I used to believe that communication was about talking.
Then I began to believe it was about listening.
Now I believe it’s about understanding.
I see so many people do what I have done, believing it to be effective. Talking *at* people. Patting themselves on the back for being such good communicators. Believing that what they are saying is so valuable and important. Thinking that they are informing and teaching and leading others. With words. I love words... however, words have no value if one isn’t connected to them. I realised that it’s not a conversation if it’s just one person speaking. So I began to believe that listening was the key. However, my belief was that if I listened well enough, I would know how to communicate... and *get my point across better*.
It still wasn’t about understanding or being understood.
It was about being right. Being heard. Being validated... mostly by my own inner demons.
In recent times I have found a peace in my soul that I haven’t felt for either a very long time beyond what I can remember... or ever. And this has shown me so many truths about myself. Not in the usual painful way in which I observe myself... beating myself up with my flaws. This has simply been observations. Languid observation... like I’m taking a stroll along the beach with my internal world.
It has become so clear that my internal chaos has always made it impossible for me to communicate, because I realised that all I was seeking was peace... not connection... not understanding. Trying to prove to myself that I am worthy, enough, not too much, likeable, blah blah blah... the list goes on and on and on and on. I have spent my whole life trying to fit into places. And in a way I told myself that if I couldn’t fit here, in this world... this was my last chance. And yet... I don’t fit. What I have never realised before is that I will never “fit.”
Interaction isn’t about being the same... it’s about acceptance of differences... learning to understand about others’ journeys and allowing them to share in and understand about mine.
Somehow I remember knowing that when I first came here, but it got lost along the way. I got lost. I think as I became more vulnerable in myself, I felt too vulnerable... too exposed. I got scared.
Communication is so much more than I think I will ever be able to fit neatly into a box. Understanding requires flexibility, forgiveness, compassion, vulnerability. None of these things I would originally have associated with communication. All I believed that it was, was talking. With this shift, I seem to have by default become a lot more selective about when I choose to speak. Odd I know. For someone who felt the need to comment on everything, I no longer feel that I need to share myself so much. That space can be filled by others. There is a huge support team here now, and a beautiful blog community. It feels nice to take a step back and just think. To be more selective about who I share my thoughts with and when. To realise that if I’m not coming from a place of understanding, there’s actually no need for me to speak. I do not need to connect with everyone.
I almost feel ashamed at how superficially and disrespectfully I have viewed communication, and those I have attempted it with. Why the rush? How unfortunate that I (we) were so blind. What amazing opportunities we missed in experiencing connection and truly seeing each other.
I realise now that communication is about building a bridge with each other, so that we can come together in the space we have created, and meet... soul to soul. I realise that this actually takes time and effort and energy and a desire to value that space. To honour it. To honour each other.
Me: I’m going to take this opportunity to learn to apply make-up like the YouTube tutorials...
Family outing (Whistler ducks)...
a rose by any other name...
peek-a-boo (Green-tree frog)...
70 band names to be found...