As a young girl, I remember when my mother was talking to me, she’d often ask: Are you listening? Now, as a grown-up with grown kids of my own, I hear them ask their little ones, are you listening to me? (They probably remember me asking them the same thing when they were little.)
Of course, all those years ago, I told my mother that yes, I was listening. But now, as an adult, I am asking myself that same question:
Am I REALLY listening?
This was a subject of conversation in one of the many groups of New Thought leaders that I attend. I would imagine that I was not the only one in the group questioning if I was really listening to those around me.
Okay, I am not talking about a typical conversation, but the conversation below the surface. The conversation that we are guarded about saying or hearing.
Looking upon the current state of society, I feel a deep sadness over the divisiveness that seems to be permeating society. Neighbors are afraid to talk to their neighbors and family members, questioning their desire to participate in holiday gatherings — mostly because we feel we aren’t hearing or being heard! It is though we must be pro this and anti that over so many things.
Think of all the conversations you have had where you could not wait for the person to stop speaking so you could share your pearls of wisdom. I know I have done that and it has been done to me.
What if we turn the tables and start listening, really listening, to what people have to say. Maybe we won’t agree with them, or maybe we will need to bite our tongue to keep from sharing our views. But, if we don’t listen, will we ever learn how others feel? And how will I let others know that they are worthy of being heard?
Maybe if we all practiced this, there would be less division in the world.
I love the words of Rumi in the following quote:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
Looking for a solution? In the following short video, Dr. Rob Pennington, a counseling psychologist, shares a lovely way to maintain a conversation that creates real listening.