Not all humans speak the same language.
Not all animals use the same non-verbal communication.
What do all living creates have in common?
We can all FEEL.
Feelings are a universal language.
“Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place.” — Judith Wright
What shapes a language?
-Is it culture? Yes, to some degree.
-Is it immediate family? Maybe.
-Is it education? Perhaps.
However, these language-shaping factors are not all universal. Culture shapes language — most of us can agree. Take the Oxford English Dictionary for example. One of the biggest and most trusted sources of the English language is updated every 4 months. For something to be universal, there must be some degree of transcendence. This means for something to be true across all of humanity throughout all ages in time, there must be some universal truth. What is it all humans have in common?
That’s right — feelings. Emotions. Whether it was fear of a saber-tooth tiger thousands of years ago or a relentless desire to be doing something greater than you are right now… us humans are feeling creatures. Our feelings have gifted us awareness, protection, connection, and a whole variety pack of other experiences and thoughts.
Astrologer Robert Cosmar beautifully wrote, “When you feel, you are joining the universal language of humanity. In our minds, we are all different and in our eyes, we look different as well. It is only within the feelings of the heart that we share a common ancestry. The expressions on our faces reveal the truth within us all and no words are needed to communicate these feelings, we all share them together in time.”
What about the immediate family? We learn both verbal and non-verbal language skills from our caretakers as children but it doesn’t stop there. Throughout years of development, we begin to learn new words, phrases, and slang. We grow and possess the incredible ability to tailor our language to whom we are speaking with. Imagine this. While in the midst of a heated discussion with your spouse the phone rings. It’s the company calling you back regarding your 3rd and final interview. This call will be the one letting you know if you got that job opportunity you’ve been striving for…
You answer the call (opportunity awaits!) and are able to quickly shift your negative energy from being angry with your partner to more positive energy when answering the phone. “Hello!” you exclaim as you answer the phone. Your entire body is tingling with excitement and anticipation. The voice on the other end speaks… you got the job!
Congrats! But we aren’t done here. What just happened? Language stayed the same — you were still speaking English. Your tone changed — yes. But why? The reason you were able to so quickly shift into a different space was because of a basic human truth: you felt something different.
Feelings not only shape our language but greatly affect how we show up and the results we create in our lives. The “feels” drive us to success and are often the root cause of some of our biggest “failures” when those feelings go unmanaged. Feelings have aided in human evolution. The first humans felt aroused and had sex. Women carry and deliver children because they feel bonded to and responsible for those children. Those feelings allowed families to develop and thrive over centuries.
“Feelings aroused by the touch of someone’s hand, the sound of music, the smell of a flower, a beautiful sunset, a work of art, love, laughter, hope and faith — all work on both the unconscious and the conscious aspects of the self, and they have physiological consequences as well.” -Bernie Siegel
Human biology and emotions shape language more than any other factors. Not all languages use the same words or phrases to convey the same meanings. Nor do all languages share common syntax or intonation. What languages do have in common is a way of portraying the vast range of emotions and feelings humans experience.
The human experience is a universal one. We don’t do, think, act, or live in the same way… yet we all share the powerful ability to feel, neglect feelings, and/or create something meaningful based on the thoughts we are thinking (which creates the feelings we are feeling!)
“I respect people’s feelings when they say they love me, but it is completely their choice of expression, and I am alien to it. People have a right to express, but that’s it.”- Karan Patel
Not all feelings are good feelings and that’s ok. Learning to embrace (and dare I say love?!) the challenges presented with negative feeling emotions is part of our human experience. Regardless of what language you speak… you can feel.
Whether you know the people or not, watching a joyful airport reunion can be uplifting. Seeing someone sitting alone weeping can “pull at your heartstrings” — a phrase in the English language used to describe the visceral feelings of empathy. Hearing a child giggle is utterly contagious. Why? Because we can hear the emotions of giddiness pouring out of the mini human. Regardless of what language(s) you know, remember, feeling is a universal language.
I’d like to leave you with these questions/thought topics:
If you could never speak again, how would you communicate?
What are some examples of moments in your life you’ve communicated or connected through emotions alone?
Where in your life could you be more compassionate towards those who may not have the same linguistic skills as you yet still feel the same spectrum of emotions you do?
What feeling do you want to create more of in your life?
And what are you willing to do feel it?
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
I love you all.