When communication takes place, things can move forward. When it is stifled, everything breaks down.
Some My Year of Yoga posts are about introspection, some are about things that you can’t know about until you go through them, and some are about just getting back to neutral. This post is different because it is about something that every single one of us already knows about and can actively control. We begin to experience it immediately in life and we have constant access to improving it. This post is about recognizing something that is of vital importance to us all, and if it isn’t exercised will lead to failure, unhappiness and disintegration every single time. This post is about communication.
Every person has the ability to express what they want, what they need and what is and is not acceptable to them—after all, if you don’t tell other people what you want or need, they simply can’t know.
However, when people are oppressed, afraid or experience lower frequency emotions such as hate or rage, communication can become impossible. Judgment becomes clouded, our actions become compromised and a person can quickly find themselves on the proverbial slippery-slope when not accurately explaining to others what is happening for them.
That slope often results in a great difference between what people want and what they are actually doing with their lives. This contributes to a breakdown in communication because it promotes false justification, needless comparison to others and usually a large dose of rationale that the person does not believe in. Communication only works if the information being shared is truthful and truth has to exist within for it to have any chance of standing without.
It’s not easy to communicate. Sharing things with others can sometimes mean telling them something that they don’t want to hear or that you don’t want them to know and this is why it doesn’t happen as often as it should. Communicating the truth can often be very painful and can lead to unpleasant circumstances in your life. You may be disagreed with, ignored, or criticized. You may be confronted with anger, or find out that an entire relationship or system that you are participating in is not in sync with what you really want for your life. However, the alternative is living with deception, illusion and delusion.
Once you have spoken your truth, you have offered others the chance to work with you. By being honest about what you feel and need others may choose to meet your honesty with their own and even if that results in disagreement, a solution can be worked out. The more honest and clear that you are in your communication, the better chance you have of getting what you want and need. If the other person does the same, a situation of mutual respect can emerge and benefit all involved.
But what to do when communication is not happening for you? What if you don’t know what you want and can’t explain it? What if you know that the other person is holding something back or not being honest?
If you are not able to express what you want, you need to take some time to find out why. You need to communicate with yourself. Have you not really thought about it (in which case is it even important to you)?
Are you stuck and can’t express something because of fear that it won’t be accepted? This is a very real problem and seldom offers simple answers, but the ultimate solution may be found in simply asking yourself if you can live with not communicating your feelings about it. Sometimes the answer to that is yes and sometimes it’s no, but living is different than prospering and you have to picture the future and wonder if living unhappily is really worth hiding the truth. This is a great way of removing communication blocks.
So when you have a chance to communicate, remember that it’s important. Make certain that you are well thought out and clear, or admit to yourself or others that you are not and need some time to become so.
Make certain that you are being considered with the same level of respect that you are offering.
Be open if you don’t understand what the other party is saying, admit it and offer them the respect of letting them explain it again or in a different way.
Some people won’t make time to communicate with you and it is important to understand it is not their responsibility to do so. Respect people in the capacity that they are involved with you and be wary of those that seek to cross that line without clear reason for doing so.
And when someone chooses not to communicate or prevents you from communicating, understand that this is never in your best interest. Some people will actively prevent you from communication. They might lie and might ask you to lie. This is usually easy to spot because it makes you feel bad, and that is never good.
As long as we view communication as an opportunity and an obligation, we can build and thoughtful building is beneficial for you and those around you. The clearer your communication is with yourself and those around you, the better, and when that voice rises up to express something that you don’t like, allow it to communicate with you.
There is very little that can’t be solved with clear communication and that is a large part of what yoga teaches us.