when i was little, my father would remind me that it was better to be quiet than to talk, and so i became an observer. i would watch, observe and learn. it worked for a long time. my teachers loved me, because i could sit in the front of the class and just listen, and never cause the slightest disturbance. and since my perception of being loved was based on trying to please and not have enemies, i was pretty happy as a little kid.
as life became more complicated and my teachers began to ask questions and wanted me to participate in class discussions, i began to experience turmoil within. how could i stay quiet and participate? what if i said something that was wrong? what if said something that someone didn’t like, would people not like me?
i was so focussed on the staying quiet part of my upbringing, that i forgot about the beautify of being quiet. i was so focussed on not talking, keeping my mouth shut, and my thoughts from being shared, that i would forget to listen. i was so busy in my head defending my position, thinking of how i would do something differently, how the way i saw it was so much better, how people would be judging me if i spoke, that i would forget to listen.
as i practice listening now, and focus on the essence of being quiet, i try to hear and experience what the other person is saying.
instead of saying to myself, ‘even though i know i’m right, i’m not going to say anything, because quiet is better…or what if they don’t like what i say?’ i say to myself, ‘listen with my heart, be open… what can i learn?’
seeing the other’s perspective helps me grow, because in sharing the light we connect and then i see that i’m not alone.
sometimes the greatest gift we can give another is to simply listen – to listen from the heart and not the head.