Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Communication and the Wall of Silence....

Communication is a core component of connection. As human beings we are designed to communicate and to connect. Connection is the instrument of Love.

This world and everything in it is part of a process of connection. I have come to believe that what we call Love is a greater form of connection. What we call God is the ultimate form of connection. Love in its greatest form is the ultimate in connection and is therefore God.

As human beings we have more ways to 'connect' than do many other forms of life. we are given the gift of words which may be used in speech or in writing. Research shows that people who 'connect' in relationship and society are healthier; psychologically, physiologically, emotionally and I would say spiritually.

We are meant to connect. We are drawn to connect; we desire to connect and we are driven to connect because this is the way that we make manifest Love in this world and for those who believe in God, make manifest God in this material world.

Connecting is Soul Work and that is not to say that sometimes we may need to 'separate' from situations or people for a time or perhaps permanently but that we need to know why we are doing it and we need to do it with a level of consideration, courtesy and maturity.

When people choose not to communicate they are severing or limiting connection - they are limiting Love. The only reason to do this is Fear. Many things may be soothed by separation but nothing is ever healed; only Love heals and that means connection and that means communication.

While it seems increasingly common in this internet world to meet with what I have come to call The Wall of Silence, where a communication is sent and not only is there no reply, there is no acknowledgement either. You hit Send, off it goes and there it goes into some deep void or Black Hole of relationship.

I am fully aware that this may be an experience I am likely to have more than many because I am at heart a communicator, I am a writer and I feel I express myself better this way often than with the spoken word, and because I believe in and am driven to open and frank communication, having found it to be the most effective way of maintaining and healing relationship. I have known people, intimately, who would seek to deal with problems with silence and I have learned from experience how, when they find the courage to talk about a situation, how much more readily it is resolved or at least set on a path of healing.

I suspect one notices The Wall of Silence more because communication on the internet is so immediate and there are very few reasons, probably none, why the recipient cannot or should not reply, even if only to acknowledge and request no more communication.

Courtesy demands, or it did once, that when people communicate with us we respond. Well, if we are mature adults we do and if the person who seeks to communicate is someone with whom we have a deep relationship such as a close friend or family member and yet, so many choose to do nothing.......

It is one supposes, a statement in itself, that you write to someone in a bid to discuss something with them and if the topic is personal and important and deserving of some sort of answer, even, 'Thankyou for your note but I really do not feel ready to discuss this,' then you are expecting an answer. To be greeted with silence is no doubt the 'slap' it is intended to be. It feels like a vindictive punishment and yet in essence it is simply terribly rude, not to mention inconsiderate, unfeeling, insensitive and most importantly, unnecessary.

It reflects on the person who has chosen to erect the Wall of Silence to deal with a situation which they feel unable to deal with in a mature way, rather than the sender. To my mind, anyone who writes to me is offering a gift and one which I need to respect if not honour, if I am to maintain any sort of integrity. I may not like what they say but the act itself, of seeking to connect, to explain, to discuss, is one of courage, caring and maturity.

No doubt in times past letters were delivered via what is now called snail mail and they never had a response. But somehow it seems worse, and I believe it is worse, when an email gets the same reaction. It is, after all, so much easier to write something even if it is a two-word acknowledgement such as Thank You. And letters could and did get lost so one could argue, to one's self, that there was a reason for the Silence. Not so with the internet. Emails do not get lost and as often as not, while pondering the yawning vale of silence, it is pretty clear that the recipient is online, is active, is writing and is perfectly capable, or was perfectly capable of responding to what you wrote and chose not to.

I did ask someone once, what the Wall of Silence was about and I got a response that 'not replying' stopped the 'back and forth nature' of such correspondence which was found to be annoying. Back and Forth? Isn't that a conversation? And here was idiot me thinking back and forth was communication, that there was a sharing of thoughts, views, perspectives which hopefully would lead to increased understanding. An understanding which could not exist without the 'back and forth' unless one were psychic! Which most of us are not.

As a mature adult, if I found myself in a situation where I wished to bring a halt to such correspondence I would have written to the 'sender' along the lines of: 'Thank-you for writing as you have. I do appreciate your efforts but I do not feel up to engaging in this discussion at this time. Perhaps I will later or perhaps I will not. But I just want you to know I have 'heard' you and I am listening but have nothing to add.'

What is lost with such a response? To my mind nothing. It is courteous, considered, gracious and deserved. And yet for some people it is just too much. Which really does make one think that the Wall of Silence is meant to be a punishment and that is even sadder for it is incredibly immature at best and in some instances, simply cruel.

I truly believe that keeping open the doors of communication and being prepared to hear or listen, even if we have no wish to respond is crucial to our relationships. It is also the only way to healing and the only way that we can maintain integrity.

I am not talking about instances where people become abusive because that has not been my experience, and is certainly not how I communicate, but even there, if the person is a close friend or a family member, surely the fact that they are communicating in some way means they want or need to connect? And surely that means if we come from a place of Love we should do our very best to hear them - to listen even if we choose not to be drawn into the debate?

Seeking to punish or control others is what the Wall of Silence is about and that can only ever come from a place of Fear. Choose from a place of Love not Fear and while the road may be rocky, the ride tempestuous, it will always be rewarding, fulfilling and the way to resolution and true healing.


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