As clear as…

I love swimming. Born a Pisces, my body takes to water like tires to the road. Sparkling water, a bit of a ripple and I’m ready to soak in the surroundings energized by the powerful connection of nature to spirit.

On the other hand, sludge is such an energy sapper. It is visual proof of no movement, of static life. It bogs me down and everything around me.

I find communication similar to water. Clear language compounded with similar non-verbals gives energy to conversation. Participants respond with questions, with feedback, with interest in resolving the moment. Yet, insert vague word choice, lack of feedback and blank stares and nothing happens. The energy of those involved is spent. Conversation is stymied.

You remember those times you were with someone who didn’t respond, who perhaps simply smiled when a smile was incongruent. It takes us by surprise – much like a muddy pond. We try to back away, to not stick our toes in, to search for something a bit more involved. Yet we may actually take the challenge to find the movement, to create a ripple and see how long it lasts.

I remember when dating in high school, I would often sit in cars on the return trip with nothing to say. Out of pleasantries, my mind drained of topics, I would stare out the window, longing to escape the interior, to move. Yet I know the driver felt even more ill at ease, because of my shyness which led to short answers and limited eye contact.

Was this because I didn’t like my companion? No. More likely, I didn’t know what I liked. I hadn’t taken the time to prepare my thoughts, to consider my views, to develop my interests, to question others, to seek information nor to love things around me. So when with others, suddenly I began considering my views – and now they weren’t clear. I wanted to seek information, yet I didn’t know how. I realized I had very few interests and now my thoughts were inconclusive.

My language was vague. “I don’t know” was a common phrase. “That’s cool” was another.

Stymied communication may lead us to seeking movement, if we are up to it. If the individual is interesting enough, if the time together is captive or if we are up to the challenge. But it won’t last long. When communication is clear as mud, it bogs us down. Like mud caking on our skin, vague communication is irritating, bothersome and leaves us searching for refreshment. For escape.

I’m a Pisces. I see why I was so stymied as a youth and young adult. I was meant to swim through conversation, to move with pizazz, yet my fears of the water held me back. I needed the confidence to get my toes wet – to jump in. Regardless of the grace, I had to attempt social conversations, to put myself on the edge and dive right in. To continue, despite the scorecard results, so I could develop the skills. Without that experience, I couldn’t have become the “lifeguard” around the communication pool today.

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On December 18th, 2009, posted in: Connecting, focus by