Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. – attributed to J. Isham (no known bio)
What does that mean?
We all listen to others, in some form or another. The only question is why do we listen?
Sometimes it is the story being told which captures us. Other times, it is the person speaking who has captured us. And there are the times when we are the ones captured, like at a meeting or at work.
Think about the difference between, and how different you feel, when you are listening to a story which you enjoy, someone talking whom you enjoy, and being stuck in a meeting, forced to listen to someone yammer on and on.
How well we listen depends on whether they have captured our heart. The story, the person, the place, these all have a meaning and an attraction for us. And with that attraction, old wounds can be healed, because beneath it all is love.
Why is listening important?
What did you say? But seriously, we’ve all talked to someone who wasn’t paying attention. We might not have known where their mind was at, but we knew it wasn’t with us. We don’t have their heart, much less their ears. Yes, we could be family or even a lover, but for whatever reason, they aren’t listening.
How does your heart feel when someone actually listens, and compare that to when they are just physically present, but not paying any attention? That is why listening is important, isn’t it? Do you like the feeling when they aren’t listening?
This isn’t just for them, of course. There are times when we are the ones who are supposed to be listening. In some cases we have only ourselves to hurt, like at work or in school. At other times, we hurt others as well, when we damage the bond of love, at whatever level it may be.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Listening seems like it is such a trivial thing to do, but it can be difficult at times. Is the big game on? Is there something happening outside which has your attention? Are you multi-tasking, or screwing up more than one thing at the same time?
I know better. Before I wrote this post, but after I had picked it, and knew what it was going to be about, I failed in listening. My wife had to repeat something because I was paying more attention to my Twitter feed than to her. You know how that made her feel, don’t you? Yeah, my bad.
While it may be tiresome or boring or very uninteresting, sometimes it is helpful to simply allow someone to talk. It might not even be about you or them. But sometimes they just need to get it out. Have you ever been there? Where something is eating you, and you just have to tell someone?
This is where the last part of the quote comes to bear, in my opinion. By allowing them to vent, to say their piece, you have formed a bit of a bond, and that is the attraction portion of the quote. I’m sure you’ve felt it at some point with a person who was quickly becoming a close friend.
But there is also the healing part. When we still hold on to the anger or hate, we are still allowing it to damage ourselves. By letting them free themselves of that unpleasant emotion, you have also allowed them to begin the healing process.
Your listening is an important part of the social contract you have with others. Even with strangers, there is an amount of compassion which we can show them by listening to them, at least for a little while. Yes, there is a time when you have to say goodbye, but we can all spare a brief moment every once a while, right?
The closer the person is, the more I believe we should listen, and the more carefully we should listen. Not just noticing their lips moving and nodding from time to time, but actually engaging our brains and trying to understand where they are coming from, and what they need from you.
The closer the person is, the more your heart should be in it. This is the first part of the quote. We listen to many people, but those who have our heart also have our ears. Both more often and with more acuity, we listen when our heart is engaged.
We can help make our hearts bigger by listening more often and more attentively. We can also become closer to each-other, as well as help them to heal. That is all in our hands, or ears, or hearts. What will you do?
From: Twitter, @quotes_on_love
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/96956-listening-is-an-attitude-of-the-heart-a-genuine-desire
Photo by Ed Yourdon
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