Do We Listen?
How often do we really listen to what another person is saying? By that I mean, hearing their words along with feeling the intention behind their words. Are we too focused in what we want to say to grasp an understanding of what they are saying? Or, are we too interested in translating what they say into something that satisfies our needs and beliefs? In doing so we completely disregard the message they are trying to convey. To listen with honesty and integrity is our gift to those who are speaking, it’s the least we can do for them, if they are drawn to speaking with us.
When it comes to our own words, how often have we chosen to remain silent because we feel our words are not being heard? It may be better for us to not speak than to have our words disregarded by those who we are speaking with. Although they may interpret our silence as a lack of knowledge, our silence is knowing that our words are not being heard or considered valid.
With these thoughts in mind, a conversation with my Inner Voice may add clarity to the subject of listening. My questions will be in italics.
Why is it so hard for people to listen?
People have beliefs that they feel are more valid than the person they are speaking with. Given the opportunity to share their beliefs, people will choose to ignore what they have heard, and speak their beliefs. To be fully engaged in a conversation one must listen without the need to reply. The need to constantly reply comes from a lack of self-love, because they feel that expressing themselves will cause the other person to accept them. This acceptance then boosts their self-wroth, though this boost may last only briefly.
So it has more to do with speaking than listening?
If a person feels that they are not being heard they will continue to speak. yet this behavior does not move the conversation in a positive direction. If this behavior continues, the listener may choose to remain silent when the chance to speak arises.
Then why do we choose not to listen?
People judge each other and themselves by what they say, not by what they hear. The more a person speaks the more they believe that they are of value to the conversation. To truly listen is to set aside the desire to be heard. This leaves the possibility of hearing something new, or something that does not match their beliefs. This may challenge them on a deep emotional level—hearing something that they are unready to process.
What happens when we do listen?
To listen with honesty and integrity is to silence the chatter within oneself and focus on what is being said. This way the words, and intention of the speaker are heard and felt, with the intention of learning something and growing from what is being said.
Yet, the speaker knows if they are being heard. If one is to truly listen, they are open to hearing more than what is being said. To listen with authenticity is to drop any shields that one creates as a way of filtering what is being said. The speaker feels these shields the listener has put up, yet they also can feel when these shields have been taken down.
So we don’t listen because we may hear something that challenges us, but when we do listen, we open ourselves up to hearing something that may cause growth within us. What about hearing something that we don’t want to hear or agree with?
Hearing something that you do not agree with is an opportunity to question your beliefs. This does not mean that you should change your beliefs. Although through a thorough questioning of your beliefs you may change the way you think on certain subjects.
If you silence your ability to listen and hear, you block the possibility of learning something new. In doing so you end up repeating your same thoughts and words without any new ideas taking root in your consciousness.
Any final thoughts on listening? Even though there will never be any final thoughts on anything.
To truly listen releases the need to always be speaking. Not every word spoken needs a response, there is always the possibility of contemplation after someone speaks—even if their words do not ring true for you.
How often are we engaged in a conversation where we feel that speaking is more important than listening?
Let me know what you think. Leave a comment or a question below, I’m always open to exploring the subject further.
Each week I send out a conversation with my Inner Voice to those who have subscribed. This week we discuss the long view. Here is an excerpt.
What does the long view mean when it comes to our journey?
The long view is knowing that the choices you make today will affect the life you want to live tomorrow. Even though you must still make choices for the immediate future, there will be long lasting effects based on these choices. It then becomes the quality of these choices that will determine the world you want to create.
If you are interested in receiving my weekly conversation, scroll to the bottom of this page where you will find a box to do so.
I am fortunate to write a monthly column for two online magazines, New Spirit Journal, newspiritjournalonline.com and Conscious Shift Magazine, consciousshiftmagazine.com. Check out these great resources for inspiration, spirituality and enlightenment.
Thank you so much for reading this post, I appreciate your support.
Peace and good health to you and those you love.
Copyright Paul Hudon 2020