Thursday, October 17, 2013

Listen, really listen

Listen. Listen. Listen.

One of the most important gifts you can give to another person is the gift of listening to her. Really stopping what you're doing, letting go of your own "stuff" and listening to him. Deeply. What a gift.

You know when another person has really listened to you. You feel so heard. So validated and affirmed. So loved. To be heard is to be acknowledged in a profound way.

One of my friends used to say, "We listen one another into existence." I've thought about that a lot through the years—and see the truth of it more clearly with each passing year. When I've been heard and understood, I somehow am able to see myself more clearly. I understand what I'm thinking and feeling in a deeper, more complete way. And the choices I make as a result will come from a deeper and more authentic place within me.

It seems such a little thing, really. Listening to another. But, in fact, it isn't a little thing at all. It's a generous gift of time and presence—one of the best gifts of all.

To whom do you need to listen today? Try to stop all the background noise when you listen. Right at that moment, forget about the grocery list, the undone things on your internal to-do list, the driver who just cut you off or the mistake you just made in your checking account. Let go of those things—and just be present. Listen. Be present.

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