Even conversations with ourselves can result in misunderstandings.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a conversation gone amiss. With best intentions we engage in discussion with another person only to have what we say seemingly misinterpreted by the other. It’s likely our conversational partner feels the same way, that we’ve misconstrued their statements.
We both want to be heard and understood and may also be willing to hear and understand the other, but words and concepts seem to get garbled. We just can’t seem to get though to each other. Tensions then rise, making mutual understanding even more elusive. Why does this happen?
In our perception of what’s happening now, we often rely on past experience to help us quickly evaluate the present. This can sometimes be useful in evaluating our surroundings, as when we unthinkingly swerve or step out of danger’s way. It can also lead us to react in inappropriate ways when past memories hijack our take on current events, causing us to respond to the past rather than what is actually going on.
When this occur on one side of a conversation, true communication is hampered. When it occurs with both parties, any real understanding is virtually impossible. Perhaps even more crazy-making, the same misperceptions and misalignments can occur inside us between differing aspects of ourselves, leaving us uncertain, conflicted, and confused.
Today’s message reminds me to be alert to my emotional states when exterior or interior misunderstandings occur. When my feelings are at high tide in these circumstances, I am likely triggered by the past. In this state, I won’t be capable of hearing, expressing, or evaluating clearly. To reach true understanding and communication, I will need a calm heart and a cool head. Taking whatever actions I need to achieve that state—alone time, meditation, a brisk walk, ho’oponopono—will help ensure that when I return to the discourse, I perceive only what is actually going on. Unbiased listening and expression leads to true understanding.
How about you? How do you get to neutral when misunderstandings occur?