Are you a good listener? Think about it. If you seriously examined your habits, you might be surprised by the honest answer.
Our dependence on instant information, combined with a constant bombardment of media has given us a smaller and smaller attention span.
Furthermore, the internet has given everyone access points to air their opinion. We all have something to say, but do we ever take the time to listen?
I’d like to suggest that we look at our lives through a different lens and consider what we might be missing.
Listening to others
The next time you are having a conversation, perhaps with a coworker, notice what is actually happening. Are you really taking in what the other person is saying, or are you just waiting for your turn to talk? Are you just smiling and nodding while planning what to have for dinner?
In an age of increasing isolation, I believe that one of the rarest, most wonderful feelings is knowing that someone else is interested in my life. What a blessing you would be if people approached you to simply share their story? It won’t cost you anything. A few focused minutes could offer someone a sense of connection, even belonging.
Listening to yourself
I think most of us would be shocked if we could hear the way we sound to other people. I am working on being conscious of how my words sound. Am I curt or condescending? Do I sound rude or impatient? Am I speaking to others the way I would like to be addressed?
Listening to your surroundings
Part of our isolation comes from our withdrawal within ourselves. I spend so much time preoccupied with planning my day, or worrying about the bills that I rarely even notice the sights and sounds all around me. Try this: stop and simply listen, right now. What do you hear? The hum of the furnace or the fan? A car passing on the street? Someone speaking in another room?
I have a theory. Let me know what you think. We are in such a habit of putting a negative spin on everything, that we intentionally block out most of the sounds around us. The sound of the radiator is annoying. The voice of a coworker is probably just prattle.
Try this. Imagine that your morning commute is a symphony and your car is a single instrument in a concerto introduction to your day. Cheesy, I know, but you get the idea. The sounds that surround you are the soundtrack of your life.
Listening to God
Finally, I’d like to suggest a frequently neglected voice—the voice of God. Okay, that sounds schizophrenic; that’s not exactly what I mean. There is a still, small voice of divine understanding that lives within you. You can call it your conscience, your higher power, whatever. You have a higher self that knows what is best for you. It offers a solace and peace when life gets crazy. All you have to do is calm down, be still, and listen. Follow your instincts. Listen to your core wisdom.
This post was a bit longer than usual, but really, all the points above come down to one thing. Love. It is all around you every day. There is Love in the voice of the girl in the next cubicle, in the hum of your reliable car, and in the bird’s song outside your window.
True happiness isn’t in what we hope to get, but in what is with us right now.
Have a blessed week.
I Love you all!