Sunday, August 29, 2010

Movie...Two Words....Rhymes With....


                     Raise your hand if you like to play Charades! Ok, that's all of you as far as I can see from here. I know, I know. Some of you would rather have a root canal instead of being made to play Charades. But, didn't you ever go to camp or youth group or family holidays where you had to play? I am thinking how intense and intent we become when we actually play that game. All of us stay poised on the edges of our seats making guess after wild guess as the clues come flying at us-----giving it everything we've got to make sense of/understand/find out what the person is trying to have us know. And we keep at it---scanning our brains for any possible connection we can make with all of those, "Sounds like....rhymes with...four words....three syllables....second syllable.' We are like dogs with a bone---not letting go---nothing getting in our way----to get the "thing" that is being communicated. Are you with me? And it can get pretty competitive as only Charades can get. (Oh, come on! Can't you remember your Aunt Hazelnut trying to act out The Titanic?)

      Yesterday I realized again for the 98th time that Taylor and I talk in a form of  Charade-like conversation all day long. This is a typical conversation for us.
Taylor: Lake. Jet ski. Alabama. Aladdin. Call Joe phone. Murphy home.
Me: Taylor, put on your shoes.
Taylor: Wait wait wait. Lake. Jet Ski. Alabama. Aladdin. Call Joe phone. Murphy home.
Pete and repeat sat on a fence......
     I continue to give him directions and he hangs on for dear life to the clues he is trying desperately for me to hear. "Wait. Wait. Wait, " he implores until I finally stop and truly hear what he is saying. I have things I want for him to do. I am impatient with my own agenda.  He has things he wants to make sure I hear. He needs to know that he is heard.  And by golly, he is relentless.
Me: Oh, so you want to go to the lake in Alabama and see Mary Love and ride the jet ski, take your movie, Aladdin, call Joe on the phone when we get there and leave Murphy at home.
Taylor: Stage direction Taylor nods Yes.
And then---and only then, is he willing to put on his shoes or pour his juice or get into the car. He will not budge until I say back to him or reflect back to him what it was he was trying to tell me---what he wanted me to know about what he needed.
      You and I, I and you---we give clues to other people all day long. And we long for them to pick up on our awkward, veiled, poorly expressed words that somehow link way down deep to what our hearts are feeling---and trying desperately to convey.  And we want them to hear us-----really hear what it is we are saying or acting out or dividing into parts and phrases. "Hear me. I'm giving you clues. I want you to connect with me. I want to know that you've heard what I have said---and what I mean."
But somehow in our very real daily lives, we do are not in Charade-playing- mode, so we tend not to guess with the same fervor and interest we conjure up during  the game. Isn't this backwards? Shouldn't this be the other way around? I mean, like, wouldn't it better if we just realized and acknowledged that all of those around us are trying to tell us something---something important to them--about their lives---inside or out? We get tons of clues----verbal and not-so-verbal--from people we see every day? Would it be safe to guess that they (me/you/they) would really love to be listened to.....and then truly heard?
Gosh, doesn't it feel so so so??......good, so complete, so healing...when we know that the person beside us/close to us can take all of our cues, all of our clues and come up with the response that hits our meaning right on the head?
I love it that Taylor insists that I "Wait. Wait. Wait," until he is fully assured that I "get it." I have to say back to him my interpretation of his words until he is satisfied that we both understand what he wants/needs.
Pretty cool, isn't it?
Wait. Listen. Try again. Wait.
Offer a translation. ("This is what I think I heard you say.")
Wait. Listen.
We just want to be heard.
He does. I do. You do. 
Can we try.....harder....more better?
It's the best kind of love.
One word, one syllable, first syllable:  Love
In life, it rhymes with:  I Hear You. I really hear you.