As I sit and ponder what has been one of my great challenges and I listen to the world around me, I sense it is a collective wound. The ability to communicate on a level much deeper than what can be heard. The need, that innate desire to be felt and recognised when choosing to share from your heart.
It is a basic human need, to feel connected, to be seen, to be witnessed and accepted in all that you are and all that you feel. For many, it stems much deeper than just wanting to get your point across. For many, the sub-conscious ache is not so much about being right, but about being accepted even within your wrongness.
You see, from my perspective, a break down in communication, is not so much about people who disagree but their unwillingness to SEE ‘the other’ beyond the opinions they may not agree upon. The disconnection of recognising the other as a feeling being, a person with stories and insecurities. A person with perceptions and learned behaviors. A person vying for acceptance- much like we all are.
The distance we create, as a sanctuary from hurt, from misunderstanding, from rejection, hampers our ability to brave the foray of conscious communication. A space in which we commit to SEEING the other and the recognition of the pain points and insecurities that co-exist in each of us. The ability to consciously communicate is steeped in the willingness to express from a place of genuine honesty without an expectation of proving someone wrong. For in fact, we are ALL right in how we feel.
Do most of you seek resolution from disagreements with others? Do your conversations usually escalate if someone’s point is not being accepted by the other? Does talking become yelling? How quickly does the conflict turn to straight out blame? Is there a pattern of who flares-up and who quietly retreats?
This is not conscious communication. This is the Ego fighting for survival. The place in your sub-conscious that will fight to the death, yet cares little for the happiness and contentment you truly desire. CONSCIOUS communication is a practice of tuning in to how you FEEL before communicating. CONSCIOUS communication is having the ability to discuss from a place of how situations impact you, what thoughts and feelings you have without the need to focus on the other.
Let Me Explain…
In 2017, with a workload that was completely overwhelming, I was continually frustrated with the incessant needs placed on me by my Mother. While she was busy minding our daughter and helping out where she could, there was one particular area that was causing a lot of distress. I was growing tired and increasingly aggravated by having to step her through a process on her computer every month.
For me, I had decided she was just being lazy, she found it easier for me to do it for her and that this, in fact, highlighted that she didn’t understand how much I had on my plate. I was taking all this as a sign that she didn’t really support the dreams my husband and I were working towards. Now this may all seem a little absurd but that’s the point, when we are aggravated or agitated, rationality can slide right out the door.
I made the CONSCIOUS decision to discuss how I was feeling with her. We had endured many testing conversations prior to this, ones that left us both feeling uneasy and misunderstood. Luckily I had just presented a children’s meditation and was feeling relatively zen because this conversation was going to go one of two ways… either I would be leaving and never returning (my family has a habit of problem-solving by ceasing contact) or we would SEE each other and work out a way forward.
All that was truly needed was to consciously communicate. To allow the space for this, one has to be willing to LISTEN deeply to the other. Each person must be committed to allowing the other to fully express without judgment or interjection. There is no blame in conscious communication. Their is a responsibility to own your own feelings and honestly share them. You make the conscious choice to own your own pain points and recognise how they play out in relationships.
That day began with me feeling unsupported and agitated. I was resentful that my Mum couldn’t cut me some slack and get better at learning simple computer mechanics. Yet I left SEEING a woman who had severe insecurities, felt terribly inadequate and had no way of openly expressing those feelings. She wasn’t being lazy, she wasn’t expecting too much, she simply had no way of communicating her deepest fears.
For a lot of us, our deepest fears are what truly blocks our ability to communicate effectively. We create barriers from SEEING each other. We buy into stories that are simply not true. We do this to protect ourselves and yet we are causing ourselves more harm than good. The festering, the resentment, the agitation… it is all boiling away within us and impacting our ability to move closer. It is only when we get close that we can SEE, we are all looking through the lens of love and fear from our own experiences.
Thre is simply no room for blame in conscious communication. There is only room for self awareness and responsibility. There is only room for SEEING and FEELING. The KEY here is to see and feel your own stuff before heading into the foray of communicating with another about theirs. Are you willing to show up for that first?