Just for a minute STOP and “Listen” what do you hear? Maybe it is the ticking of a clock…the motor of an appliance or heater running… an airplane flying overhead…maybe a bird chirping…the sound of sleet or rain hitting your windows… sounds of laughter or children playing…maybe there is background noise such as the TV/Radio blaring…or it is the Alarm Clock going off waking you from a sound sleep to a start a brand new day? Perhaps it is silence (Hmmm true bliss for me)! While your “takin time out” do you really “LISTEN” and take in all the sounds that surround us? If not I encourage you to start paying more attention as there are enjoyment and lessons to be learned through this process.
As I am sipping on my cup of herbal hot tea on this cold December evening, reflecting on the word Listen or Listening, these few things come to mind.
I believe so many things we do day in and day out we take for granted. Are you just going through the motions and movements throughout life not really paying attention? If we really Listen so many things can be revealed and opportunities are waiting for us to engage. Be in the presence of NOW and truly Listening. For example my mind races with so many thoughts and things I want to do or accomplish daily but if I stop and really center myself, take in a deep deep breathe slowly let it out…pause for a moment and Listen, WOW! I feel the sense of Listening reveals to me what is truly important and what needs to be accomplished for that day and what can wait…if I am truly Listening to my heart, soul, conscience then I am in store for a perfect day!
Many times we may be hearing what people are saying but not really taking it to that next level and Listening. Listening is a true art. So often we are too busy making sure people hear what we have to say that we forget to Listen. If we don’t truly Listen then we can find ourselves in some serious trouble. Also, think about it we sometimes only hear the parts we want to hear and not truly engaging by putting ourselves in other people’s shoes to understand what they are trying to say. I am so guilty of interrupting folks, thinking I know what they are going to say rushing them along instead of “takin time out” to connect, be patient and truly Listen. This is really common courtesy so stop look that person in the eye…connect…be patient (another great blog story) and Listen. I know you may be saying but this person drives me crazy, they just go on and on rabbling about nothing or repeating themselves continually, when I really just want them to spit it out and get to the point. HaHa I totally get it but the art of a good Listener is being patient and understanding to the situation and that person’s needs. Especially in sales, service or working with the public we need to be great Listeners. I have learned through the years to ask probing questions, Listen to a customer’s needs, desires and issues. Once I do that I can then take appropriate action to try and fix the problem, provide a positive solution to their issue or address how my company can benefit them. It’s all about building a relationship, and a good relationship means being a great Listener.
How many of us have had babies or been around small children when they are just learning to talk we have to strain to Listen and make out the sounds as they are forming their first words? Their words may have a different meaning. I remember my Mom telling me I used to say pingy but I was really trying to say spinach or my cousin referred to a cup of water as odle odle odle. We think it’s cute and we truly take the time with them, then why do we not do this with everyone we communicate with? Let’ commit to becoming more aware and Listen this holiday season when surrounded by friends and family.
Think about it…how many marriages or relationships could be saved if both parties would just truly Listen to one another? I didn’t say we had to agree with one another but we need to Listen and get a better understanding of where the other person is coming from, there are always two sides to the story.
Personally I feel Listening is not always done with just our ears! We Listen with our heart, our soul, our eyes, our touch, our smell, our conscience and if you are a believer we Listen to the Holy Spirit inside us! These characteristics can deepen our level of engagement, understanding and bring us a sense of peace no matter the circumstance.
Listening with our heart reminds me of a song written by a talented artist Geoff Moore sung by Stephen Curtis Chapman:
How do you explain,
How do you describe,
A love that goes from east to west,
And runs and deep as it is wide?
You know all our hopes
Lord, you know all our fears
And words cannot express the love we feel
But we long for You to hear
So Listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please Listen)
Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing)
A song of praise that flows (a simple song of praise)
From those You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed)
We will use the words we know
To tell You what an awesome God You are
But words are not enough
To tell You of our love
So Listen to our hearts
If words could fall like rain
From these lips of mine
And if I had a thousand years
I would still run out of time
So if You Listen to my heart
Every beat would say,
“Thank You for the Life, thank You for the Truth, thank You for the Way.”
I also love what the Bible says about Listening.
James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
Proverbs 18:13 “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly (lack of good sense) and shame.”
Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
Scripture provides truth and wisdom for our everyday living and practical advice we should take advantage of. I strongly recommend being in the word daily to provide a compass and opportunity for God to really speak to us so we can Listen!
One other way of Listening is watching through body language. Be careful you have to decode the message and sometimes we may not like what we see but again so many lessons to be learned by being aware!
In closing we have to develop a desire to be a good Listener. Especially if you are truly hard of hearing or perhaps deaf, then you have to learn to use your other senses to Listen. As you are “takin time out” this week, truly get in tune with your heart, soul, mind and the things that surround us. You may have awaken a giant discovery and learned a new art of Listening! Until next time my dear friend remember…we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak! Blessings to you…