Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Communication

Communication is one of the most underestimated abilities in the human race. There are seminars, books and lectures about effective and ineffective communication. The experts tell us that when communicating, we should not only watch the words we say, but how we say them, how loudly we speak, what inflection we add, how closely we stand, what we do with our hands and our eyes and that we should keep a close rein on our emotions. If we want to be good communicators, we must carefully monitor all these things. I have often wondered how we can remember what we want to say when we have all of this on our minds. While,I believe that these tips can better help us get our point across, I know that few of us can put them into consistent practice. We might do well occasionally but in the heat of the moment, the tone of our voice changes, our hands begin flailing, the rate of our speech speeds up. We find ourselves struggling with our words and we end up hurting those we care about.
I may be naive but I believe that is not our intent. I think we love those around us and our frustration comes out of our deep emotions and our inability to express them. Then we have all the other "stuff" that cloud the issue--like how we feel physically, what other stresses we are feeling, etc. Plus we also have to be concerned with what has been going on with our receptor. How do they feel today, what kind of stress are they under?
There are so many times when I want desperately to explain my feelings to Ned. I don't want him to fix them, I don't want him to give advice, I don't want him to analyze them, I just want to share them with him. Something inside me compels me to express them so that somehow they do not weigh so heavily on my heart. In my feeble attempts to explain my emotional thoughts, (which are uniquely mine and not so easily understood by others), I end up frustrating him or hurting him. The same scenario has played out several times, often with different characters, Nathan and Chad, Larissa and Traci, my mother, my friends and others. And the thought that I am so unable to express myself and in attempting to do so, causes those I love pain, causes me more emotional angst. It seems to be a vicious cycle.
We all know it is unhealthy to hold our emotions inside. Studies have shown it to cause stress, heart problems, emotional problems and a myriad of psychological as well as spiritual struggles. And yet, when we vent them or share them, because of our own inadequacies, because of our inabilities to separate our emotion from the communication, we hurt others and cause more stress. It doesn't make sense.
But there is a solution. God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us much advice on dealing with others. He says, if you bring your gift to the altar and know that your brother has something against you, leave your gift and go make it right, first. (Matthew 5:23) He says, do not consider yourself better than others, don't be motivated by selfishness and conceit, and look out for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3ff) Many other passages tell us how to interact with those around us. It seems to me that when we miscommunicate, when our words come out hurtful and sharp, when our verbal inadequacies harm those around us, God says our communication is not finished. He says keep talking, but first check your attitude, then go make it right. That means saying you're sorry. Those two words seem to be the basis of effective communication.
Because we are loving, feeling beings, we will have strong emotional reactions. Because we are loving, feeling beings, we are relational and those relationships are important to us. While feelings are real, they are not always facts. Relationships are both. It is a fact I love my husband and my children. It is a fact I could not imagine my life without them. The love I have for them is very real. That love means I would never deliberately hurt them. I communicate my feelings with them, and when something is lost in translation, I communicate, "I'm sorry". Thank God for the emotional attachments we have and for giving us the ability to apologize---that makes for effective communication.

Neva

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing touched my heart and I want to be better at I'm sorry. Thank you for encouraging me.

Eileen

7:55 AM  

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