is so close to being loved
that for the average person,
they are almost indistinguishable.”
― David Augsburger
“I never miss a good chance to shut up”
― James Patterson, Along Came a Spider
I am lucky, I live with a man who is an exceptional listener. Really. I knew this the first day I met him over ten years ago. When he listens, I feel heard; I feel like I matter, I feel like I am with someone who cares.
I learned about the power of listening years ago when I took a communications course. We learned how to “actively listen.” That is, ask someone open-ended questions, shut your mouth and listen to and acknowledge their response without jumping in and giving your opinion.
I practiced “active listening” on my boyfriend at that time. Later, I fell asleep on his couch. I woke up and he was standing over me, staring.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“What are you doing? You’re different, I like it.” He responded.
A few days later, he said, “Maybe we should get married.”
While we never married, it was a very powerful lesson. Listen, listen, and listen.
Don’t be like someone I know who, almost every time I see her, doesn’t even say hello but starts telling me all about her problems. I do not think she has ever even said “How are you Sally?” This is not a judgment, believe me, I have been guilty of dumping my woes on others many times.
Listening is a labor of love. Listen to others and get out of your own head. It’s like taking a vacation from yourself.
MINDFUL LOVE EXERCISE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
Sit quietly for five minutes each day. Review the past twenty-four hours. Did you listen or were your compelled to talk about yourself? Over the next two days, pick out one person and practice active listening.