There is within each of us a yearning to be heard. To be known, to be validated, to be understood.
Good listeners are hard to find. We're way too busy planning our brilliant, witty responses. Or juggling our endless mental to-do lists. We're all about focusing on what's coming next. Or figuring out how to make a fast exit.
And the soul in desperate need of an attentive companion silently shrinks back into herself, yet another casualty of our endless self-absorption.
And we wonder why we seem to come up short when it comes to deep relationships, the kindred spirit kind.
Henri Nouwen said it best. 'To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.
Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves.
The barometer of your listening savvy? You are so safe for another that she can feel free to silently rest in the hospitality of your company without the need of words ... or fear of judgement.
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