L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
One of the questions I have no clear answer for, is ‘when to speak up’?
Having studied Communications I know that we are each responsible for the effects that our words unchain. The Bible warns us that ‘all evil comes from the mouth’ and that the big challenge, in loving, is to curb destructive words before we say them.
In this new age of communication where technology spurs messages exponentially, the risk of wrong-doing is even greater. Gossip has become a widespread sport, spreading criticism, back-stabbing, cynicism and defamation. This dissipation fills the media promoting superficiality, vanity, ego-trips and doubt. No one believes in anything or anyone anymore. Instead of a spontaneous, uninhibited, authentic response, we react defensively attacking, before even giving relationships, a chance.
The axiom of old that admonished ‘never to speak, unless spoken to’ has a point. Not as repression, but as self-restraint, suggesting we take time before speaking, so as to think out and filter our words. I know in politics it works: ‘don´t give your opinion, unless asked for ’. People in power, bosses and supervisors hate to be told off. When in doubt, ‘shut up’.
Stages of personal development would have us first, learn to be quiet; then, practice speaking the Truth (not necessarily subjective reality) with courage enough to speak out in indignation; and finally, chose to speak only ‘kindness’.
I find touch is truer to its message. It is more reliable to trust what you feel. When there are no words for pain, touch the “ouch!” The soothing reassurance of a hand on the shoulder, unravels meanings unknown to words. Healing touch has been a mother’s way of caressing a child’s wound, better; a chaman’s way of cleansing the spirit in a body; a lover’s way of saying ‘I love you’. No strings attached, no conditions, just the soft, reassuring warmth of love. Music can do it too. Meaning then, has a chance to be jointly enhanced, both by the sender and the receiver.
Just the other day, while in bed with a stomach ache, my cat crawled on top of me, laying instinctively exactly where it hurt, seemingly absorbing the pain. I immediately felt better. I knew Egyptians kept cats as healers, assisting priests when curing an illness, but had never believed it. Perhaps I too, can touch someone, better and avoid the risk of hurting others with my words.
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P.D. Writing love letters is another way of being True to Love.