Communication Basics

If for whatever reason, you just can't seem to communicate effectively with a person or even animal that you deeply care for, often the only remaining option - and a surprisingly wonderful one - is a hug. Words often do get in the way, whereas hugging gets right to the heart of the matter.

I've yet to meet anyone in person who can no longer be triggered to instantly transform into a hurt child, struggling to survive via primitive reflexes. This is perfectly natural, & given all the real & imagined threats we all face in life, almost universal. IF I can see & accept that I myself also get similarly triggered, and thus "fight-freeze-flight" reflexes similarly take over my thinking, speaking & behavior, THEN I'm much more likely to meet such behavior with empathy (rather than harsh judgment, anger, aggression etc ie become triggered myself).

“At the bottom of my grievance against a world gone mad, I discovered the vulnerable child who still didn’t know that love was fully available or truly reliable.”

John Welwood. "Perfect love, imperfect relationships. Healing the wound of the heart." Trumpeter, 2006.

Clear awareness & acceptance of ourselves, others & life, is rare, but we're all fully capable of training towards experientially understanding "Who am I?" and "What is this?"

To the degree we can free ourselves from being run by primitive reactive reflexes, we progressively inhabit, embody & stabilize in a qualitatively different level of consciousness called wisdom, awakening, enlightenment, etc.

When we become aware of, and accept the fact that we're in the primitive survival level of consciousness, we're able to instantly, effortlessly shift to our innate wisdom level of consciousness. At this level, we're able to provide a "safe holding place" for those who, in this moment, mistakenly assume themselves to be vulnerable children (instead of wise elders). The late Marshall Rosenberg PhD, founder of "nonviolent communication", said that the only thing anyone really means to say is 'please don't hurt me.'

Much of mindfulness meditation is actually practicing to make this qualitative shift in consciousness progressively easier, faster, smoother, seamless, like shifting our attention from the sound of someone's voice to the feel of our foot - instant, effortless.

When it becomes this easy, why would anyone choose to remain trapped in confused-frightened-child mode, when profound peace, clarity & kindness are instantly, effortlessly available?

To the extent we embody a primitive survival level of consciousness, we're self-centered and come across as adversarial, even though we're actually afraid. Many of us realize that aggression simply incites further aggression, so as Einstein suggested, we must address problems from a higher level of consciousness than the level which caused the problems. When wise, we are able to provide non-judgment, safety & nurturing, so others can feel safe enough to shift from survival mode to wisdom. See:

We're all fully capable of, and only truly feel at home in, wisdom.

Wonderful illustration of these 2 levels:

Katie Hoffman "Adrift"

Katie Hoffman "Adrift"

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