Our primary tool for communication is language. In fact, you cannot think of anything without putting a ‘word’ to it. All reality is based in language. Coming from the mouth of an awakened person, communication becomes a tool of limitless loving creativity.
And that’s just what we are in the process of doing – awakening. No longer are our relationships going to be based upon ‘communication breakdown’ rooted in the old broken picture that we had of ourselves. We are leaving our defensive postures behind, giving them up and looking instead for how our speech may bring a contribution to others and ourselves.
To help us do that, we want to speak with a heavenly bent, soaked with kindness, love and compassion. After all, the ability to communicate is a gift from God:
“Who has made man’s mouth?…Is it not I, the LORD?” Ex. 4:11 NASB
We can’t speak to others with kindness, love and compassion until we first give it to ourselves. Without that intimate experience we are at a loss, because we cannot give what we do not have. So, when we can familiarize ourselves with the nature of these gifts, we will be able to send them out from our heart. In fact, we will have a loving unction to do so.
As a result (and because we get into the habit of checking the content of our speech before we utter it), we stay in the present moment and frame our words in love, gratitude and possibility.
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer… Pr. 15:28 NKJV
“…whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 NKJV
But what happens when we don’t? (We are human after all.) Acknowledge that you’ve said something unkind. Those words are etched upon the other’s spirit. Admit your error and restore the love…
Avoid people that you complain to because they are inadvertently helping you to remain a victim. Indeed, stop complaining altogether. Sit still and bring your mental focus to your complaints, and look to see what it is that you are doing or not doing to have these things in your life. Ask yourself, ‘Why would I be manifesting this in my life? What’s my payoff?’
Always bring love to your conversation. Then you can stop defending your position and your obsession with being ‘right.’ Most people would rather be right than happy. Crazy. Stop blaming, and take responsibility for what’s going on in your head.
If a communication problem pops up, ask yourself, ‘How can I help myself and others get past this hurt?’ or ‘How can I communicate more clearly?’ Commit to removing anything that separates you from others. Start by feeling good about yourself so that you can project those good feelings onto everyone else.
A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life… Pr. 15:4 AMP
Don’t avoid difficult people. Everyone has worth. Drop your expectations and practice kindness. Most people you don’t like are those who won’t endorse your mask. (You’ve tossed that aside by now, yes?) In fact, ‘difficult people’ are gifts to you because they show you the schemes you’re running that hinder your growth in love.
Tell the truth. Do what you say you will do. Life only works to the degree in which you align with your word, i.e. how well you practice your integrity. The amount of integrity you have is in direct proportion to how much love you have for yourself.
Truthful lips shall be established forever… Pr. 12:19 NASB
“You shall be careful to perform what goes out of your lips…” Dt. 23:23 NASB
Again, our humanness will emerge from time to time. We all fall out of integrity and break agreements. Instead of listening to that voice in your head try to beat you up for your transgression, acknowledge that you broke a commitment (without judging yourself) and make the necessary corrections – recommit to your agreement.
Every time you keep a commitment, your ability to stay in integrity gathers strength as well as your self-confidence.
You can also help others with their integrity. If you let them slide, you are showing disrespect. They know they are out of integrity and are ashamed in the face of your enabling. They will ultimately resent you for it because that’s how they feel about themselves.
In order to be aligned with your word, you must stop lying.
“Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace…” Zech. 8:16 ESV
When we speak from love, it is our responsibility to share the truth – gently, yet giving no thought to how it might be received (so we don’t color it with our opinions), or whether we might be rejected for doing so. Integrity demands that we speak with irreproachable honesty about what we feel and how we perceive what is happening in every moment.
Those who hunger for truth will walk with you through whatever obstacle might be present, so that the relationships can continue to grow in love…
When listening in a conversation, listen to what is so, i.e. the perceived truth of the speaker. What they say is rarely personal. It’s only a reflection of where they are in that present moment. You needn’t be fearful. When you answer, respond from your ‘reflective listening,’ i.e. parrot back to the speaker what you think they said and what you thought it meant.
Real communication begins when you realize that you really don’t know what’s true for another person; so you have to listen to them first and always seek clarification.
As an example, let’s say the speaker is having a problem with you. Instead of throwing up walls of defense, ask them, ‘What is it about my ____ that is a problem for you?’ If you need additional clarity, you might say, ‘Please give me a little more information about how my ____ disturbs you.’
In any communication breakdown, look to see what might be ‘missing’ in the conversation, not what’s wrong, and be willing to change your approach. Keep the conversation in the present (a place where participants can be co-creators of something new and meaningful) rather than sifting through your opinions of the past to find answers to questions that haven’t even been asked.
There exists both peace and mayhem in the world. Many times, when we find ourselves in the mayhem, we make unconscious choices. We need to acknowledge those choices so that we can be consciously empowered to act differently – sharing ourselves with love and compassion.
People crave authentic communication. Give it to them. What they do with it is beyond your control.
How you feel about yourself matters most, because if you have love, kindness and compassion for yourself, it will flow outwards as well, and you will know that you’re doing your best. That’s all God ever asks of you.
There will be no more having to defend yourself, to be right, to complain or to blame. You and your communication partners can encourage one another, looking past your histories and inspire each other to be your true selves…
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV
Good night and God bless.