Not “Are you hard of hearing?”, Are you hard to hear?” Have you ever thought about the effect your ability to listen (or not) to others, has on them? Are you able to hold a sacred space in conversations in which you truly hear what they are saying, without your internal voice full of its opinions just waiting to jump and say your piece?
When you interact with others, from close family members, to friends, to co-workers and the world in general, do you come from an open-minded place, or is your mind constantly busy with your responses and what is right and wrong with theirs – according to your beliefs and philosophy? Or you may even be thinking of solutions or contributions to the conversation that you may have.
People Who Don’t Hear Us
We’ve all had the experience of being around people just like that – who never really hear what we have to say, who interrupt with their responses and ideas and we end up feeling unheard. Sometimes this leads to arguments instead of healthy debate. Sometimes defensiveness is our response – and we end up not really hearing the other person either. Maybe we even go quiet, feeling unheard and not valued. Not a win-win situation.
A recent conversation with a friend got me to thinking about this. I was trying to talk about something that was bothering me and I felt frustrated and irritated because he kept interrupting me and I knew he wasn’t really hearing me. What’s the point of even talking? I asked myself.
There’s such a difference between aggressively expressing yourself – you are ‘right’ and the world is ‘wrong’ and you have all the answers – and clearly expressing your true Self from a deep non-attached inner knowing having truly heard another.
Or conversely, there is such a difference between being quiet because you are sitting in a still place within while you listen to another, and being quiet because you think what you have to say doesn’t matter, is of no value.
Of course, the world is our mirror, so these experiences provide a glimpse into ourselves to discover how we do this to others – either by dominating the conversation so that our opinions reign supreme, or disappearing into a place inside ourselves of inferiority and unworthiness. This is a planet of duality, so the seesaw is going to rock between the two extremes until we can recognize both extremes and find that sweet spot that dives deeply into the essence of Life Itself.
Do You Know Best?
So think about how hard it is for others to hear you. Are there times when you think you know best and you need to get your opinion ‘out there’? Being invested in such opinions blocks out other possibilities. What if someone else’s point of view or information was of just as much value as yours? Could you not take it in and digest it and keep what you wanted and throw the rest away?
To do that – you have to be deeply centered in who you really are – Life Itself – instead of who you think are – this ego personality with all its opinions and rights and wrongs and shouldn’t and shouldn’ts.
The Gift of Listening
It is said the ability to truly listen to another is one of the greatest gifts we can give. To be able to hold a space inside where we can truly hear what the other is saying, without the constant chatter of our own minds needing to come up with responses, is one of the most powerful skills we can develop, especially in this day and age of extreme divisiveness.
And then there is the question of how well we can hear ourselves, that inner, still voice of Life Itself. Are you able to stop that endless monkey-mind chatter so that you can be aware of a world of stillness, calmness and tranquility that provides the essential platform for strength, integrity and harmony? Is you own life embedded in this reality first and foremost? Do you honor as the most sacred voice of all, your own inner voice?
Is the voice with which you speak imbued with the awareness of just how sacred every interaction with another actually is? And have you then discovered the magic of true connection of mind and spirit when energy freely flows between yourself and another/others?
Stop, Look and Listen
The world ‘out there’ bombards us more and more in every moment of every day with information. Some we seek out and most just comes our way. What to eat, what to drink, how to dress, how to think about … anything. We form our opinions which can become totally inflexible or a milieu of confusion. But how often do we set aside a space to check in with our deeper Selves to ask how does this fit with me? Is this opinion or action rooted in the Essence I AM?
What kind of a world could we create if we all stopped and made space for Life Itself before even thinking, let alone speaking and acting?