How often have you found yourself expressing what you felt, honestly?
We are often drawn into the technicality of words only to find their limitations. Honestly in this regard has a simple meaning, it means with unfiltered truth.
Our upbringing has built up so many filters through which we communicate. A simple example of one such filter is age. The truth or feelings have no sense of age, what has a sense of age is the construct of respect. It would seem peers are allowed to speak openly and honestly to each other but put 5 years between people and that changes everything.
This is but one construct that filters communication. There are many more such as sex, race, education, ethnicity, money…that makes others feel more entitled to a form of communication that others are not.
Through my years I learnt that you speak to the elderly in a certain way, my peers another way and children in another. I was given a wake-up call by kids. My son said “Daddy is not being kind”. Then my daughter said “Daddy you don’t love me because of the way you spoke to me.”
I was made to question the delivery and reception of my message. I am in doubt as to the essence of my message. I am however looking critically at how the filter of age and my entitlement of being a father affects the way I communicate.
Saying “No Kagiso, put away the scissors” & “Kagiso, the scissors are sharp and could cut you, please be careful when using them” convey a similar message. The former however limits the life experience of using scissors, I give nothing but my disapproval. The latter brings to the forth my concern about the scissors and her safety but also encourages one to exercise responsibility and caution while one is learning.
This example can be applied to many life situations which are more complex. Expressing your own experience is not wrong or right, not allowing another to experience life can be disastrous. Reactions can range from simple anger to resentment and regret.
The next time you say something to someone remember that although you may have their survival at heart, your message could be laden with other filters from your life that do not have to be a part of the other.
Find love in expression.
You are Love and you are Loved