"I open my heart and mind to be aware that when I am listening to myself, I cannot hear other people."
We are taught that communication is a two-way process. Consequently, we are not aware that there are three essential elements. There is talking, there is listening and there is hearing. We talk a great deal because we have much to say. In fact, we talk so much we often miss the point someone else is trying to make. Our talk about our past experience is loaded with perceptions and judgments. When we are listening, what we hear gets filtered through the same. We do talk, and we can listen. What challenges most of us is learning how to hear.
If you really want to hear someone when they trust you enough to talk to you, don't listen to the words, hear how the words are spoken. All too often, we cannot hear the words because we come to the conversation with our own ideas about who people are. At the same time, we are determined not to let them see who we are. In order for effective and valued communication to occur, you must believe that you are safe, and you must offer that same safety to the other person. If you want to communicate with another person, you must hear their fear and not dismiss it. You must hear a person's pain and not overlook it. It is important to hear a person's guilt and not buy into it. You must be ready to hear a person's anger and not fuel it. Most people need to know that they have been heard. Listen to their body. Listen to the volume. Listen to the tempo. If you really want to hear someone, open your heart and listen to their soul.
In the past, you may not have been able to hear what people are saying to you. However, make an effort to close your eyes when you are in a conversation. Hear every word that is spoken through the center of your heart.
Thought for today:
We know that God washes away our sins. This same God also washes away our tears.