It’s been a while since I’ve posted. If you are new to my blog you’ll notice that I periodically take sabbatical’s from writing. It’s not that I have nothing to say, it’s that I need to take a break from speaking and practice listening.
There’s been a lot to listen to in the past few months.
Our society is very out of sorts about a good many things. The messages I have heard varies from the plight of the vulnerable or marginalized to the American rights of every citizen; the outrage of personalities, politics and immoral practices to freedom of expression and speech. There are new messages almost daily. It’s hard to keep up.
It’s not just society that is demanding to be listened to. People close to me are chugging along in life and it’s not turning out as expected. Physical aliments, fears and uncertainty over “tomorrow” is a regular dialog.
My own soul at times rants. Trampled by the voices of many. Smothered by the weight of the world and my world. It crys to be remembered and nurtured.
There has been a lot to listen to.
Listening is important, for listening reveals answers I cannot get when I’m talking.
- When you quiet your own voice you can better hear yourself. I tend to clutter the atmosphere with my spastic words and thoughts, so much so that I am not always sure what it is that I’m trying to say. I just become quick to have a comment, idea or thought that spills out into conversation whether it is needed or not. Sometimes talking is a disguise for self-importance or even low self-esteem. If I have the answers, or say something smart than they will all know how brilliant or important I am, or at least that I have an answer for the problem because I’m embarrassed and don’t want the conversation to dig any deeper. Can you relate?
- When you quiet your own voice you can better hear what others are saying. Funny thing happens when I’m always talking. No one else gets to. My words take up too much space. I wonder if this is the best way to show love and respect to others? When there isn’t room for a dialog, there isn’t room for more than one person. Listening to others means I’m just as interested and concerned with what they need to share; so interested that I make sure I don’t do all the talking. I listen and find ways to draw the other person out by asking intelligent questions. Listening to others is a active way of loving.
- When you quiet your own voice you can better hear what God is saying. When mine is the only voice I tend to listen to I am out of tune with the voice of God. I cannot hear what He has to say about the plight of the world or my life for that matter. My voice drones when it never stops. It becomes more important to “tell” God what I think than to listen to what He thinks. Listening to God is probably the hardest for me. It involves being intentional. It involves reading Scripture and praying, stilling my own inner dialog and inviting Him to speak to me. These things don’t necessarily come naturally to me.
In discerning what the deepest part of myself, what you or God may be saying, I hear the messages that I most need to hear. My vulnerabilities are uncomfortable but not anything to be afraid of. The burden of convincing others of my importance is lifted when I realize I don’t have to defend myself. You, my friend, may have the way forward if given a chance to share. Sometimes shared thoughts, working toward understanding different positions and hidden feelings are the very ingredients necessary in creating bonds of healing and unity. God Almighty has the most poignant message of all. It offers me stillness of soul in the turbulence. It is mysterious and often challenging but compelling and more and more I hang on every word He says.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been practicing my listening. Now you know why.