When I was little I didn’t express much. I kept interaction simple and to a minimum. I didn’t want attention so I’d no need for speech.
When I was a teen, I had much to say but a lot would betray the very points of difference I was trying to mask, so I didn’t speak much.
When I was a teacher, I needed to find ways to get the students to learn to express themselves so although I talked, it was to get them to talk more.
Up until a few years ago, I considered myself a good communicator. I was a student of language and people and I worked in the realm of communication. But I had completely misunderstood where the heart of communication lies. It’s not in the dexterity of the tongue, the deftness in handling language. It’s not in the reinterpretation of message nor the precision of syntax.
We are taught that good communicators can converse with all and will be heard and understood by all. On any chosen subject matter, you can find countless who can express the ideas with eloquence. Narrow the search to anyone who has tried to express their truths and they will tell you that is easier said than done. Profoundly speaking personal truths is a level of communication that not everyone reaches. I know now that I actively avoided it for years, not deeming my truths worthy of voice or energy. When I thought I was a good communicator, I realise now that I was adept only at circumlocution, talking around the real heart of the things I felt as I gauged the reaction of the audience; a good translator or facilitator and only a reasonable listener, not understanding how veiled some people may need their truth to be for them to be expressed at all.
The art in communication, the flourish and finesse lies only in your heart. It is only when you know how to speak your truths that mastery comes. It is only when you hear words rebound within you, pouring you forth from energy within as energy without that you are truly speaking. When you know what it is to paint outside what you hold within, painted truthfully, gently, yet without being disfigured by a need of approval, that’s when you understand the full potential of words. When you hear thoughts, feelings and values echo forth into the world and yet crack you open inside, then you learn to be a compassionate listener. When you give shape and sound to the core of you, that’s when you understand how much energy is frittered expressing the superficial with the same weight of energy.
To me, language is one of the most beautiful tools we have. Its immense power can create vast worlds only to crumble them in the next breath. It’s a vital part of connection with each other, through harmony or dissonance. It can ripple through valleys, bound from mountains, encircle the globe in a heartbeat. It’s also a definer, bringing edge between you and me, boundaries across nations and walls between lovers. Language can be your greatest asset or your downfall, a pure expression of who you are or nothing more that yet another mask behind which you hide. So may today find you melodious of voice, master of your song, flowing, weaving your best voice into the fabric of your day.