HEARD, LOVED, ACCEPTED
Those are important words in our relationships, not just with others..also with OURSELVES.
In addition to listening empathetically to others, our spirit/our soul needs the same attention. Being TRULY heard helps us feel loved and accepted.
If you are anything like me, your life is busy. I’m a wife, a mom, a career girl, a healer, an activist, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a “me” and more. Lots of things to do, sometimes rushing around to get them all done. It is difficult to pay attention and listen to myself with “all that” going on. Yet I find I am drawn to listening to myself more and more. Yes, in meditation AND also in my daily life.
I began listening to myself and my heart through meditation. A daily commitment to myself for 5, 10, 20 and sometimes 30 minutes to sit with myself and a quiet mind allowing myself to hear my heart. I’m amazed to this day what I learn and the love I’m able to feel from myself and others with my quiet time. Not only can I tell if I’ve missed my time, I feel off. My husband senses I am off too. Even 5 minutes makes a difference. Listening to me fills my love tank of self love. My soul feels acknowledged, heard, accepted and loved by me. Who wouldn’t love to feel this way?
How to translate that during the day with all that “going on” stuff? I can’t tell you it is easy. I find windows of time. A moment sitting in traffic, at a red light; sitting in the bathroom (no one can interrupt in there usually); parking a few spaces further away and using my walk from or to the car, a minute at my desk listening to a few deep breaths, even sitting in a busy restaurant waiting for someone and closing out the rest of the world, etc.
I’m finding the more I sit and breathe and listen, the more I hear myself. I’m also more aware of “stolen moment” opportunities to spend with myself. As I continue listening to myself, the more I truly hear and find I’m able to empathetically listen to people around me. All this listening has had a positive impact in my life, my relationship with myself and with people (family, friends, etc).
I recall situations where I felt I wasn’t heard. The other person(s) almost always said “I hear you”. Why didn’t I feel heard? I can recall saying those exact “I hear you” words to other people. While I did hear them, I was also focused on my own response to what they were saying. So was I truly listening? Did I understand them?
Disgruntled communication contributes to the misunderstandings in our lives from loved ones to co workers to strangers on the street to unhappiness within ourselves. I’ve been focusing on my own communication both really hearing other people, my heart and truly feeling heard. Intent and empathic listening are so much in the forefront of my own self work that I notice it in others even more than before.
I hear with my ears. I hear with my eyes. I hear with my heart…Can you hear me? I hear you. Are you listening? I am listening to you. Are you listening while thinking of what to say next? Are you listening to understand what you hear? Do you feel heard…by others and yourself? What do I mean by empathetic listening?
Empathetic listening means you offer understanding. Stephen R. Covey describes Empathic Listening as reflecting what a person feels and says in your own words to their satisfaction so they feel listened to and understood. Empathic Listening is not listening to advise, counsel, replay, refute, solve, fix, change, judge, agree, disagree, question, analyze, or figure out. Here are a few tips to remember when using Empathic Listening. It is best to use Empathic listening when:
- Emotion is high
- The other person does not feel understood.
- You do not understand the other person.
- Trust is low in the relationship
I am still a work in progress. For me, it helps to be “in the moment”, and “in tune” with the conversation I am involved in versus my own agenda, future ideas, defending my position, etc. Ask my husband. I know the times we get off track are when one or both of us is not empathetically listening, USUALLY both of us. And I know when we ARE truly listening. Our communication flows easily, we both feel heard, loved and accepted.
Feeling love and truly listening,