My continuing intention is to offer ideas and Actions that aided my traversing hardship that then led to a more peaceful and meaningful life such that this may be of service to you. This sharing is about ‘Listening.’
After years where healing – despite many treatments – evaded me, in dark months of my soul, I received varying advice yet my internal Listen-er seemed faulty.
I heard yet didn’t Listen to nor follow my Gut Knowing regarding a treatment others deemed questionable. And, continued struggling.
Upon finally Listening – with ears and heart – I Chose said treatment alas with doubt and uncertainty.
After receiving it, nominal positive effects were noticeable, and I decided to practice improved Listening. In Silence and to sage words. Paying closer attention to what I noticed was within Silence and behind words. Awareness, little by little, increased.
Healing, and then, eventually, more fulfilling relationships and, even, fruitful business endeavors arrived with less talking, more Listening.
“We have 2 ears and 1 tongue so that we would Listen more and talk less.” Thank you, Diogenes.
When talking, I’m re-hearing what I already know. With Listening, I discovered what was previously unknown. As Larry King noted, “nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So, If I am going to learn, I must do it by Listening.”
In cultivating Listening – during silent prayer and meditation, to authors wiser than I, or to dear ones as they share something simple about their day, Truth grew more discernable. In quiet car rides, during line waits, sometimes with fingers over my lips to prevent interrupting. Not kidding.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who Listen to us, we move toward. When we are Listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” Yes, Karl Menninger.
Listening gradually became a gift I chose more often – to Give myself and others. To hear and be heard. A basic human soul need. When given and received, ’tis Divine.
Listening to that which I previously disagreed netted out helpful Wisdom nuggets to which I softened and opened and chose more Flexible Thinking. Listening silently – still easier said than done occasionally – offered benefits I’d not noticed when yammering on.
Rigid holds on stances gave way to adaptability and new ways of Thinking and doing – that, ummm, better served me – arrived. Listening helped – and continues to help – me grow, learn, and improve.
There’s an art to Listening well and 6 levels of Listening per What Great Listeners Actually Do by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. Their astute points include that superb Listening goes two ways; makes the other feel supported, safe and conveys confidence; and is cooperative instead of competitive.
In Lead with Humility, Jeffrey A. Krames describes this Pope Francis Listening reflection.
“Listening is just as important – if not more important – than talking… We need to practice the art of Listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart… Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word… Only through such respectful and Compassionate Listening can we enter on the paths of true growth.”
Listening’s gift was poignantly illustrated to me early in the pandemic.
In a phone call with a wonderful, brave, front line nurse named Amy, my family and I spoke and Listened to silence from our beloved, very elderly relative. Alone, sick with Covid, in a care facility where visitors were disallowed, she’d not eaten for 2 weeks and no longer spoke. We filled our call with Love and Listening. With our hearts Listening to her soon departing heart. Inviting the Divine into sacred space as her Transition neared, tears rolled down. Grateful for this moment. And bereft. How precious the gift of Listening – when words were no longer possible from our Precious One. Listening to heart-speak. Listening with Love. Subtle goodbye-ing. Holding space for connection with each other, without words, to what can be, at times, more readily heard in Silence. With Listening.
How we appreciated these final moments with our dear relative – of connection – due to Listening. A treasure.
With ears open, mouth in repose, leaving space for Grace – by Listening,