What is the hardest part of communication?

Before we get into the main thought I want you to pause for a moment and think about what is the hardest part of communication for you.  Where do you tend to get stuck?  What causes you to be triggered into a survival instinct (fight, flight, or freeze)?  With that in mind I will share what I read today.

Today I read a blog post by Corey at Simple Marriage (I recommend you check out his site).  I refer many people to his site and posts.  Today the quote that stood out to me that gets at the essence of communication is this:


“Communication is about handling what the other person thinks and feels.”  

– Corey @ Simple Marriage

This jumped off the page for me.  I thought he nailed it.  This is when I tend to react or shut down.  I’ve grown in my ability to listen to my wife (for instance).  So, if she shares a different point of view, I am decent at handling this message.  Where I tend to get triggered is when I perceive her “getting me wrong.”  That is when I can react from a survival instinct, rather than staying in the conversation to hear  her out fully.

When I am able to handle the message the other person is sending then we can truly meet as two people.  Our relationship can grow and we can move forward together.

In future posts I will share what I do to grow in handling the message.

Awareness is the first thing needed to change any habit.

Did you grow in awareness of where people can get stuck in their communication?

[I’d love to continue this conversation below in the comments.]

Journal Entry – Giving thanks!


Rejoice always.
Pray continually.
Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  (1 Thess 5:16-18)

Jesus, may this word become my substance to sustain me today.  May I learn how to return to joy – the sense that you are glad to be with me and treat my weakness with tenderness.  When I see that “I’m glad to see you John” look on your face I am inspired to stay in the conversation with you and keep talking and listening to you.  Help me to see what the father is doing today.  Inspire me to see all the things that I can give thanks to you today.  May it be natural and easy for me.  As I live this way I can be confident that I am doing your will as a way of life.  This is my deepest desire.  To do your will and to know, to see, what you, Father, are doing right now, and to have Jesus, you, mentor me.  Spirit, keep your words of life before me and help me to meditate on your life giving wisdom each moment.

Be open, receive and act

“All that is required of us is the openness to receive what we can and then act on it.  

But, we must act on what we have and be where we, in reality, are.”  

(p. 23 of Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer by David Benner)

It was on a retreat at St. Andrew’s in Valyermo, CA when I was reading a devotional book and I stopped at this line.  I am someone who wants to hear God speak but has a challenging time slowing down enough to hear him.  To really take small and larger chunks of time to create space to I can receive from him and hear him speak to me.  Yet, there are times when I do take the time to hear from him and enjoy receiving from him.  It might be an sense of encouragement or comfort.  Other times its a sense of the beginning of an idea.


The reason I am sharing this quote is because God impressed upon me, using this line, the important thing is to act on what I have received from him.  Too often I just receive it and don’t act.  I may not act because that act will take courage and I fear failing or “doing something wrong,” in the eyes of another person.

God used this quote to strike deep into my heart.  It was both a challenge and comfort all wrapped up in one moment.  With God it is often that way for me.

If I were to put it into words I would translate it this way.

“John, thank you for your willingness to be open to me and learn how to receive from me.  When you receive from me I do want you to act on what you hear from me.  Otherwise how will you grow in receiving from me.  Often the next time you’ll receive from me is when I guide you after you act on what you sense to be true.  T

his is the way to life in me.  I am with you and you are in me.  Lets go.”

This reflection and sharing of it is one of my first acts of courage to act on what I sense from God.  I will act on what I know to be true – as humbly as I can – and leave the outcomes to him.

*NOTE: This was originally written on Aug 9, 2013.  I am finally posting it here.