Everything communicates something


I was at a wedding last week and the Preacher used a phrase that has stuck with me since. I don’t think he intended it to be such a profound message, as it was a bit of a throw away comment but it has really been buzzing around my head all week in two different ways. The phrase was “everything communicates something” and the two ways are this:

1) My children are always communicating – from the moment they wake up to the moment they shut their eyes to go back to sleep. With every sigh, rolled eye, punch of their brother,  tut, smile, words and body movements they are communicating. Sometimes the communication is so loud I have to say “turn it down”. There are times when the attention-needing, demanding behaviour is unbearable and I have to try and stand back and say – “what exactly are you trying to say to me but not using words I can understand?”

Bryan Post talks about the two places we come from are either love or fear. When our children are tugging at our clothes and saying “mum, mum mum” continuously, what are they afraid of? What are they so anxious about that they need us to see them all the time? On the other side of things when they disappear to their room and cry silently in their beds what fear is there? Maybe the fear of approaching us with their anxiety is more overpowering then the anxiety itself?

Many times throughout the day I miss their little signs of communication. Maybe I’m more focused on my own needs, or the needs of the other children that I miss the side ways glance to see how I react to the tapping noise that says “I’m here too – see me please”. Of course none of us can be so focused on someone 24/7 that you see and in turn respond in the right way to that need – that would be impossible. However it’s reminded me to look a bit closer when there is silence or a sigh and a tut – maybe there’s more to it then just stroppy teenager attitudes?

2) What does my body communicate to me and what do I communicate to others? If everything communicates something then when I’m so shattered I can’t open my eyes anymore, or I flare up at the slightest disappointment during the day – what is that communicating to me? Maybe I need a rest, a break, a change of pace? Maybe the pressures of being an adoptive parent, running a business, holding down a life is just too much sometimes?

I’ve tried to be healthier the older I’ve got – to no avail sometimes. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise (hmm), laugh a lot (do that) and enjoy life. All good things and activities that will promote a healthier family life. If I can look after myself better then maybe I would see the things my children are trying to communicate to me more often.

Also what am I communicating to others – to my husband, my children, my friends and family? Am I honest in my spoken communications? “How you doing?” – “Fine thanks” (when actually I’m not fine). Or when people say – “let us know if you need anything” and we don’t because we don’t want to seem needy or impose on others. Instead we’d rather soldier on and crumble under the strain of life! 

What we communicate is vitally important and what this phrase has made me consider is – even if we don’t communicate in words we are still communicating – everything we do (or don’t do) communicates something.

So what are your children communicating to you at the moment? What is your body communicating to you? And what are you communicating to others right now?

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