Rev. Jamie Sanders, Unity of Pensacola
Listening is one of the surest ways I’ve found for myself to learn. Paying attention to what is going on around me and especially within me, allows me to gain greater understanding of my spiritual connection to others and to life itself.
Have you ever encountered someone who talks so much they rarely take the time to breathe while rambling? When I do, I smile to myself and ask “Where have I done this?” Rambling is usually a sign of several components: fear that if you want to be heard or understood you must get it all out as quickly as possible before they shut you down or walk away, or it is a questioning about our self-worth. “Is what I have to say important to others and why would anyone bother to listen to me?” We all deserve to be heard and to fully give that same courtesy to others. Are we good listeners?
Learning to listen is a gift that we give to others, but especially to ourselves. When I speak less and listen more, I get a clearer perspective on what is truly being said and what the situation is about and what my role is in the experience. We are forever teaching and learning while we are here. Listen and learn without ceasing.
True listening is just that; listening fully to what is being said not just verbally, but emotionally as well. It is far more than half-hearted attention being given as we plot what we will say once they have ceased to share and we get our time to respond. What do we hear in life?
Music is a passion of mine. I can hear a message in a song that literally floors me, while another hears it and feels nothing. Is one person deeper than the other? Maybe, maybe not; I believe we are forever being led to those things that feed our souls, that uplift us and give us strength. I love to listen. I love to pay attention because it teaches me so much about life and my purpose in being here. I encourage you to practice listening to the world around you. Listen to the birds, the song on the radio that has caught your attention, or the friend that is sharing a piece of themselves with you. Listen!