“When… someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!… When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to repereive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.” –Carl Rogers
The act of listening – truly listening – is one of the best gifts of love that you can give to those you interact with. So many problems melt away when we feel as though we are heard. So much conflict can turn to acceptance when we are heard.
In our culture we do not listen. We wait for our turn to speak. We try to figure out how to fix the other person’s problems. We grow defensive. We try to one-up. In other words, just as we view the world with the eyes of the ego, we hear and comprehend the world with our ego. When we listen with ego we are seeking to receive rather than give.
If we can learn to listen from our soul, then we can really hear people. When we learn to empathize and relate without running and hiding from the intimacy, listening becomes an act of giving. When we learn to hear what others are saying without judgment, then we open the channel for heart-based communication. Listening can become an act of loving kindness.
When was the last time that you really listened from your heart? Have you ever practiced your listening skills? Would you be willing to connect with someone today and really hear what they have to say without trying to get across your agenda or fix them?