Just the title, Evolved Communication, raises significant questions in my mind and heart.
They are: How do I know that I am in the presence of someone who embodies evolved communication? And how do I know if I am an evolved communicator? Certainly, humans start off communicating through cute, sometimes irritating, babble!
We grow into beings who express through words, movement, gestures, sounds, and all kinds of artistic expression. Yet, in the context of human relationships, there is a maturity that can evolve in our communication that seems very centered around authenticity, safety, and listening.
When I was younger, there was a large lack of safety in the household I grew up in. To communicate my authentic thoughts and feelings and “offend” my father would result in an intense backlash, both verbal and physically violent threats. My safety depended upon me not communicating authentically but by learning to communicate in ways most acceptable to my father, on any given day.
Those experiences were intense, and it felt like a constant puzzle I needed to solve every day of my young life.
As I grew older and began to initiate authentic communication with others, it was difficult. My attempts at this new type of communication were awkward. I could barely say the words without shaking or crying. I realized my ability to authentically share, even the most simple thoughts or my true feelings, was the most difficult thing for me to do. Fearing for my safety, in this regard, became a habit throughout my entire being.
If I wanted to evolve, I had to break this habit of being afraid to speak my truth.
I don’t think I am alone in this kind of experience. To some extent, many of us grew up in conditions that repeatedly showed us that our authentic self was not welcomed, important, or wanted.
We might find we spent much energy avoiding our truest self while feeling disconnected and dissatisfied in our most important relationships. We have to learn to step out of the safety zone and into our greater truth.
Some people jump far out and become brash and loud in rebellion, which can work, sometimes. Some find a relationship, or two, where they commit to being gentle and lovingly authentic. This intention and practice can lead to great results within our hearts, our sense of self, and our relationships.
When in the space of loving authenticity, so much evolves in us. That evolution feels like a greater allowance of our fullest self to be expressed and seen. This is one of the greatest joys in life!
And so, with a commitment to greater authentic communication comes the wings of safety and listening. We may have strong feelings and emotions, yet how we share them safely with people makes all the difference. For example, I have found that in the space of raging anger and fear of scaring people, the way my father scared me, I often must retreat from a conversation to get clear about what I am really feeling.
Underneath my anger is often fear, sadness, disappointment. I never want to deny my anger and even my rage, but I always want to be a safe person and remain harmless in my communication. So, if I need an hour, a day, or whatever, to retreat and express my anger without harming anyone else, I want to do that and get centered before I return and complete the conversation with my full authentic self and then share how angry I feel and why.
Then I want to, not only be sure I share my feelings, listen to the thoughts and feelings of others to connect, understand them, and resolve the situation. When emotions are running high, sometimes authenticity, safety, and listening are completely absent.
So, evolved communication is not always some tidy nonpassionate communication. It includes a continual willingness to be a safe person for those I love and care about while encouraging their full expression. And, I also give myself the same permission to express myself fully.
Lastly, to be willing to communicate in this way involves trust. I aspire to learn to trust myself and others where we can peacefully resolve things and come to satisfying solutions and resolutions without harming one another or ourselves in the process.
These new habits may need to initially begin with intentions for certain people in our lives so we can learn and evolve enough to bring ourselves fully to other relationships. When we do this, it is a great joy to begin expanding the circle of loved ones in our ability to be in evolved communication.