Friday, September 16, 2011

Subtle - 1

subtle [suht-l] - fine or delicate in meaning or intent; difficult to perceive or understand; requiring mental acuteness, penetration, or discernment.

I have been thinking about this post for a while now. In fact, I have been purposefully stalling when it comes to putting my thoughts on the page as I am more than a bit anxious and a bit trepidacious. My worry stems from the fact that I struggle mightily when it comes to very basic aspects of my faith. More than that, the topic is one that weighs heavily on me because I fear that there is something crucial to my life, its present condition and its ultimate value, that I am missing, that I do not appropriately understand. Because I have been so embroiled in my thoughts, I fear that I may not even be able to fully communicate what is on my mind.

Let me begin with an illustration that most anyone who has ever been in a relationship will appreciate. You come upon your partner only to find them extremely angry or hurt or put out by something that you either did or didn't do. You are taken completely by surprise by all of this. At once you are both concerned that your partner is upset and you instinctively want to console them, and they have forced you into a defense posture to protect yourself from the barrage that they have been stewing on and now have suddenly unleashed upon you. After you wade through all of the layers of emotion and venting and drama, all of the hurt and tears, you find out that you missed some subtle clue, something that your partner believed that they had made perfectly clear through a cryptic look or some form of telepathy.

I don't want to get into a whole Mars and Venus discussion, because this post isn't about the issues between the sexes. It is about clear, concise, unveiled communication. Language and other forms of personal exchange that both sides fully comprehend. Without good communication, it seems to me, any relationship is either doomed to failure or to be far less than it ultimately could be. Subtlety is one of those devices that is often used at great peril to a relationship. Whatever happened to frank, honest discussion? What about clearly stating your expectations, your desires, and your needs in a loving manner? Putting subtlety aside does not mean that communication has to become crass or hurtful or without feeling. It also has absolutely no reflection on the depth of the relationship.

(Part 1 of 2)