Love to Listen

The First Duty of Love is to Listen_Paul Tillich

Have you been in a situation with someone, especially a family member, who walked away from you upset leaving you dumbfounded. I should say floundering for lack of knowing how you should have acted with them. I have. I’ve wondered, What did I do wrong? I thought it was as clear as day what they needed. So I shared it, and . . . nothing, they didn’t get it.

Guess what, genius, you were in your head not heart. What I believed was not their issue; it’s what they believed, no matter if it was right, wrong, delusional, misguided, or whatever. I needed to be there and deal with where they were at, not with the way I believe they should be or the awareness they should have.

I have realized it is lots better to let go of the wisdom I stand by, however sound it may be, especially if it’s falling on deaf ears and they are pulling away. I must get it that they are not getting it. Otherwise I could lose their heart, and game over. That’s when the hurting happens.

The key is being heart-centered in the first place. If I bring my heart–and a big listening heart at that–then I am giving them room to be themselves and share their feelings without feeling judged. The more I am there for them the more they can open up. It’s like getting the keys to their heart by doing nothing but being fully present with them.

Is it really that easy? It can be. In your next touchy conversation with a family member let go of opinions and control and love them. Be a nonreactive listener. Be curious about their viewpoint. When your talk is over check out how nurtured both of you feel.

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