Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. ~J. Isham
When was the last time someone took time out of their busy day to listen to you, took time out of their busy day to focus on you, took time out of their busy day and heard you, took time out of their busy day to dig past the words, to dig through the facade, to dig deep into your heart and truly heard the feelings behind the words crying forth from your soul?
When was the last time someone listened to you so deeply you felt they distilled your words into the very essence of your were trying to communicate?
When is the last time you blessed another with deep listening? When is the last time you gave someone the gift of listening, not with your head, but with a fully opened, a fully engaged heart?
When is the last time your listening skills left the other person feeling important, feeling accepted, feeling valued, feeling understood?
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. ~Ralph Nichols
I am guessing the answer to all the above questions is somewhere between quite a while and never, leaning heavily toward the never. Unfortunately, real listening has become rare in our society. It has become rare because true listening is all about the other person. It has become rare because people are more focused on being understood than understanding another.
To truly understand someone requires deep listening, heart listening. It means suppressing the ego that continually seeks it’s own gratification in the way fire consumes wood. It means putting aside the incessant busyness that infects the human condition. It means closing the lap top, silencing the phone, turning off the TV, putting the music on pause, channeling the eyes, ears, mind, and heart, mostly the heart, on another human being to the exclusion of all else.
When is the last time you gifted someone with an open ear and lavished upon them an open heart? When is the last time you heart listened?