Communication is more than key; It’s everything. Not just what we say but how we say it. How we emphasize a word, add a gesture or a look. It can completely alter the meaning of our words and the way that we show up with another person. Add to the mix assumptions, stories, parts left out, accusations, judgments, and feelings. What we intend or hope to say, how we articulate it, and the motive behind our words can be the difference between someone feeling heard or not, supported or not, loved or not.
We often withhold because we are in fear of the consequences of our communication. How often do we just not talk at all about what is really going on? How much time is spent hiding out? And how much of life is kept on the surface? Sports, weather, news, politics and clothes, nails and other people?
We have an opportunity every day to authentically express what we are thinking and feeling. It is our own personal responsibility to make sure that what we are expressing outwardly matches how we are feeling internally. Saying “yes” to something or someone while we are feeling overcommitted and resentful internally is a toxic combination. It creates anxiety and inner conflict. How can we communicate in such a way that allows us to say what we need to say while still honoring and respecting another and ourselves? If most of our communication is spent arguing, defending, and exploding we miss the opportunity to collaborate, create and support.
What we will find is that we are either operating in harmony or resistance, and this is true in our communication and in our lives in general. If what I want is open, honest, and authentic communication I must be willing to give and lead with that in myself. (For the record, being open and honest doesn’t give us permission to be rude, sarcastic, and disrespectful.)
In week 20, we looked at making assumptions and how detrimental they are to our relationships. As we continue to work on our communication, the invitation is to continue to notice when we shut down, when we get tense or closed off. What is it that is said or done that “triggers” us to react, feel defensive, and lash out? These are all places of exploration and healing within ourselves. As we keep one eye on the inside, we will begin to notice patterns, triggers, and a conversation with our self that tends to be the perspective we see, speak and live from. The question is: Does this serve me?
Where are we operating from most of the time? Is it our head or our hearts? Pay attention to the closest relationship you have—the one with yourself and/or a significant and meaningful relationship (regardless of who it is). In most cases, this is a person who you cherish, admire, and respect, and interestingly enough in a moment all of that can shift. We will literally say and do things to this person that are in complete contradiction to how we say we feel about them. In a state of negative headspace, we can often do say and do things that we would never think of saying or doing when we are grounded in our hearts.
Often times we will not communicate with our loved ones. We will expect them to read our minds, and we will have an expectation of how they should respond or be there for us and when they don’t respond the way we would like or are not there for us, we breakdown.
Explore your language, your thought process and areas in your body that feel contracted or painful. Practice being mindful of what you are communicating and how you are communicating it. Let this be a week of speaking your truth in a way that is loving and accepting of yourself and others. Pay attention to the words you are using and if it is uplifting or downgrading. As we begin to consciously choose to be guided by the highest vision for our lives, we will naturally begin to move away from anything that is not in alignment with it.