Sometimes we get so excited and we bolt out of the blocks before the gun goes off. Sometimes acting on impulse can be very liberating and just what is needed to blast you out of a hole in your life. Sometimes it can bring you whole lot of confusion.
I got an idea to organize a public presentation for my business. I asked around and got a commitment from a business associate on a location and a time, only to find that to him it was still an idea and not an actual event. It made me stop and think about where our communication breakdown happened. This happens a lot in our world today because we spend a lot of time talking at each other and not with each other.
One of my goals for this quarter is to sharpen my listening skills. Clearly God saw that I could use some work in this area when I set that goal. I want to listen with acknowledgement and understanding. So many times I find people (myself included) talking but not listening. Why are we so busy trying to get our points across in a hurry? True conversations take time. Calculating what you will say next while someone else is talking, does not constitute listening. Talking over someone else does not constitute listening. I’m beginning to feel that listening is a dying art form.
I think my journey with deaf and hard of hearing people has been all about listening. There have been many times when I didn’t want to hear what life was telling me. It was easier to bury my head in the sand much like my son used to turn off his hearing aids when he didn’t want to hear me yelling at him to clean up his room. Sometimes we don’t want to hear what people are telling us because it doesn’t fit with our vision of the world. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when we get whacked on the head by life because we weren’t listening and paying attention. Many times deaf people perceive hearing people as screaming, angry people. I guess it can look that way when someone is yelling at you as though raising their voice will somehow make you hear them. Actually listening to someone, giving them complete attention, is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Just think about how good it feels when someone does that for you. You feel heard. You feel free to speak. You’re not competing with anything else. You can just express what is on your heart. How refreshing.
Now that my friend and I are on the same page, we can plan an event that will be powerful and educational. First I had to wake up to the fact that I wasn’t listening. Now we can have a true conversation about what we want to do, how we want to do it, and what we hope to gain from it. I realize that I don’t have to move at lightning speed all the time and things can still happen quickly when I take the time to listen.
Light and Love,