Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shhhhh - listen...!

Hi all,
First, thank you to Candee, Priti, Deb, and others who sent notes and messages about our dear "Big Dog" - also known as Abby. After more than 2 months, I still look for her nearly every day. I know many of you can relate - my sister just lost her precious "Bud," the oldest of her 3 rescued kitties. It is so hard to go through and yet they bring us such joy while they're here.

Tomorrow I will be talking to some folks about listening. One of the things that I always think of when talking about listening is how fast our minds can "listen" compared to how fast humans talk; we talk at about 125 words a minute and most of us listen about 4 times faster than that. That means that if you are talking to me, about 75% (or more!) of my mind is wandering around wondering what to do with itself!! Most of the time it finds something, too! And that means I'm not listening as well as I could.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God." But isn't that true in other relationships, too? Shouldn't we "be still" when we are supposed to be listening to someone we care about?

I know that for me, when Guy is talking about guitars (which he has done pretty much non-stop since I've met him!), I have a tendency to tune out (OUCH! I hate to admit that!). Sometimes my mind starts planning workshop outlines or deciding what to wear tomorrow or what to fix for dinner. It happens with good friends, too, but probably not nearly as often as with my poor husband. I will tell you, though, that it happens a lot less than it did several years ago because I have become aware of it and determined to do better.

There are many reasons we don't listen well - we may be planning what we are going to say next, we may be thinking about a problem we have or something we're looking forward to, we may even be distracted by smells (think "popping popcorn"), movement, noises, or whatever.'ve heard it before. We have to be AWARE and guard against not listening. That sounds so simple, doesn't it? And it really is if we will just practice it.

Now tell me, have you been listening????


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