So it is my observation and assertion that each of us has our own language.
Successfully negotiating relationship is the process of learning eachother’s language.
Individuals in long-term relationships, children and caregivers, and close siblings (especially twins) have their own shared language.
This increases the intimacy between the shared language group and excludes those outside the group.
We see this in high school where small groups develop new words with personal meanings that hold them together as a group and exclude those who don’t know the language.
What words mean to us, how we see the world and communicate within it, these things are dramatically affected by our experiences and our interpretations of those experiences. That whole, internal, 3-d meaning is called a frame of reference.
Since everyone has a unique personality and unique experiences then this process results in unique meanings in language and even interpretation of behavior and actions. I think of this as a phenomenological process.
Let’s use a word to illustrate this point.
Grace This word has religious connotations, and it signifies beauty of a delicate nature and movement that is easy and looks effortless – graceful. It can be interpreted as beneficence, prayer, a state of being under divine influence, and good will. And I use it as a way to describe being in line with your path, being in-sync with your true nature, and being in-sync with your spiritual path.
How you interpret Grace or translate that word for yourself has to do with your experiences and internal relationship to that word. If you belong to a religious group which uses it in a specific way then it will be imbued with that specific meaning for you.
Knowing yourself means understanding what has meaning for you and how much of that is transferable to and/or agreed on in your relationships, work, groups and situations.
It’s important to know yourself and know the person with whom you are in relationship.
I think interpretation is sometimes one of the ways that communication breaks-down because an individual interprets from their own frame of reference rather than that of the speaker.
So I think it’s important to be a translator; to take time clarifying your meaning and language – your frame of reference, as well as to spend time learning about the other’s meaning and language – their frame of reference. Doing this encourages the opportunity for real or full communication to take place.
This is and act of mindfulness and allows a synergistic relationship of the two languages to be achieved.
In groups there are as many languages as there are people involved. So this is an awesome task.
One way to begin to identify and translate meaning in your own language and that of those close to you is to notice when you have/hear emotional expression with specific words.
I have written about this as responding to sensory awareness so that you can act in present time, in a neutral/unattached, compassionate, and mindful way. This is an opportunity to use the stop, look and listen strategy in interaction with others.
Try to follow the thread of that emotional expression back to its source.
Do this as an internal process for yourself when you are noticing an emotional attachment to a word – and do this with the other person in relationship when you hear an emotional attachment to a word.
It can be revealing.
See you tomorrow.