Processing the Process

I have learned a very important lesson recently. It's a lesson that seems so obvious when you hear it that you would swear that you already knew it. That's the thing about really true truths, they almost pull out something that is right there already. Yet they also tend to illustrate the major difference between knowledge and wisdom. This lesson shined the light on something that really seemed obvious to me. What was even more obvious though was the way that my life so desperately needed this light shined on it to illuminate how far I was from applying it. The lesson came as a result of some major struggles which, again, most great lessons do. My wife and I had struggled and struggled to communicate well with each other and I just never could understand what the problem was. Then one day a very wise person pointed something out to me. (Here is the point where you either learn new knowledge or gain wisdom and the choice is yours.) This person pointed out how when we get into heated discussions we just want to be heard and want the person with whom we are talking to understand what it is that we are saying. We want them to 'LISTEN' to the words that we are saying. We are so committed to  the content of what we are trying to say that we often loose sight of how we are saying it. When we remember the conversations, on the other hand, we often can't even remember what the heck we were even talking about. We might vent to a friend about this huge fight or argument that we were in but not even be able to tell them what it was about when they ask. "I don't know" we might say "but I remember how much of a jerk they were to me." We forget the very content that was so important to us while in the storm of the conflict but on the other side of the conflict we most often remember the process instead. We remember HOW they spoke to us more than WHAT it was that either of us were arguing. Usually the WHAT's that stick with us are insults from a broken process anyway. "I remember that you said I was stupid" or something along those lines. Its those daggers we throw that end up being the very content in our minds. At the very least we must come to understand that process and content are both extremely important to good communication in our relationships. Perhaps the content is dear to us and we must realize that content has no hope of reaching the person we are talking to unless our process is healthy.  The process is the plate on which we serve the content and I don't care how long you slaved over a meal if you throw it at me or give it to me on a dustpan then I am not interested. If however you consider the presentation you can even make a frozen dinner attractive, so long as you take it out of the plastic and present it with care and a garnish. This is also true with the ideas and concerns that make up the actual content of our conflicts. Can we love each other enough to speak the truth in love and if you must error on one side or the other, error on the side of love. Process and Content are equally important. If your anything like me.... (See I just thought of a hundred terrible ways to say) need to focus on the process.



  1. I dated a guy for a long time whom I fought with quite often. He would always say, "It's in the presentation, Dude." I guess I learned a little something from him after all.


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