Have you ever wanted to shoot off that email right away, or to speak to someone face-to-face urgently, gripped by impatience? We seem to think that if we don’t do it right away, we would be disadvantaged in some way. We think our words, written or spoken, have so much power that we must assert this power right away. We may be so accustomed to using words that we can’t see the value of not using words.
Suppose I ask you to communicate or take action without using words. How would you handle it? What are some of the non-word ways of communicating? If you’re like most people, you’d probably have to think about it before answering.
Don’t get me wrong. I love words and think words are beautiful. Words are powerful as they can invoke great emotions and bridge our imaginations to grand visions and what is possible. I can attest to the power of a good book. The power of a great speech, especially coupled with non-word communication like passion, can incite a whole nation to act on a cause.
But we have also placed too much power into words, so much so that we’re missing out on the power of wordless communication. Words can be powerful but they don’t always adequately represent the full truth of something we are trying to convey.
How do you describe love, for instance? Or peace? There are no words that can adequately describe these inner states. Words can only provide an idea of these states, but we can only truly know them when we experience them. For even if our words say one thing, we may be feeling something else; they can be conflicting.
Take any spiritual concept that you are familiar with. Understanding the theory of it is one thing, but to truly understand it we need to have a visceral experience of it that defies the limitation of words.
The power of non-word applies also to physical actions. Most people think that an action is an action. But the same person taking the action can be doing a whole different thing depending on what feelings, mindset, attitude and meanings they infuse into the action. All these variables influence and determine the impact and outcomes of the action.
When communicating to others through gestures, your inner feelings when making those gestures are more encompassing than words.
Move Away from False Power to True Power
When we are being too wordy, we’re often driven from wanting to be right, to influence someone’s reaction about something. It comes from a sense of insecurity we feel inside, and the excesses of words are there to manage our insecurity, to make us feel safer. You know that state of wanting to say what you’re impatient to say, desperately wanting to make sure you cover everything, not wanting to leave anything out? “I MUST say all that I have to say!”
The truth is, there is more power in letting it go. Whilst our ego is striving to get as many words in as possible, to convey our views and perspective, there is actually not that much power in the words we do manage to get across. It is an illusion that our words really have that much power.
If words are not where the power is, then where is the power?
There is more power in actually not doing anything, whenever you are gripped by a desperate need to convey words. When you refrain from doing that, you will likely be greeted by discomfort. Stay in the place of discomfort. Allow the need to control fall away. Embrace the uncertainty, for you are back in the field of infinite possibilities. This is the place of true power.
Instead of doing, make a shift internally. Align with a deeper place within, beyond the neurosis that is playing out on the surface. When you’re aligned with this space, there is no need to control the dramas outside.
Try communicating via feelings. Without saying a word, impart the feelings you want to convey. Observe how this impacts the other person or the situation.
Make It Unconditional
We speak, write and communicate with words to influence an outcome. What if you do so without any expectation of the outcome? What if you are simply doing it because you are coming from love and understanding? How would that change you? How would that change the world we live in?
We hinge all the power of communication into the words themselves. But words are merely vehicles to get our audience to certain states.
Most of us are taught to think in words. It can be limiting since anything that we can’t compartmentalise with words is dismissed by our minds. But outside of the boxes limited by the words we know, lies an enormous world of experiences. How our lives can be enriched by stepping outside of the limitations of the words we have grown to rely on!
Listen Beyond Words
One of the things I’m often asked is, “How do I tune in to my inner guidance?” How can they perceive more clearly the messages from their souls, to hear the voice in their hearts?
If you only expect these messages to come in the form of words, you may be limiting yourself. Your heart and soul often impart their wisdom through feelings and impressions. Learning to trust these signals is the key, and that means not dismissing anything wordless as unreliable. Decide to invest trust in them, and you will show yourself the power of this wisdom.