August 1, 2010

Dear One,

I believed that the ability to speak and express what we mean is one of the greatest talents there is. Many therapists, teachers and politicians have valiantly tried to make communication a teachable "SKILL".

Make "I" statements
Do not accuse or blame
Mirror back what you heard
Do not compare
Do not tell people how it is for them. Etc.

I would like to drop a little deeper into what I consider the essence of communication. To me, it is not only speaking, but it is the ability to silently listen to what is being said and what is not being said. Am I willing to listen? What do I mean by this statement? Messages that we send often exist on both the conscious and unconscious level. There are many levels that we communicate on, including non-verbally. These unconscious levels are based on our earlier experiences, indeed, on our entire history, and then are communicated as if this was the "here and now."

Sometimes what we are not saying is speaking so loudly and so energetically that the listener (out of his habit and his life experiences) becomes defensive. The way we communicate is an indication of our maturity. The defensive. The way we communicate is an indication of our maturity. The way we communicate holds the key to deeper communion and intimacy. Are you willing to express the truth of who you are in this moment? I am inviting you to begin to explore what you are willing to risk, sharing on the deepest level with one another. (Perhaps there is something you have not ever told anyone and have difficulty admitting to yourself.) This invitation requires you to go beyond your own self-judgments. It challenges you to explore an intimate conversation with yourself. This simply means taking off your mask and exposing your costume, to your mother, your lover, but to especially yourself.

Take this opportunity to explore where you would like to say something but silence yourself, because you judge what you would like to say as insensitive, selfish, or stupid. Where are you unwilling to accept yourself in the fear that the receiver will not accept you?

If you want others to hear you, are you willing to speak from your deepest longing, and make yourself known?
Are you willing to hear yourself?
Are you willing to expose yourself and let the other hear what up until now you have judged and refused to accept in yourself? These steps are the tools to begin your journey into intimacy.

Saying Yes! to everything, including your No! to what you judge are your faults and flaws, is a gift to self and other sand builds the container for relating. Only in this way can you give your partner the opportunity to know and receive you in your integrity and truth.

"I want to know if you are prepared to live in this word with it's harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes, saying this is where I stand."
-- David Whyte, from "Self Portrait"

Only in this way can love blossom and keep deepening.


"Start right now, take a small step, you can call your own.
Don't follow someone else's heroics, be humble and focused,
start close in
don't mistake that other
for your own."
-- David Whyte