My sister and I have been on the phone a lot lately. It is a combination of the Holiday season and she "gets" my humor. Since I am exhausted AND punchy, she is a willing audience.
During one of our conversations she mentioned a moment on the train, whilst commuting to work, that she wondered why it is that people have such trouble with communication, i.e. communicating with one another on an intimate level. And by "people" she meant all people, not just the people in our family, who come by it naturally.
When we discussed it again today I told her that I have not stopped thinking about it. She admited the same. It is a curious phenomenon. I mean, I know that I don't communicate sometimes for the fear of hurting another's feelings. We concurred that you cannot be mortally wounded by feelings. We mutually agreed that fear keeps us from speaking how we feel. Fear of what people will think of us. They may think we are weak, mushy, needy or neurotic. A number of adjectives may be inserted here. But how and when did this become systemic? How and when did it become work to maintain a healthy level of communication within important relationships? Why is it easier to share important news with virtual strangers than with those of whom we have a long history? Is it safer? I don't have the answer for these questions.
I know that it is easier and far more articulate when I write my feelings as opposed speaking them. I muddle how I will weave my thoughts together and consult my theasarus and my dicionary. I walk away from it and review it with new eyes. These are my feelings. My words describing my feelings.
Feelings do not pump the blood around my body. Nor do they fire neurons in my brain. Why, then, have we placed such an importance on feelings? I have spent a mere fortune working with professionals to unravel my feelings and as a result assisting me in communication. Some people are very good at communication and I wonder why that is. We learn from our parents. I suppose we either learn to communicate our feelings or to hide our feelings. But, I wonder again, why the importance on feelings? They are powerful to be sure. And life would be outrageously boring without them, both the good and the bad.
But why do they hinder us so in the art of communication?