Communicate, but then Listen

Today I was reminded of the importance of one of my most loved (and hated) aspects of human connection: communication.

For me, communication has always been at the root of any successful relationship that we can have as humans. Whether it be verbal or written, communication truly is key. Being that I have a ton of Virgo in my chart I am supposedly highly affected and ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication (and since I do believe in astrology, this suggestion resonates with me).

When I was a little girl I was very talkative. I loved to talk. More than that, I loved to talk to adults. I was definitely the kid who wanted to know everything and sit at every adult table and join in on every conversation. However, as I got older and became more aware of the more toxic aspects of my environment, I lost my talkative nature. I became more quiet and passive, seemingly disinterested in any conversation that surpassed the surface.

I dont think it was really until the last year and a half that I truly re-found my voice and love for communication. Though the process began in college, I still had many insecurities around my ability to communicate thoroughly and honestly. Right before my senior year of college started, I decided (with the help of some psychedelics) that the mantra “speak with conviction” was one that I needed to integrate. The year that followed was an interesting (to say the least) period of me finding both my footing and my boundaries in regards to clear, confident, and honest communication.

It was almost as if the floodgates had opened and everything that I had been holding in for over 5 years just poured out of me. I wanted to communicate everything: the good, the bad, and (more often than not) the ugly. I hit below the belt with people that I shouldn’t have. I overshared personal information with others that I shouldn’t have.

But I also expressed love in ways that I didn’t previously know how. Though it might not have been perfect, I did my best.

I realized that even though it wont always come out in the most graceful of ways, saying something is always better than saying nothing. At least for me it is. I unfortunately am not one of those ultra-zen people who can just let things go without any sort of explanation or closure. If I don’t put everything out there and do everything possible on my end to align both myself and the situation with its highest possible outcome, I genuinely cannot move on.

However, today (quite unexpectedly I might add) my scope on communication was broadened, and taken to an even deeper level. I was shown that though the importance of communication cannot be understated, neither can the importance of listening. And while obviously listening to the other party and what they are communicating is just as important, I don’t think I ever realized the true second half of what makes communication “key”.

It is listening to yourself. Listening to your reaction based on what was just communicated to you. Communication is only a roadmap, or guide if you will, to the ultimate destination. That ultimate destination being: a decision.

I think that over the last couple of years I had craved honest and direct communication so badly, that I forgot the purpose of it.

Now I have met someone who has provided me with that communication, but I’m not really sure what to do with it.

Maybe it’s because I overthink things, or maybe it’s because along with Virgo, Libra also seemingly dominates my birth chart (curse the need for balance in literally everything). But in all seriousness, being faced with the realization that the work doesn’t stop once you learn to communicate sort of sucks. Maybe I underestimated the difficulty of these “decision making” situations. Maybe I’m being faced the realization that getting what you wished for, often shows you what you don’t want, rather than what you do.

And now it looks like I have to figure out which is which.

Regardless, I still believe communication is not only important, but beautiful. Expressing ourselves is beautiful. Expressing our truth is beautiful. But maybe this added component of “listening” isn’t so much about beauty, but more about respect. Respect for not only what is being communicated to us, but for how that communication makes us feel.

And maybe even respect for our honest response, especially when it’s one that we would prefer to change.