Words often get lost when spoken. I don’t mean in translation. What I mean is that they lose their power, bravery, essence when the other person is not listening. We hear. We hear everything around us through all the other senses. Lately the universe is teaching me to listen sacredly. I’m being forced to stop hearing and really listen attentively to things that the other senses do not capture. It is like walking blindly into a thick forest with only my hearing to guide me.
What does it require to listen wholeheartedly? When do we become completely and mentally aware of our attention to the voices of the universe? When and how do we realize the silence of the Divine? Listening requires accountability of presence. It pushes and forces us to stop the chit-chat in ourselves and be with another.
I am guilty of jumping into another person’s explanation when they aren’t speaking the things I do not want to hear. It is horrible. It is rude! This happens when I feel criticism, or rejection about to take place. I stop listening and I just hear. As John Wayne said, “You’re short on ears and long on mouth.” I become just that. But, to listen mindfully requires a sense of complete abandonment from ego. In order to listen there must be no fear of projection, rejection, and subjection. Whenever a friend comes to me with a personal matter I somehow know to remove my “hearing” ears and put on my “listening” ones without any reservation. So, I know that listening is an act that is available all the time if I was to practice it even when it is about me. We all want to understand and be understood by another. In really listening, this need is met. It is a gift.
When I go to Starbucks alone, I sit with my coffee and listen to the conversations around me. I listen with all of me, like some storyteller eavesdropping for ideas. In this voyeurism I hear more than what is said. I see the gestures, body language, lack of words, excessive run-on sentences, etc. I can hear the truth, the lies, made up stories in order to impress, the sadness, excitement, and joy of life. I listen to one soul moving into the space of another in however they know how to relate. In those moments listening is all I do and it is easy because it has nothing to do with me. It is beautiful, magical, and delightful!
I am learning. I am being a diligent student. I still make mistakes. I often forget to be completely in a conversation, in the moment, and move through every syllable, word, sentence and thought. I am consciously becoming aware of my listening skills. In quietude I listen to the space in between the outside noise and my inward voice. I am paying attention to the Divine through mystical signs. I am more engaging with my loved ones, whether it is a conversation that I understand or one that leaves me breathless with excitement. Listening requires the deepest of presence. It embraces the what-is and what-is-not of you. I am listening through my heart more than ever. With each beat I take in a letter and it makes me come alive. “The word listen has the same letters as silent.” That should tell us something about its importance!
“Inner guidance is heard like soft music in the night by those who have learned to listen.” ~ Vernon Howard