Communication is potent medicine. What we say and how we say it can either hurt or heal others.
Yesterday, I spoke of the importance of allowing silence into your mind in order to hear God.
Today, I felt inspired to explain the need to Surrender to the power of our own words.
And discussing the ways they can have a direct influence on our life, and the lives of every person we will encounter and interact with.
Communication is ordinarily thought of as an exchange of verbal and nonverbal ideas and feelings.
At its best, we feel seen and heard.
At its worst, it can be denigrating and destructive.
Surrendering unproductive communication styles and learning to embrace forms that work for you will help you obtain the results you desire in all of your interactions.
Impeccable communication is all about Surrender.
It’s knowing when to be assertive…
When to let go.
It means both expressing your feelings and having a willingness to release hurt and resentments that threaten to close your heart.
It’s about being fluid rather than rigid, controlling or oppositional.
Impeccable communication also means you are sensitive to others emotions and motives.
This is your secret weapon that you can use to avoid being drug into other people’s drama.
The company you keep is critical to living a surrendered life.
If a relationship is positive, go with it.
If you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a negative or abusive relationship you will have two choices…
Sever all ties and walk away,
Learn to set clear, loving boundaries.
Good communicators understand that they don’t have to apologize for expressing their needs.
This was possibly, one of the hardest things I have ever had to learn in my life.
After 18 years in abusive marriages, I had learned to roll over and play dead in order to survive.
Learning that my needs and feelings were important enough to speak up and defend, has taken more strength, willpower, courage and faith than I ever thought it would.
It is something that I struggle with every day.
But, I have learned to push through my fears and insecurities and demand good behavior from the people in my life.
(I have said in previous posts, that I have lost friends along the way because I stopped being their doormat, but as I look back, I can still feel the sadness of losing those friends, but the emotion that I mostly feel is relief.)
Difficult people can suck the oxygen out of the room if you let them.
I have learned that in order to deal with them you have to be methodical.
It is a natural instinct to constrict around these kind of people. This tenancy will always make you feel small and powerless, irritated and hurt.
Your attitude is important, and when you have scars from your past, like I do, this is even more true.
I have learned to set boundaries and discover my power to protect and heal my life by choosing to see angry people as spiritual teachers.
The feelings they create in me are mine alone, but if I allow them to cause me to sin, then I have misused my feelings and they no longer belong just to me.
I have given their power over to this angry person, who can now use my feelings to control or manipulate me.
Many consider the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates as the father of Western medicine. Doctors today still use his Hippocratic Oath as an ethical guideline.
I also use it in my communication.
The phrase “Do no Harm” is the mantra I repeat to myself when faced with a difficult conversation.
The principal of doing no harm extends to all of our relationships though, not just the difficult ones.
In fact benevolence is central to New Testament teaching about loving others.
In reflecting on the law of God, Paul sees that love is the intent behind many biblical commands:
(Romans 13:10) says’ “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Each and every moment of every day we will be faced with choices that will possibly affect others.
I have learned to pause and ask myself if my actions reflect Christ’s concern for others, or am I serving only my selfish needs.
In this way, I remind myself to do no harm to others with my communication.
That in no way means that I am a weak person.
I have built a successful business from scratch with little help from anyone other than my friend and partner, Brenda.
We have had to learn to speak strongly and with authority when doing business and setting prices for our work.
But we both agree that we need to also be respectful in all interactions.
I believe this is one of the major factors in our success.
Impeccable communication is similar to navigating a river. Some directions feel good and flow; others do not.
You cannot force the currents to go your way.
Similarly, when you pressure people you will just turn them off.
In relationships, there is a very definite energy that you must attune to, make adjustments for, and trust.
If only people would always react the way we want them to, life would be simple…
But they Don’t!,
Nor, would life be nearly as interesting if they did.
So today, commit to yourself that you will let go of the “If only’s” in your relationships and deal with what is.
Sensing the flow between people will help you start to instinctively know when to assert yourself, when to compromise, and when to just completely back off.
Today, the point I really want to share with you is one of the most transformational lessons I learned in beginning to communicate my needs.
I had to learn that when I am compassionate, or look the other way sometimes, it doesn’t mean I am weak, and slipping back into my role as victim.
Rather, it means that I am being compassionate and that is allowing me to express myself from the highest version of myself.
We will all deal with difficult people in our lives.
Some will find them at work.
Some at home.
But no matter where we find them, impeccable communication will defend you against them every time.
When you are the person who is strong enough to give the first inch, and allow for compromise, you are acting out of TRUE strength.
It is those people who possess REAL, power that will always be the one to step up first and surrender their ego, so that the doors to communication can remain open.
Get in the habit of “doing no harm” with both friends and foes.
This will involve surrender and discernment.
How you treat yourself and others – whether you like them or not – is part of the ongoing experiment with compassion that God created us to learn.