The funny thing about difficult conversations is that each time we avoid having them we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to master the skill of navigating difficult conversations. As I reflect upon past difficult conversations, I feel a deep sadness for the pain we endured within the situation we shared. At the same time I feel such joy for the conversation, our courage, our voices, our passion, and our integrity. We struggled to hold onto what was true to us, and we opened to support and understanding from each other. We didn't always agree. We weren't always clear. We couldn't always contain our frustration. We did, however, maintain respect for each other and the process. I truly believe that our conversations and relationships don't need to be a constant struggle. We navigate difficult conversations by dancing through the various stages together with compassion and understanding.