The Art of Pre-Translation
You may have heard the old saying, "Words can hurt, words can heal." That is well and good when we are consciously aware of the words we send forth and the impact they will have. For example, we know that "I hate you" hurts. If we hurl it at someone, it is with the clear intention of hurting them. Not a good idea, nor a good thing to do. And it is usually not the truth. Nevertheless we do it consciously. The tricky part is when we are not aware that words we speak will trigger a negative reaction in the person we are speaking with.
Everyone has a conscious, and an unconscious "dictionary" in their mind. Unlike Funk and Wagnals, the words and phrases do not have a consistent, congruent meaning. The meaning of the words are formed through the individual's unique life experiences. When communicating with another person, the words are received and filtered through their "filter of awareness."
Then, their response to our words is received and filtered through our awareness. To me, it is a wonder we can communicate at all! It is even more complicated when we consider that we each have a "framework" of "the way it is." Here is an experiment that proves that. Ask two people to draw a picture of a house. Then tell them to add a yard, and fence and trees, etc. You will find that the pictures are usually not even close in their content.
So...given the above information; the "why" of our communication problem, we look at the "how" in overcoming it. I would like to offer you the "Art of Pre-Translation."
"Art" as I am using it today, refers to a principle-based system through which one can achieve high proficiency through practice. "Principle," metaphysically is that which is absolute, eternal and unchanging.
The "Law of Mind Action," or the "Law of Cause and Effect," aka "as you sow, so shall you reap" is at work even when it appears not to be working due to our filters and frameworks. As Einstein said "You cannot solve a problem at the level you created it," we likewise cannot solve our communication problems without lifting our minds above the level of the problem.
If a pan on the stove has a hot handle, and you burn your hand when you pick it up, you do not repeatedly burn your hand or forever stop cooking. You get a pot holder and move on. Likewise in communication. If you find that you have hit someone's "hot button" and felt the sting of negativity coming back at you, or if an instruction or request has not been received or fulfilled as you had desired, take that as a clue. This is our opportunity to rise above the reaction so we can learn, grow, and receive our desired results.
This past week my son and I were window shopping for something, not totally clear it was that we were looking for. We saw a "Sale" sign in the window of a store and went in. The shopkeeper showed us the product, and gave us a price. The price was not a bad price, but we wanted to be sure this item would work for us. The shopkeeper, annoyed with our hesitation called my son a very unflattering and rude name as we exited. Clearly we will not be going back. The shopkeeper misunderstood our intention, and saw the transaction as a battle of the wits or wills. This was in spite of our sincere desire to purchase what we needed. There was a disconnect between intention and perception.
In "A Course in Miracles," it states "I am not upset for the reason I think." In communication, very often a negative response has less to do with what was said, than the fact that it hit a trigger or hot button you were not aware of. This is why hurling negativity back at the person or arguing is futile.
When you find yourself in this kind of situation, use these keys to learn to pre-translate and avoid future issues:
1. Do not take it personally. They are very likely not upset for the reason you think. Give some thought to your words and the way they were said. Use the response as feedback for evaluation.
2. Do not judge by appearances or jump to conclusions. You cannot see the other person's filters or frameworks, but knowing they are there and different from yours, you can avoid escalation.
3. Do not react negatively, or defensively. If there is an opportunity you may be able to ask for clarification. If you were wrong, apologize and move on.
4. Consider your own filters and frameworks. Ultimately you can only change yourself. Oftentimes when we change ourselves, we find others changing as well.
5. Know that there may be times when you cannot communicate with someone. It is as if you are both speaking different languages, which in reality you are. Just affirm love and let it go. Maybe another time you will be able to communicate.
6. Remember that the law is always working. If you do not like the effect (response) change the cause (message or energy sent).
7. Do not expect to be right even when you are absolutely right. If you are not right in their filter and framework, you are not right and no amount of "proof" will make you right.
8. Do not expect it to make sense. You are speaking different "languages." Rather than expect the other person to learn your language, try to learn theirs.
9. Affirm Love. "It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all." -- Emmet Fox Think of how much love you have for them. Send love to them, and feel the energy shift.
10. Let it be. Remember the words of Jesus, "What is that to you? Follow me."
I pray you will find these thoughts helpful. Metaphysics, or Spiritual Principles work beyond the limited the perimiters and parameters of human consciousness. Therefore we must lift up our "eyes," the way we see things to avoid the emotional minefields of human communication.