We know the many thoughts running through our heads. And it’s easy to assume others think and see things the same way we do. But we’re left stumbling around in the dark without an open dialogue between us. Learning how to articulate the movements of our hearts and minds brings a needed light to our life and relationships. This doesn’t always “fix” problems per se, but it does offer fresh perspectives as we try to find our way forward.
For instance, we’re prone to bump into many things walking in a dark and unfamiliar room. Turning on the light allows us to see clearly. And while there might come a time to rearrange the furniture, initially it’s helpful just to see clear enough not to keep bumping into things.
And good communication functions in a similar way throughout our lives.
For example, we invite much frustration and avoidable heartaches when we leave things unsaid in our marriage. After years together it’s tempting to assume we can just know what the other is thinking. And, to be fair, we can learn quite a bit in our time together and start to make reasonable predictions. The room might be dark, but it has become familiar over the years, and we can now navigate many issues without as much dialogue or fanfare.
But it’s time to turn the lights on again when resentment or despair starts to creep in. Often our assumptions have led to deep misunderstandings causing us to miss each other’s hearts. We then conclude things can’t change or won’t change, but we’re operating in the dark.
Opening our dialogue once again allows us to see and name the issues accurately. And this gives us a chance to creatively rearrange the furniture and correct issues as needed, rather than merely assuming things will always be the same.
In the end, don’t bump around in the dark leaving problems to fester and grow. Turn on the light by talking openly about the important matters of your life and relationships.