I agreed that I have also been missing the wildlife and then I added, “But I am happy where we are too”. And then it struck me that I didn’t need the “But”.
It is perfectly ok to hold two seemingly opposing feelings at once. When we put a ‘but’ before a comment, we tend to diminish the initial comment. The ‘but’ somehow mutes or softens or even discounts the initial statement. For instance, at this time of year I often hear people say that they love Christmas but.... they dislike the work and the pressure.
In one of my workshops there is a segment where partners work together to have a conversation. Partner A begins by saying, ‘I am going on a trip to Banff. Would you like to join me?’ Partner B must respond with “Yes, but.... “ and then complete a thought. They alternate for a couple of minutes always starting each sentence with ‘Yes, but...’ Right after this, the exercise is repeated with Partner A saying ‘I am going on a trip to Banff. Would you like to join me?’ This time Partner B must respond with a ‘Yes, AND.... ‘and then complete a thought. Again, they alternate for a couple of minutes always starting each sentence with ‘Yes, AND...’
You can only imagine the change in the energy in the room when the word ‘But’ is eliminated and ‘And’ is included. When ‘And’ is used, the energy rises, the possibilities seem endless and creativity is at its best.
I’ll challenge you this week to ‘But’ out. When you catch yourself starting to say ‘yes...but’, pause and see if it might not just be possible for you to accept the statement that you have heard or made, AND have another thought that is equally true but does not diminish the initial statement.
For my part this Christmas, I am going to miss being on the acreage AND I am going to love being in London with our son Greg and Cara. I am going to love being with Greg and Cara AND I’m going to miss being with our daughter Kaitlyn and Matt. AND no matter where I am, I am not going to miss out on chocolate:)