Today I was reminded that when I started dating my now husband, Eddy, I was unable to speak. Up until that point so much of existing in life was just REACTING to something, rather than REFLECTING, and TRYING to learn but not quite knowing how. When he would ask me questions sometimes I would grunt or whine or give him sounds in response because I had no words, and I told him I would have to wait a while because it took me longer to process things than it took him. He would remind me on so many occasions — “YOU’RE HUMAN. USE LANGUAGE!” But for some reason my thoughts would be in such a huge tangled mess that I couldn’t form them into anything coherent, so I settled on asking questions to try and figure out the world, even if whatever I “learned” just went into a huge muddled soup of ideas. It got to the point where I would just be so flustered and he would ask me the first things to come into my mind, such as “ostrich!” “airplane!” “desert!” or some other jumble of words, and he would try to make symbolic sense of it, even though I never could. I’m so grateful that there are people out there with the patience of dealing with minds like mine… Really, considering that everyone is broken in some way, we just have to find people who are broken in the way that fits our own broken like a puzzle piece.
I’ve come a long way since then, and have learned how to express myself clearly to those around me…for the most part anyway. Going to the ayahuasca retreat, I was told that I was a gifted communicator and I never felt that way before. It just sort of “happened” when I went down this road of trying to explain myself and my feelings to other people, because I became so desperate that I wasn’t able to express myself in any other way. I suppose this is something that could potentially be a “superpower” for bipolar people… this kinda “blurt out” communication style of just… trying to get your thoughts across because it’s constant vomit in your head. Or maybe that’s just me? Who knows. All we can do is share our story and hope it resonates with someone else.
Anyway, Eddy and I always come back to the conclusion of how language is so limiting. He describes communication as a hiking trail… which I took as constantly going down this road of sometimes ups, sometimes downs, exploring different paths, and eventually you get to a point where you understand the other person (hopefully… some people struggle with this all their lives). To Eddy, it’s the idea of finding a way to move forward regardless of what stands in your path, trees, forest, whatever. I’m grateful that I’m learning how to walk those trails and develop language in terms of understanding others and being able to communicate inoffensively to where others understand me as well.
When you think about it… we really are all just living in different invisible worlds, and communication is trying to to bring that inner world out to others. Of course there will be inevitable bumps that arise along the way, but I believe effective communication is something we all need to strive for as humans, because overall conflict would be greatly reduced.
We are all unique masterpieces, expressing dimensions of various degrees to those around us, hoping something connects. This is why we can’t be so hard on ourselves if it comes out wrong… we’re all speaking such different yet similar languages. Allow yourself the patience to recognize what the framework of the universe is trying to tell you. So much of the time I feel like I wish I could say things in more poetic flowery language, but people have told me that they like the clarity with which I speak… so I guess I just need to accept how these messages are choosing to come through. As we all should.
I’m starting to get it when people say stuff like “I’m a work in progress.” Our pasts may break us in certain ways, but it’s like Kintsugi–the Japanese idea that broken pottery can be fixed with gold, making it more valuable to have the gold in the cracks once the damage has been done. (The video below explains this idea very well.) If we’re lucky, we can find people who see the value in our broken-ness, and the progress we’ve made along the journey that’s come from that… the strength and beauty we’ve developed from those cracks.