Communication is an important skill that we must master if we want to make meaningful connections with others.
Yet, from childhood on, from the time we are old enough to take our own actions, we are continually bomb, methodically, taught how to communicate. And, in the process, we are left with a feeling of false security, a sense of mastery of our own life experience, and a general conviction that we know how to lead it — master it — and that the world around us is something we understand and can therefore control.
But this is the exact opposite of reality. For all of our claims to self-knowledge and self-control, most of us fall into the trap of repeating the same faulty patterns of communication over and over again.
And we do this, not only because these messages are familiar, but also because we learn them well. And so we get out of sync with our authentic self — out of synching up our bodily experiences with our deeply-ingrained patterns of thought and feeling.
We are so programmed to believe that we know how to lead our lives — that we are not governed by feelings and emotions and that we are master manipulators, that it can be almost impossible to hear something that differs from our thinking.
So, what happens when we are placed in that terrible predicament of not being able to listen?
We react with fear. We feel ashamed of being unable to manage our emotions and impulses, unable to sit with our discomfort and difficult experiences and not know how to talk our way out of it. We then react in self-preservation mode, trying to find a way to make sense of our situation, our lack of control, our chaos and having to talk about it all, which always ends in disappointment.
We then have to repeat the same cycle until we master the art of listening.
When you are unable to listen, you start to talk — and the only way you talk is by controlling your responses and by shaping the words that come out of your mouth. You talk like you know what to say, like you are one with the conversation, like you have the answer and can answer any question with a resounding “Yes”. The problem is, you don’t.
You don’t have the answers. You are not guided by any higher power within you. You are not in sync with yourself. You are not in sync with the world around you. You are a prisoner of your own thoughts and desires.
You might be able to control some of the answers you give by adding more detail to the answers you give. You might be able to control the answers you give by altering what you say (changing the cadence, the pitch, the amount of articulation, the emphasis, the amount of silence).
You might be able to control the answers you give by altering the way you view the answers you give.
You might be able to control the answers you give by altering how you process the answers you give.
You might be able to control the answers you give by altering the aspects of reality that you perceive the answers to.
You might be able to control the answers you give by altering the way you see your own thoughts and emotions.
You might be able to control the answers you give by altering your thoughts and feelings.
In other words, you might be able to get away with murder by not being honest with yourself.
We Live In A Fictional World. We Shape Our Own Lives.
If I could wave a magic wand and take all the pain and struggle and frustration I was feeling as a result of all the negative, toxic stressors my lifetime was hosting in the past and simply stop them, all the pain and suffering I was experiencing now would be eliminated.
I was experiencing the pain of a wound, a scar, a gash, a break in my own life. It was a consequence of my own reactive behavioral patterns and life choices.
I was experiencing the pain of a wound, a scar, a gash, a break in my own life.
If I could wave a magic wand and take all the pain and suffering I was feeling as a result of all the negative, toxic stressors my lifetime was hosting in the past and simply stop them, all the pain I was experiencing now would be eliminated.
I wasn’t experiencing it because of any fault of my own.
It was a consequence of my own reactive behavioral patterns and life choices.
I was a prisoner of my own thoughts.
That is the greatest lie of them all. We are not where we are because of any fault of our own. We are not responsible for the state of our own lives. We are where we are because of all the sins and mistakes of our ancestors.
We are not responsible for the state of our own lives. Responsibility is not ours to claim, it is somebody else’s.