Day 30: The Gift of Listening

So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.   -Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is the gift of listening. Listening beyond their words, to the emotion behind them offers us a window into their innermost selves, their soul. If we listen well, we’ll often hear the plea for acceptance and belonging.

Find me interesting.

Find me worthy to be your friend.

Find me someone you can respect.

Find my ideas important.

To be a good listener, we have to be ready to give; and I have realized that when I don’t feel comfortable in my own belongingness, my listening skills fade. Not listening well has become a red flag, both when I observe it in myself and in others. Whenever I feel like I need to talk more than listen, or notice others doing it, I can recognize there’s a need bubbling up from within. In myself, it’s usually because my source of belonging has drifted to something other than Jesus and in others, probably the same.

We’re really the walking wounded—broken people interacting with broken people. When we choose to listen and listen well, it is offering a gift. One that can bring healing and a sense of belonging in the other person.

One of my friends is a particularly excellent listener, a skill she uses as a counselor. She encourages others to pour our their whole hearts, leave room for silence and then tell them the emotions she hears behind their words. Every time I spend time with her and receive this gift, I leave feeling better. Like her, I want to be present for others when they need a listening ear. To do that, I need to be rooted in my true source of belonging, which means spending time listening to Him.

 

 

The #write31days challenge is almost done. It has been fun and stressful to write everyday. I’m looking forward to slowing down the pace to focus on pitching articles to publications and enjoy the small amounts of down time found in mothering 4 small children in other ways besides daily blogging. Thanks for reading, I hope you feel welcome here!

Comments

  1. Cathy Wheeler says:

    When I have the luxury of just spending time with someone for fun, the #1 criterion I base it on is their ability to be a good listener. Otherwise they and I are just wasting our time and our words. Thanks for this article, Heidi. It makes me want to reflect back their feelings as you said your counselor friend does. Lots of room for improvement on my end!