Communication, Relationships and Remembering to Breathe

Communication, it is one of the most important things we can do, having clear communications with all we engage with. It feels like a lofty idealistic goal but one I will forever be working towards. Relationships depend on it. I know that only too well as the last words I said to my husband of 30 years were misinterpreted before he committed suicide. I didn’t remember to breathe before I spoke. All these years later, communication difficulties can still tip me over. Maybe it’s PTSD but my belief is that when I know better I can do better.

I am blessed to be working with a therapist that is perfect for me. This weeks topic was to discuss a recent breakdown in communications with my sister from another mother. She was not clear, stepping into the role of passive behavior rather than simply stating what her needs were. I didn’t listen with my heart and was only partially listening as I had my own busy ego-centric things going on. A couple of simple questions on my part, or statements on her part, would have eliminated several hours of angst and a huge learning opportunity, as I continue to try to do better.

I’ve had several failure of communications with loved ones, and after the most tragic one, I am easily triggered when again communications breakdown with a loved one. Being triggered helps me realize I still have healing to do for myself. My therapist again reminded me that assertive communication is the goal. Using assertive communication I can express what I feel, which I own 100%, He tells me when I own my own emotions, I can control and express myself so the other person doesn’t feel blamed. This is some really good food for thought. I want to bring it into action but I admit I am also scared. This will take practice, lots of it. 

Beliefs create our lives. What we create, creates our emotions and how we feel about it. How we feel about it helps us create it. It is so amazing to be in the flow of where all is connected. And then communication comes in and sometimes upsets the apple cart. There are the surface day to day interactions we have with people. I know for me most of the conversations are loving or benign. Sometimes we walk away or realize later we could have said something different, clearer, kinder, more to the point but still from a place of love. Sometimes my feelings get hurt and my “Little Jackie” feels insecure and reacts badly. That is what recently happened with my sister from another mother.

Before I married my husband I insisted we see a therapist to help us with our communication “problems”. The guy was fantastic. He started with having us both write a page on whatever we wanted. It was interesting to see how we approached it, each coming from our own personal perspective of what we thought he was asking us to do. All he really wanted was to see our handwriting for analysis. That was fascinating, it really did target much of our individual personalities. Then we started on how to communicate with each other. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, we speak different languages. Different things are important to us, make us tick. We learned enough to get married but communication issues plagued us all of our marriage. It was always the one problem we had, even though we never stopped talking and trying to figure it out until the end.

Because communication is so important to me, I struggle when someone shuts me down and doesn’t want to talk about whatever the issue is. Also, because I am insecure and lack practical skills in assertive communication, I sometimes create problems in my interpersonal relationships. I don’t want to do that any more. The only thing I know for sure to do is to STOP and BREATHE and allow my center to connect to LOVE.