|Introduction to How To Communicate Who You Are And What You Need
© 1999 Michele Toomey, PhD
Self expression is vital to our happiness, yet it is not taught. We are expected to just know how to capture in words what we are feeling and thinking. Why we assume that just by learning to talk we can automatically know the complex process of self-expression is beyond me. We, who in a split second, are able to make associations with something that we experienced in the past or anticipate might happen in the future but that got triggered by something that's happening in the present, are not simple to describe.
We live in three time periods: past, present and future. We have three dimensions: thoughts, feelings and imaginings, and we operate on three levels: the conscious, unconscious and sub-conscious. Yet, we speak and hear only one word at a time. We are a body and a spirit and experience life through the body informed by and informing the spirit. We are, by nature, paradoxical and we are forever trying to reconcile wanting and not wanting to say or do something. Add to that the fact that no one can see or hear our inner world with its communication network that receives and transmits our thoughts, feelings and imaginings and we have true complexity. We live in and communicate from this sophisticated invisible inner world with its complex communication system. How we express ourselves is our only way in, around or out of this invisible world and its system.
Learning the rules that govern this system and acquiring the language to capture the complexity of our inner world, therefore, are vital tools of our life and for our life, and they do not automatically follow from learning how to talk. The challenge is to be taught both the guiding principles for expressing and processing the information received through this communication network. We must also be taught the power of language and metaphor that allows us to reveal the information we discover with integrity, color, texture and intensity. Our relationship with ourselves and each other is dependent on it. Liberation psychology teaches both the guiding principles and the power of language,therefore we need to learn liberation psychology.