Webster’s dictionary says listening is about paying attention to sound, or hearing something with thoughtful attention. On the other hand, it says hearing is the process, function, or power of perceiving sound, to gain knowledge, or give attention to. If you are listening with attention, you are most likely hearing the meaning of what a person is saying. If you are hearing the meaning of what a person is saying, you are probably listening thoughtfully. Both are important. This essay is a brief look at conscious listening to others and oneself.
Listening is an important skill. In order to communicate with others, and understand them, you must be willing to listen to what they say. People want to be understood. That means, regardless of whether you agree or not with what you are hearing, the goal is to grasp the meaning. It is difficult to make a connection with a person if you aren’t truly listening to and attempting to understand them. Authentic listening is a sign of respect for the speaker. It’s saying you think that person is important enough to receive your time, attention, and perhaps your concern. You are allowing that person to share something of themself with you.
A person who pours their heart out to you wants their emotions to be understood, and is looking for validation in some way. They have a need for connection or attention. If you can understand this need, and are willing to provide it, you have contributed to the betterment of this person in some way. A good listener does not have another agenda going on in their mind.
Sometimes, we think we ought to be listening to someone, so we listen without hearing. Should you listen to another if you cannot give them your full attention? In truth, probably not. It’s better to be honest in a kind way to let them know it’s not the time for you to give your undivided attention.Offering to listen at another time helps you assure that person they are important to you. However, if you are truly not interested, and want to continue your relationship, be honest. You may have to suggest a topic that is mutually satisfying, or another person who may be more empathic. In the long run, emphasize the importance of serious listening for you both.
Internal listening is stilling your mind of the chatter so many of us deal with. This chatter comes from the external world. It may be from conversations you have had, or from information you’ve received from reading, or listening to the goings on of life. When you shift your listening from information that is external to that which is within, you’re actually putting yourself first. That’s a good thing.
Listening to your inner voice, which is your connection to a higher being or state of consciousness, helps you find important guidance. This guidance is specifically tailored to you and your needs. You could call it your intuition, or a gut feeling. Your inner connection helps you find purpose in life. In addition, it assists in raising your vibration, which enables you to find more joy and happiness. Prioritizing your own needs without hurting others, enables you to live a more purposeful life. It helps you live the life you came here for.
Ultimately, it is more important for you to listen to your internal guidance, rather than all the noise outside in the world. Understanding that you have control over your own life is empowering. Allowing the external world to control you is not. So pay attention to where the source of your information comes from. Trust your inner guidance to bring direction to your life. The more you do, the more fulfilling your life will be.
When you are able to listen to others purposefully, they receive your validation of their importance. When you listen to yourself on a deep level, you validate yourself in a profound way. Understanding your importance and your purpose in life empowers you to move through the world with confidence and joy. Adonai.