The Power-lines of Better Communication

Have you ever noticed how people treat each other differently during emergencies: how we pull together when chaos looms? It’s as if we suddenly give ourselves permission to abide by a more humanitarian set of rules that creates better communication and gets us past whatever is in our way.

Midwestern snowstorms knocking us off-grid come to my mind….I remember a mix of anxiety and excitement as my family and our neighbors stockpiled supplies and played candlelit games of Monopoly as we waited-out Mother Nature’s surrounding tantrums.

From Newsroom to Therapy Room

I often use such real-life circumstances as go-to’s when creating in-session interventions. I weave therapeutic analogies out of these current events, not to minimize the inconvenience or suffering of those involved, but as a way to positively repurpose elements into illustrative opportunities in order to model better communication and spark emotional growth.

Millions of Californians were recently left without power as large portions of the electrical grid were shut down to impede damaged electrical lines from sparking wildfires. Below, I use the elements of this to illustrate how better communication practices can lead to personal and collective empowerment.

The Power-lines of Better Communication

Envision a utility pole: formed from hardwoods and drilled deep into the landscape. Gazing upward, the impenetrable nature of this man-made creation is visceral: sturdy, strong – impressive.

During our adolescence and early adulthoods, we aspire to be seen in much the same way as we yearn for a stable place in the world. With a combination of pride and self-involvement, we proclaim: notice me! as we aspire to matter for our own sakes.

And yet, the lone utility pole is ineffective without a surrounding series of poles in place – and this collection of poles cannot create anything meaningful without a thoughtful system up-and-running, which connects them.

Under the healthiest of scenarios, as we mature our perceptions shift: we relinquish our need to stand out for ourselves in exchange for a desire positively affect the collective whole. We begin building lines of communication as a means to offer and receive assistance.

As a therapist, I’m in the profession of helping my clients find meaning and clarify purpose. As they are prompted into greater awareness, the need for external approval dissipates as they journey toward a rewarding sense of contribution and interaction.

Better Lines of Influence

Poles and people are meant to support the inspiration that helps humanity evolve. We are designed to be steadfast placeholders for intention and conduits of information.

To truly function at full capacity, we must utilize better communication practices and spotlight connection and contribution over self-involvement. At our best, our task is to clearly transmit the energy and convey the ideas that collectively solve the dilemmas we all face together.

So the next time you’re barreling down life’s highway embroiled in your own personal drama. Notice the utility lines accompanying you along the way – and realize your best journey forward depends on your ability to connect – not stand out.