Listening More than with One’s Ears
True listening is when one not only listens with ones ears, but is receptive to other sources of input as well. This encompasses empathy – feeling another’s emotional state and being open to sensing where that person is at. Miscommunication often occurs when we do not pick up what the other person is really trying to tell us. For example, a person may lash out in anger not because they are angry with us, but because of their own unhappiness with themselves. When we learn to differentiate between what someone is saying to us, and can decipher whether or not it is their issue or ours, it can make a huge difference in keeping the lines of communication open.
Being heard validates us
We value being listened to, because we feel that it validates us. Have you ever experienced a situation where you tried to express yourself and was ignored or discounted? How did that feel? Children throw tantrums, and arguments arise among adults if they feel they are not being heard. This all inevitably leads to resentment.
The more we consciously choose to put our 100% attention towards someone who is expressing themselves; we in turn can expect to receive the same. A lot of times we want others to change before we do, but why not be the one to initiate the change and see what happens? Magic occurs when there is a mutual, balanced connection, not only with our minds, but with our hearts and energies as well.
The Challenge to Stay Open
It is not always easy to stay open and listen to another person, especially when they share something that is not of any interest, or they continually do things that hurt and disappoint us. At times it can be challenging to stay open and listen to our family and loved ones because of all the past experiences and same old stories that keep being told.
Whenever we point our finger at someone else for making us feel a certain way or blame them for our current situation, we are pointing one finger at them, pointing our thumb up towards God, and three fingers back at ourselves. Avoiding the blame game means to stay open and listen to what your body is telling you via symptoms that show up. In addition, it is important to listen to what others are saying and what they are doing.
How do we stay open?
How do we stay open? The first step is to make sure you are in a calm state of being. This can be achieved by taking a few deep breaths in and out. The next is to listen to not only the words that are being spoken, but to sense the other person’s emotional state. If you start getting irritated or angry, take a quick look inward to see if you are reacting to your own emotions or to that of the other person.
If you recognize it as your issue, then you will find that the more you choose not to own this issue then the longer the person will irritate you. If you identify with it being the person’s issue, then you can choose to take on that energy – or not. At least now you recognize that you have a choice. It takes work to do so, but the more you are conscious of your own internal state, the easier it is to stay open and listen.