Communicating Past the Complaint
If you want agreement, try complaining about a situation or a person who isn’t present. You’re sure to get support because that’s the nature of this negative planet. If you want disagreement, complain directly to the person whom you are judging as wrong.
“But isn’t part of communication telling someone when they did something wrong?” a woman asked while I was counseling her.
“Give me an example,” I suggested.
“Okay, sure. Just last Sunday, for instance, my husband and I were supposed to go out and spend the day together. That’s sort of a tradition we’ve developed; we work hard all week, and Sundays are for each other. But last week, he wasn’t ready to go until two o’clock in the afternoon. Half the day already gone!”
“What did he do the first half of the day?”
“Domestic stuff, you know.”
“No, I don’t know. What kind of domestic stuff?”
“He fixed a shelf in the closet and stopped a leaky faucet.”
“Was that your closet and bathroom, too?” I asked.
“Of course, but he could have done it during the week.”
“Did you ask him why he didn’t?”
“Yes. He said he was busy working and didn’t have the time. But that’s not the issue. After we finally left, we went to a museum for a little while and then walked around outside in the beautiful day. After only an hour, he said something about doing some work in service that would take about an hour and a half.”
“Work in service?”
“Yes, you know, service. We each do things for others–the church, an orphan home, stuff like that–just for the fun of doing it.”
“Sounds good,” I commented.
“It is,” she went on, “but the thing of it is, why can’t he also be in service to me, to us? Why not make me a priority, particularly on Sunday, and especially because we agreed on it?”
“Did you communicate that?”
“Yes, and he said he could do his service after dinner. But Sundays, before and after dinner, have been our time. So we drove home so he could arrange to do his service. And, yes, I did clearly communicate how upset I felt about his choices.”
“What did you do while he did his service?”
“Listened to music. Did the crossword puzzle. Caught up on some overdue correspondence. The truth is, I was relieved to finally answer a letter from my mother.”
“So it sounds like you used the time constructively.”
“Sure I did. But the thing of it is, after all that, I relaxed and went to prepare dinner, but then he was really upset. After I let go of it! He was hurt and angry with me for being so upset, and even though I was ready to cook and be loving, he was cold. So there’s your communication.”
“No,” I responded, “there’s your lack of communication.”
“What do you mean? I honestly communicated that I thought his priorities were lousy. I told him that Sunday is our day and he had no right to ruin the one day of the week I look forward to as ours. I certainly communicated.”
“What you did was blame, judge, criticize, and castigate. Worst of all, you denied him your loving. That’s not the communication I’m talking about.”
“I did all that?”
“There are better ways of communicating the same thing.”
“How about, ‘Darling, I love you so much, and I cherish the Sunday time we have set aside to be together. I love you so much that I’ll help with the shelf and faucet and maybe I can help with the service. And if you have to be away from me this particular Sunday, I love you enough to go out and buy some Chinese food and have it ready for you when you finish your service! ”
“But what about him?” she asked. “I was ready to let it go. I even communicated that. I said, ‘Let it go, honey. I’m not angry or upset anymore!’ He held on to the emotions, not me.”
“Uh-huh. Isn’t that a great ping pong match you two have going? He did this, you said that, he reacted, and you ‘self-righteoused!’ The only thing you both communicated was separation.”
“But I just wanted to be with him. I just love him.”
“Then tell him that. Don’t communicate through your emotional hurt, disappointment, or judgments. Speak through the mouth of just-loving him, look through the eyes of just-loving him, feel through the heart of just-loving him, and nothing can be denied to you. Even his holding on to the upset will dissipate in the warmth of loving patience.”
Create that safe-space environment, particularly in the face of disappointments. Practice sharing the information–not from blame, but from loving. Not from fear, but from the courage of sensitivity. Not from guilt, but from admission and acceptance.
If you share from emotional needs, demands, and expectations, the communication can become negative and will usually be heard accordingly. Unless the person receiving it can transcend any negative energy you are sending, the response will most likely be negative. Is that what you want?
When you share the truth as perceived through your heart, you will communicate information that isn’t negative or positive. It’s just information. Then the person receiving it can deal with it as information through their heart. The response will most likely be heartfelt. Is that what you want? I imagine so.
The Ultimate Communication
The greatest social disturbances we have on this planet do not originate from people’s being together and mis-communicating with each other; they originate from within each individual.
The person who can understand you the most, who can care for you the most, who can do the most for you–is you. The ultimate communication occurs within the relationship you have with yourself. To keep that relationship harmonious, you don’t have to be perfect because that is not required on this planet-Earth level. What is required for a balanced inner relationship is to be in a continual state of self-education. Obviously, you are interested in that, because you are reading this book.
The next step is to activate what you have learned in order to tune in to the source of who you really are. An important part of activation is awareness. For example, there have probably been times when you acted out of your emotions in a negative way. It’s those times that call for your awareness, and then you can activate what you have learned by stopping or even redirecting that emotional energy in order not to be run by it.
How do you do that? One example is someone I know who is very stubborn. In the past, when someone disagreed with his position, he would dig in as if it were a do-or-die situation rather than listen, learn, and even give up his position. In time, he learned that all that got him was righteous anger, hardly a gift or benefit in his life. Eventually he figured out how to direct that same energy he was using for stubbornness to a more positive purpose by being more disciplined. When those do-or-die emotions would rise, he would discipline himself not to react, but to just listen. Ultimately he learned how to use other people’s input to improve his output, his work, his relationships, and his life. It all started with awareness. That’s getting high enough to observe your behavior rather than being a victim of it. When you get the altitude to improve your attitude, that’s high communication with yourself.
Some people experience pain or negativity and pray for things to get better. I am not denigrating prayer, but I do know that the answer to any of your prayers is already inside of you, in that place within that gives you the energy to get up every morning. It is called your Soul.
The energy of the Soul can often be felt as a sense of well-being, contentment, joy, and peace. It’s not inactivity, but is directed action and aliveness. You are experiencing the energy of your Soul when you communicate to and from that place that is good-natured and free of irritation.
This inner balance can be maintained by committing to a state of inner communication, otherwise known as awareness. The mind is attracted to the physical world and will communicate through the emotions and the body, attempting to gain fulfillment through material things. The Soul, however, has a tendency to back away from worldly attachments. It also knows it is accountable for everything it does here. Your Soul, your true self, is responsible for what you create.
You are in this world to learn the highest form of communication, which is unconditional loving under all circumstances. Part of that process includes learning how to create wisely in order to bring about completion. In other words, don’t start anything you can’t finish in loving. Of course you, as a human being, will run into conflicts, confusions, disagreements, and divorce. Even those experiences can be concluded in loving. You can separate from someone physically and still know, and even say, “I love you, although our time together is not constructive for me.” That’s a far better communication than blaming the other person for a separation.
An important key to communication is that energy follows the thoughts you hold. Wherever you communicate and direct this spiritualized energy in the material world, things are manifested. That’s both the good news and the bad news. If you have thoughts of success, not as a slogan but as a focus, then Spirit will actively support the attainment. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can sit in your house and pray to win a lottery ticket to be a millionaire and that Spirit will bring that forward. More likely, Spirit will–with your support–place you in the actions that can accomplish success. Sometimes it’s a matter of thinking of success; then the thoughts of more education come forward, and then life will provide those opportunities.
If you have thoughts of negativity, that, too, can be made manifest. There is a saying that “what you fear comes upon you.” This means that if you communicate fearful thoughts, feelings, and attitudes to yourself, you are likely to attract that which you fear. You may even create the very thing you fear.
Is there a real source of fear? No. Is there real fear? Yes. It is inside you, and you are the creator of it. You give birth to your own fear. Under the fear, however, is life, which allows you to create and communicate whatever you want. This is the unconditional loving of Spirit, allowing you to communicate and do whatever you choose, with your body, emotions, and mind.
Your feelings about things determine much of what you do with your body, and how you feel is often influenced by what you think. If you’re depressed, you may not feel like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, or fixing the car, and you may decide not to do any of those things. Often, the feeling of depression is simply a lack of energy to move your body in constructive action.
Beneath that feeling is a deeper or, if you wish, higher communication that is more than your limiting thoughts or your feelings of depression. This is communication with the Soul, which is a part of God. The Soul radiates energy from the higher level of Spirit to your mind, emotions, and body; your mission is to learn how to get that communication. It is your attunement with this Soul energy that is the highest form of communication available to you. Once you experience that level of communication, you’ll understand that no words can properly describe that “perfect” experience. Once you experience Soul consciousness, you’ll want more. The consciousness of loving where the ultimate communication just is.good news is that more is always available.
There is a great commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”‘ (1. Mark 12:30, Revised Standard Version) That means completely. The other great commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (2. Mark 12:31, Revised Standard Version) This implies that you must love yourself first. When you truly communicate to and from loving, that high place which is always available to you, then the energy of God flows through you. Then you can reach out to your wife, husband, child, boss, colleague, teacher, student–everyone–and touch them with a simple, heartfelt communication, and they may transform right in front of you. Don’t look for science fiction movie-like miracles. Just communicate loving, and you will receive loving. That may be God’s primary miracle.
You were given life to have joy and experience it more abundantly, and if you’re not experiencing that, look at what you might be doing to block yourself. Communicate that information to yourself with integrity, regardless of ego or preferences. Then use the information, not as ammunition for self-judgment, but as an opportunity to lift yourself.
You are a creator and, in that sense, an originator of communication. During your stay in this world, your highest calling is to communicate by every act of omission and commission a sense of loving. If you do that, then at the end of this short existence, you stand in that.