The one thing that causes most of the problems in life, at both a global level and for every single person on earth, is misunderstanding. From the beginning of mankind we have struggled to learn how to communicate between brothers, between great nations, different types of religions, parents and their children, co-workers and most importantly between spouses. Many great wars have started because world leaders simply refused to listen to the other side, not willing to understand what was the cause of the discord. Many businesses often fail because the partners become so focused on their own desire for the company’s future, that the business is torn in two and cannot flourish without working together to achieve a unified vision of growth. And sadly, many marriages end in divorce because of some type of small misunderstanding that becomes a tiny splinter that over time festers into a wound that is impossible to heal.
Almost all of our problems in life, start by ignoring what seems to be the very smallest of things, but are like the elephant in the room. We simply refuse to deal with the issue, let it simmer inside of us, and over time our life has changed in a negative direction.
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said by the other party. We must read between the lines and listen carefully to what the other person may not clearly be saying or what we simply refuse to hear. With today’s supposedly improved tools of communication through texting and messaging, we have lost the truest form of communication, that of looking into the other persons eyes, and seeing the expressions on their face. The eyes are the mirrors of our souls and texting has destroyed many relationships by removing that critical form of connecting to another person.
The hardest part of communication is accepting the fact that some small misgiving may not have even taken place. It might just be a perception buried deep within us, nothing that actually took place in time, just in our subconscious that has become so real that we know it actually took place. Whether it did or not, the hardest part is pushing it away, letting it die along with the past and forgiving that person of a wrong doing, real or not. The only way to live your life fully, is to let go of how you should have acted, or what you should have said differently. You have to accept that you cannot change past experiences in your life or the opinions of what other people may think of you. When you finally recognize the truth, then you will understand what true forgiveness is all about, forgiving not only the other person but yourself. There is freedom in letting go of the misunderstandings and embracing the love that was there all along, simply buried so deep in anger and the inability to forgive.
Proverbs 15:1 provides simple but helpful guidance by stating that “A gentle answer turns away rage, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Look at your personal or business relationships and push away your pride and the anger you have been holding onto, perhaps for reasons that might even be unclear by now. Remember what the foundation of your relationship was in the beginning and start building a way to more effectively communicate with one another. Be gentle in your responses, read between the lines and look for what is not even being said.
Most importantly, put down your smart phone, I-pads and laptops and agree to have a private meeting with the person you have had a misunderstanding with. Look directly into the eyes of your business partner, parent, child or spouse’s eyes and search for the real truth, not your own perception, to fully grasp what is important to the other person. Then you both can learn to respect and fully love one another again.