Communication is an arduous task. The energy of words is powerful and so often misconstrued. Words can be ballistic missiles that pierce your heart. They can do great harm and they can soothe and heal. For me, words hold their greatest strength where there is resonance.
Allow me to explain. Sometimes words on a page or a screen do not match the feelings I pick up on when I read them. You may write that you are happy. However, sometimes I don’t feel that. Sometimes the feeling of “happy” when I read that word in your sentence is missing. In its place I may feel anger or frustration or sorrow. This sounds weird, hey. However, incongruence between the words expressed and feeling can be felt by anyone. It is usually sparked when something doesn’t quite feel right about what we are being told. Usually our hunch ends up being proven accurate.
We can’t hide behind the words we write or speak
The energy of the words you write or speak are imbued with the energy of the thoughts and feelings you experience when you express them. When we write and speak, we are called upon to be present in the moment. Solely in the moment. If we want to convey an emotion or feeling, the most potent way to communicate that is to feel it strongly and genuinely as the words are communicated.
When we try to communicate with others when we are unclear of our feelings, the message is unclear. Incongruence and confusion prevail. The audience is not convinced.
Communicate with mindfulness
To communicate effectively, we need to be clear on how we feel about life and the message we are needing to convey. More and more we are being called upon to express our authentic selves without fear of judgement or prejudice.
The hardest part about owning and expressing our vulnerability is taking the step toward surrender. From there on, strength unfurls from the core of your heart like a huge welcome mat (but not the kind people wipe their feet on!). It is a scary thing to begin with. It goes against what many of us are brought up to believe. However communicating with vulnerability and courage facilitates immense connection with those around us. With connection there is oneness and acceptance.
When we engage with performers or writers, it’s a journey of mindfulness for everyone involved. There are no distractions, and no confusion as to what is being expressed. We are right in the moment together.
Think of the most touching songs you have ever heard performed. You close your eyes and the performer takes you somewhere deep within your emotions. You open your eyes at the end of the song, and realise you had been transported to another time or space. In essence, during the song you have walked beside the singer on their emotional journey, feeling everything they have expressed.
The Flipside of the coin – our words are sometimes not heard
Communication can be a minefield, particularly when negative emotional responses are triggered.
It may be a word aversion (also known as Logomisia) that sets people off. It can also happen when one person projects their emotional baggage onto another or they simply mishear what is said. Irrespective, it’s a tough call when you are communicating authentically and with vulnerability and the other person misinterprets.
The thing is, we can only take responsibility and accountability for the manner in which we treat another person. If a person is ensconced in their emotional baggage and they project their stuff on to you, that has nothing to do with you. We are all responsible for our own mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Likewise, we need to be conscious of not being lazy in our communication with others. Often information is excluded from conversation as it is assumed the other person is privy to detail.
Take the time
In an age where distractions are numerous, it is vital that we take the time to really focus on who we are communicating with. Set the cell phone aside, remove yourself from your keyboard. Look into the other person’s eyes and really listen. Not just with your ears but with your heart.
Go forth. Be brave. Communicate from your heart.
Feature photos courtesy of Me (Anne McCormack)