blame hormones for the issues I have had to address. Rather, I’ll credit hormones for giving me the strength to address things that once I would have let roll off my back or bury somewhere to never deal with. There’s something liberating about addressing an issue in a non-confrontational manner. Instead of ignoring it, pushing it down, or rationalizing it I have chosen to identify why it bothers me and communicate compassionately.
I have found that I have become quite particular with the pending arrival of our baby. Someone told me it was the hormones. Nope. It’s not the hormones. It’s a life-changing privilege and my particularities have grown to accommodate what we feel is best for our baby. Is that ungrateful, selfish or controlling? Some may say yes. I say no. We feel so blessed to have this little, unplanned baby and want to provide for her in the best way possible. I believe that things come from God – including the visions we may have for our future (caveat to this: the visions he plants in us because we have prayed and sought wisdom for them, James 1:5).
To me, addressing the elephant in any room provides an opportunity for growth and effective communication. In doing so, we must approach the conversation without anger or accusations. We must do so in a way that communicates a desire for clarification and understanding.
Elephants appear in every relationship whether it’s a significant other, friends, family members and/or colleagues. Don’t ignore the thousand pound mass, greet it. It’s better to gain understanding regardless if in the end, your opinions differ. I guarantee the other person will respect you for addressing it and your relationship will grow.