Can you please listen to Me?
Shout, scream, rant and rave all you want. Do you get the feeling that no one is hearing or listening to you? You can tell your office co workers the same thing over and over again. You can tell your spouse, family, your children all day long about endless topics and yet no one hears you about getting anything done. No one is listening. The same can be said about yourself by all these other individuals, that you are not listening to them. But is it really an issue of miscommunication or are we not hearing or listening to ourselves.
This “miscommunication” occurs all the time, leading to rivalry, break up of marriages, relationships, families and job changes. So often we go through this anguish, and try to understand what is or what went wrong. What if there was nothing really wrong in the first place. It is not miscommunication but more misconnection. An example of this is in my typical day at night time. Let me elaborate. Envision the following: I try to at first calmly inform my son that it is time to go to sleep. I take him to the bedroom, we say goodnight to everything in the house, and then the moment the bedroom door closes while I am still in there in the room, the hysterics begin. The running to the door, trying to push me aside to open the door to escape, the screaming, the crying, the drama continues for an hour at times. My voice gets gruffer, and louder and sterner eventually trying to “command” him to get back in bed and go to sleep. Like that has ever worked with an 18 month old toddler !! I laugh inside everytime I even say it. The picture of the father standing tall trying to order the little crying child to do anything authoratatively has probably been the funniest scene in history, next to licking a frosted lampost and getting stuck!
Like a bolt from the blue, it struck me, he is not listening to me, no one is but I am not listening to myself either. The reason I was getting more irritable during these encounters is that I was not getting the desired result, namely for him to stop crying and go to sleep so I could go on and do other things. I was reacting. I am not a child psychologist so I do not pretend even for a moment that I have the foggiest of what is going on in my son’s head during these encounters, but here is how I changed the interaction and got a different outcome. I stopped getting angry. I stopped the commanding. I got to his level and sat down. I told him I was here for him and I was not going anywhere and asked him to tell me what was the matter. Thats it. The crying went on for a few more seconds ( I probably caught him by surprise), and then he gave me a hug, sobbed, and then proceeded to goto his bed !
What happened, did I just strike gold? No, all I did was listen, and stopped reacting. Most of our problems I believe occurs from constant reactions. So I changed the equation. I realized that the reason why I was getting more emotionally charged was because I was not listening to him, but actually because he was not listening to me, but in reality I was not listening to myself. I was actually trying to bring forth the statement ” I need control of this situation so i can go do something else more important and not be here”. Once you realize what YOU are trying to voice, and listen to YOURSELF, the answers come naturally. By immediately then telling myself, that the other activites have no urgency at this moment, and that I am going to be present, my ego shut off, since all it wanted was to be heard. I then focussed on “listening” to my son who probably was in the same predicament as I was namely that no one was listening to him !
So we both eventually got what we wanted. I heard and listened to myself, I then heard and listened to him, and vice versa, he felt his voice was heard and peace reigned. I got to my activities in a timely fashion. Remember there is no reason to shout unless the house is on fire.
Once we simply listen, we can truly hear. The Divine source is speaking, we just do not shut up long enough to hear above the din of our egos, rattling minds, and misguided voices. A moment a day of listening to yourself will go a long way for you to listen to others, and then others to listen to you. Listening is the first step to the path of reconnecting to the Divine. If you listen you will be heard.
In the quiet of silence volumes are spoken, can you hear them?