A Secret of Life
As I read my email, a few key things in it caught my eye and I realized that we have within us the gift to affect a life and that gift is not just listening but listening with the realization that someone is opening their heart to us…even when it is a child. Some people in my life, just watching them interact with others has touched me forever. My friend Sassy…when she is with her boys…how she listens to them is inspirational. She makes them feel like they are the most important person in the world while they are sharing with her even when they are talking about things that are not important to her…but THEY are important to her.
I think that sometimes people feel that giving the big gift is more important than the little things and so we miss important opportunities to do something so special that it is mind boggling how something so simple as listening…really listening can be so important.
image from verysmartgirls.com
My aunt I call Mama…..I can remember from the time I was a young child, she always made me feel like I was so important. She listened…and I mean really listened like I was telling her a secret formula when I came to her with my heart open wide to tell her about this or that in my life that was so important to me. These things create memories that never go away. Mama listened not only with her ears but with her heart and I felt it even as a child and by her listening to me with her heart, she taught me how to listen with my heart. Sometimes we have to open the eyes to our hearts so that we can see what others are truly saying or going through.
video by Christopher Duffley
Through the years, I have been blessed to have some of the people who have carried that on as an adult. My friend Audrey, that I lost five years ago to cancer….we talked daily. And when you talked to her, she made you feel like you were the most important thing in the world to listen to. She was never too busy but more importantly she showed she really cared about what you were saying. She wanted to know all the details of what excited you or even hurt you. She listened with her heart. The ironic thing was that while she did that for me…..I found out right before she died that she felt I had done that for her. She told me that I had made her feel so important and that I listened and cared with such intensity when she would call to talk to me about the cancer, her life, her family. Listening….what an amazing thing but not just listening….that kind of listening where the person feels you really care about what someone has to say.
Sassy is another person that has done that for me. When you are disabled and in chronic pain and live the life of someone in that shape, for me sharing all the suffering or heartache is not something I do with everyone….at least not the hard parts. Sassy listens and cares and lets me know that daily. And it is not just an illusion. You know how you talk to someone on the phone and pour your heart out and really they have laid the phone down and are doing their nails or something and you feel it? Sassy, like Audrey did, pays full attention to what I am opening up and telling her. And she takes those heart baring moments and she keeps them to herself. She may not understand fully or agree with how I feel but she listens to me with her heart.
image from rishikajain.com
I have some of the most beautiful memories of my Sweetpea….of us making a tent from the covers at night and we had a flashlight, and she would tell me about her day or things that excited or even upset her. And I listened and we would talk for the longest time under those covers sharing secrets from the time she was about three years old. Sometimes she would take books and “read” them to me. She could not read, but I never told her that for the animation in her eyes as she pretended to read the story has stayed imprinted in my memory banks since those days. So, I listened with my heart to her “read” and talk and I hope she felt that. She is now entering the teenage years.
“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.”
Listening is more than just hearing. I hear the fan right now but it is not telling me anything. Listening is opening your heart as another takes the barriers off of their heart and lets you inside. And when you listen to a child….or an adult….how you listen can shape their soul forever. You may not be interested in it or even know what they are talking about…but when you care enough to show that you are really interested in what they have to say…when you make another person feel like what they are telling you is so very important…you have made a footprint on their heart that will remain forever. That is the secret of life. Everyone’s life is a song and it is those that take the time to listen with their heart that go on to become molded with our hearts.
image from onestillframe.blogspot.com
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