Today the jealousy question came alive. I had a conversation with a friend about it and shared a memory about the last time I was jealous of someone else's success. I clearly remember the feeling. The physical and mental aspect of it. It is such a peculiar experience, on one hand I know what is happening and at the same time I hide it from myself. Being jealous is such a stigmatised emotion. It is rejected, concealed and suppressed on many levels which unavoidably leads to a very complicated relationship once we experience it. This feeling of inner struggle, tension that eats from the inside is well known.
When I experience jealousy, mostly it is directed towards intellectual superiority and the ability to verbalise thoughts. I admire it when people are able to organise their thinking and communicate clearly. The ability to convey and build understanding is something where I feel a little shaky. While remembering this jealousy experience, one aspect came very clearly to the foreground. This letter is not about jealousy, but about me coming to peace with the ambiguity of my verbal expressions. The ability to communicate in a clear and precise manner. Very often I see a pair of eyes in front of me and know that what I say doesn’t land at all. I learned how to recognise this expression and when I see it, it really makes my legs go soft, I get out of balance as I feel I am losing the connection. It has been an issue but eventually I learned how to have a better relationship with it. Now I am actually very pleased with the vagueness and confusion I sometimes create while talking. I enjoy the gaps in understanding - I feel that this is where the magic happens. The other can wonder freely finding their own meaning between the lines. Such a process requires engagement and real presence. I love those moments when the other person takes the invitation to explore and fills in the conversational space we are creating. From mere broadcasting of information to when a real connection happens. Because only in the space where both are trusting each other and want to understand, a real vulnerability can be shown. In the dialogue where the place for unclarity is reserved, there is a potential for something new to emerge. And this is always very valuable and exciting but can only happen in a relaxed state of mind.
To have a conversation that allows for vagueness isn’t an easy task. The norm is to be as clear as possible, so there are no misunderstandings. Such a requirement creates a fear to make mistakes and leads to negative consequences. It limits the number of possible outcomes and undermines the genuine connection between people because uncertainty actualises authenticity allowing it to shine through.
I had a lot of struggles with finding joy in the inability to communicate in an accurate way. Mostly these struggles where coming not from my internal experience but from external feedback in interpersonal communication. I met people who couldn’t deal with the ambiguity and got really frustrated and nervous around me. Some people take the liberty to flow with me. When I was operating in the pleasing mode, with the main goal of maintaining the connection I often would feel anxious to embrace my ambiguity. Now things are shifting, the desire to fit in and be accepted by everyone is not there anymore and I love seeing that confused face in front of me. If I think of weird virtues, vagueness would definitely be worth exploring. To invite vagueness means to invest energy in the process of understanding. Connecting through vagueness is meeting in the middle of a true experience where both participants are moving towards each other, accepting the not-knowing and incompleteness of an individual thought.