Listen and hear my voice; Listen carefully and hear my words.
Someone once told me that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Yet, listening is something that is difficult to do. Is it because we are so selfishly caught up in ourselves or maybe it’s because we want someone’s attention? Could it be because we want someone to care or understand our perspective? Is it possible that we are lonely and need human connections, or could it be that we have only been speaking Mickey Mouse and Big Bird to children and we are just excited to converse with another adult? Is it possible that there is no one at home to listen or could it be that we have short-term memory problems and we are afraid we will forget what we need to say until a time when it’s too late? Maybe we just need to be heard and feel valued.
True listening requires taking control over our thoughts and quieting our minds. This is very difficult for most of us in a world where we are constantly flooded with input and information. That is one reason scientists tells us that meditation is good for our health. Over the years I have learned that it is when I’m the most quiet and I’m able to control my thoughts, I hear God. I don’t sit around with my legs crossed mumbling mantras, but I do sit quietly and contemplate scripture. More often than that I sit quietly and tell God how much I love Him. It’s not an exercise for me, because I mean it. However, it is very therapeutic. I also try to take a short inventory of my blessings each morning. When things seem the worst, it helps to realize how many blessings we have.
Yet, listening goes beyond listening to God to the world around us. This morning I noticed my grandson stuttering trying to get my attention. He needed me to repeat what he was saying, so he would know I was listening. He needed me to hear him. This past week someone wrote an email about me not performing a task well. At first I was a little irritated because there had been no conversations concerning the request, and I didn’t realize it was a task expected of me. Then, I took time to listen. I watched and listened for an hour, calming my thoughts so that I could understand. I heard the need for validation. I heard loneliness and the plea for recognition. I heard knowledge and the request for respect. I heard wonderful ideas, and inability to physically put dreams into action. Then, I asked myself “am I all that different?”
We need to find a balance between speaking and listening. No one should feel the stress that causes stuttering or frustration that results in inappropriate correspondence. We all need to listen and we all need to be heard. If you are having difficulties with a relationship, quiet your mind and listen. Listen to God and listen to those around you. I assure you your mind will better understand. Some of the best listeners I know are also gossipers, or people who gather information to manipulate. Take the high road and don’t fall into these traps.
You need to be heard too. Find someone with whom you can share stories and confide. You can always talk to God, but we all need people who understand. If you don’t have anyone, I’m here.
Have a glorious Saturday! God bless you.