By Dr. Russ Rasmussen
“Homework never ends when you’re practicing the art of love”
If you have read the first book in the series, ‘Becoming One as Husband and Wife’, Jeff and I want to say that we are grateful and honored that you took the time out of your busy day to go on a journey with us. To not only read the first book but take the time to learn more about the things that Dr. Ken talked about in the counseling sessions.
These series of blog posts are a workbook, for lack of a better description, with homework assignments that you can do alone or, preferably, with your spouse, fiancé, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Basically, this is homework for the rest of your life.
All of the concepts in these posts are about general communication, the sending, the receiving and the understanding what was said to you. The ideas presented here will apply to every relationship you have. Communicating clearly and understanding what is communicated are the main topics. It is impossible to have any relationship without some kind of communication.
I believe face to face communication is, by far, the best way of transferring thoughts and feelings to another because you see facial expression, body language and you hear the tone of voice. Some studies have concluded that up to 80% of communication is by these non-verbal means.
I reluctantly agree that texting has its place. Email, voicemail, phone conversations, and even social media are all part of our lives now, but they can’t compare to the actual physical presence of the person with whom you’re communicating.
We all learned our communication skills by what we experienced when we were growing up. We learned from how our parents communicated with each other and with us. To a lesser extent we learned communication skills from what we watched on TV, the movies we watched, and how our friends and their families communicated. What we learned about communication is, at least somewhat, dependent on our family’s structure. There are blended families, single parent families from divorce or death, alcohol and drug addicted families, abusive parents or siblings, the presence or absence of siblings, grandparents living in the home, and the traditional two-parent families.
All of these family systems can create different dynamics in communication and, therefore, what we learn about how to talk to others. Changes in how we communicate are possible. We can achieve a change only if we really want to change.
Counseling can help bring about a change and so can watching movies, interacting with others apart from those from out childhoods, reading books, attending lectures, new experiences, being insightful, having the courage to look at ourselves and how we hurt others or were misunderstood, and learning more about the Bible.
The Bible is a very good book about psychology and will teach us how to treat others, how to live our lives, and how to value and believe in the right things. We all can learn what hurts others and heals others and our roles in doing both.
The main lesson in these posts is about communication. It always comes back to communication. There are two basic parts of communication. The first is sending the message and the second is receiving or interpreting what we received.
Good communication involves your focus being directed toward someone else, not yourself, trying to really understand what the other person really means. This could be very different from what you believe they mean. If both of you do this, you just might be in love forever, ‘till death do you part.
We hope these blog posts will help you live your life well.