In an interview Mother Theresa was asked “when you pray, what you are saying?” Her response was “I am listening.” The interviewer then asked “What is God saying?” Mother Theresa responded “God is listening.”
This highlights very clearly that listening is by far the most important aspect of communicating. Not hearing what someone is saying halts all possibility for authentic mutually beneficial conversation and a deeper connection.
Meeting someone heart to heart requires presence, curiosity, and receptivity. Listening from a heart-centered place. What this means is listening to the whole person, not just their words. Watch their body posture, subtle facial expressions, and hear the tones in their voice. Feel for their emotional experience. Observe and witness without taking it on.
Listen to Yourself
Be aware of your body as they speak. How do you feel? What sensations are occurring? You do not need to dissect the information just simply notice how you are responding.
When we listen from our whole being (heart involved) there is no space for judgment or comparison.
There is no trying to win or make your point heard. If you are trying to get a point across, you are not listening. If you are waiting to speak, you are not listening. Practice the art of compassionate listening.
The Big Picture
True listening involves non-judgement; accepting that the words they speak is their truth. You are not them; you cannot tell someone their truth is not their truth, just as they cannot deny your truth. Used wisely this as a bridge to understanding diminishing further separation.
Listening to someone without interrupting doesn’t mean you are in agreement or compliant. It means that you are opening up and being curious about their point of view. It shows that you are willing to see them as a separate individual with unique opinions, feelings, and experiences. Asking inquisitive open-ended questions is a wonderful way to entice deeper conversation and clarity.
Curiosity creates Connection.