So many voices crying out, but who is listening? Doesn’t finding your voice require being heard? When you are fully heard, isn’t it healing? Listening is a sacred and healing act. When people feel heard, they can then sit silently with the knowledge their voice made it someone’s ears. Communication doesn’t happen until it is received by another.
A true healer, regardless of modality, allows the person to heal by being fully present. Healing happens when one is fully seen, fully heard, and accepted without judgement. Want to heal the world? Stop and listen. Most people only listen enough to reply not to understand, let alone empathize. You don’t need to agree in order to fully hear someone. It’s okay to let people be where they are, without trying to correct them. Lead by example.
Accepting without judging is a mastery level skill, and takes constant work to stay there. Just start with listening. If your beliefs are solid, then listening to another perspective is no threat to your own reality… plus, you may even learn something new. The biggest benefit is that the other person feels heard, so they can then heal whatever is bothering them.
Practice listening without a response. Or keep your response to repeating their concepts back to them… “So, what you’re saying is… ” Practice this first with people who share your beliefs, before you go into the fray of division playing out. I’m not suggesting you start the conversation, but if you enter it, listening is the way to allow healing to happen.
Then, probably with your inner circle, be sure you are being heard. Be sure someone is there, not to further shore up your opinions, but to listen deeply to your true concerns. It’s okay to find new people to talk to who can hear you deeply. It’s okay to outgrow others. Let people be where they are, and keep moving. We all have different paths, and you will always be drawn to those at your level. You get to choose to hang on to the old, or let go and flow in to the new.
Not being heard has been quite the theme in my life for a couple months, and it’s maddening. It took me a while to pin down what was really happening, and then a while longer to figure out how to handle it. People can only know you as deeply as they know themselves. Likewise, people can only hear you as deeply as they hear themselves. Out of sheer habit, I was surrounding myself with people who couldn’t hear me. I have shifted that, and now I am feeling heard. Suddenly, I don’t have as much to say because of it. Communication has happened.
Listening also provides us with the rich opportunity to learn. Even though we think we have set beliefs, we always evolve over time. The ability to incorporate new information and ideas is the beauty of the open and evolving mind. Stay teachable, you aren’t always right. Mental flexibility keeps you young and growing. Listen to heal, then listen to learn. By listening, we get a glimpse into a whole new reality. Keep listening, and heal the world.
“When Someone Deeply Listens to You
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.
When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.”
~ by John Fox
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