By Beth Keil
Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.
I have 17 and 20 year old sons. Our 20 year old attends college and comes home during breaks and for the summer. Our 17 year old still lives at home. Electronic communication has become a way of life in our family in the form of texts, Facebook messages and posts (I’m a “friend” of one of my children) and e-mails. Once I did send a letter to my eldest by “snail” mail which he didn’t receive so I just stopped using it. I do admit to using my cell phone on occasion to find out if he’s home instead of going downstairs to his room to see if he’s there.
But I have to agree with Dickens. There is something lost when we primarily communicate using a technology that doesn’t reflect the tone in one’s voice—one’s FEELINGS. Have you ever worked on an e-mail making sure what you wrote would not be misinterpreted, going over the wording so what you’re feeling is accurately conveyed? When you think of it, texts and e-mail are a concrete form of connecting, black or white without shades of gray. There’s no inflection of the voice, no visual cues to provide the receiver of words to understand what you feel and so much of what we human beings convey comes from non-verbal communication so things are bound to get lost leading to misunderstandings. What about important but sensitive issues? Just imagine someone ending a relationship by e-mail or a text. This happened to a friend’s daughter. I loved that the daughter made sure she and her ex talked (I don’t know if in person or by phone) as she felt the way he broke things off was rude and hurtful.
Going back to Dickens’ quote “(can) never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” Let’s look at the phenomenon of cyber-bullying. Bullying isn’t new but under the cloak of online anonymity new levels of meanness have surfaced. When you look into the face of someone you become more accountable for what you say or do. You see the results of your actions. Freed from this, a person can just go along their merry way doing what they’re doing without having to deal with the fallout. They don’t have to take a look at themselves, their motivations or the feelings that led to their actions. Change isn’t the goal— continued hurting is.
As I’m writing this I’m sitting at Border’s bookstore in the café. A man just came in talking on his cell phone, carrying on a conversation as he ordered a drink. His voice was loud and it was obvious he had no connection to the people around him. He was in his own little world. Here is another example of what we lose when people become faceless.
So just what does all this have to do with hypnosis?
When I speak to potential clients I find out what they want to change in their life and why. Central to the work I do as a 5PATH® certified hypnotist is to encourage feelings to surface, feelings that have everything to do with why a person works with me. If the work doesn’t go into the emotional realm it would be like using electronic communication—devoid of feelings—and it’s the feelings we avoid that become a tripwire for behaviors, habits, or thought patterns that no longer serve us well. By bringing feelings up and experiencing them it lets us be brave and true to whom we are. Otherwise we continue to hurt instead of experiencing change.