Ever feel like the best of intentions turn into the most negative results? The other person misunderstood or communication feels like two people are talking on two different information highways and neither one hears the message. Like Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first.”
Miguel Angel Ruiz in the Fifth Agreement points out that as a child we know who we are, what we want, what we like, what we don’t like and how to ask for it. Then we are programmed based on others opinions that are really just projections, nice hair, eyes of dad, heart of gold, crazy personality. We go from a state of just being who we are, to acting out all those projections. Then we learn symbols to describe things which changes their meanings from “what is” to a projection and this creates miscommunication.
“For example, we can see a tree even if we don’t know the symbol ‘tree.’ Without the symbol, we just see an object. That object is real, it is truth, and we perceive it. Once we call it a tree, we are using art to express a point of view.” Miguel Angel Ruiz.
Gary Chapman in his 5 languages of love describes in a practical way how different personality types perceive love.
Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
Some men may respond best to physical touch ~ Um…. We probably already had that figured out. The book talks about couples frustation because a person who does acts of service, like washing the cars for their spouse, feels unappreciated when the spouse is unhappy for the lack of quality time. Whereas, the person who feels loved through spending quality time will be baffled why his spouse is distant because she was waiting for flowers (her love displayed through receiving gifts). Some may look at the flowers and think it will take a lot more than that, and give a “to do list” because they feel loved through acts of service.
The book is a quick read and has some insightful suggestions on how to be more mindful.
The point of the book that is most helpful is one simple concept. Am I stopping to think about what works for my spouse? Am I being mindful to what their needs may be. Have I been with them for so long I’m just stuck in patterns without thought? Do I see them for who they are or have they become an imprint of all my projections?
Humble. Mindful. Conscious. They are the keys to any relationship. Coworkers, troubled teens, impossible spouses will change before our eyes if we use just a handful of these tools. What is our declaration? Are we living it? If you missed the declaration blog here it is:
If communication breaks down it is always the work of the ego. The course teaches “The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure and for pride… The Holy Spirit sees the body only as a means for communication, and because communication is sharing it becomes communion… Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately.”
Today will I be a humble servant? Will I seek to serve others or self? Will I pause when agitated? Will I breathe deep through discourse and declare I want Peace more than I want to be right?
It is always my choice how I show up and what meaning I give those events in my life.