Diving In Deeper
Key Takeouts from this Session
Effective listening is critically important if you wish to truly reclaim your freedom. Why?
When we truly listen...
- Truly listening means we are absolutely present with the other person. This means that not only do we hear what they are saying, but we can also "feel" what it is they are communicating. Don't forget, verbal communication is only about 15% of all communication. This means that if we become distracted by what someone is saying, or worse, we become defensive, the chances of us being able to truly "hear" what they are communicating is severely limited.
- Not only does truly listening support the other person - they feel heard, and thus respected - it also helps us. It gives us time to still our minds, thereby enabling us to relax into the moment during a conversation. When we do this, we step into a space where we can be fully receptive to what is not being said by the other person, but what it is they may be trying to really communicate.
- When we truly listen, we can be an impeccable mirror for the other person. We can reflect back to them what they have said, not what we think they have said while we have been distracted thinking about how to respond midway through their conversation.
- By truly listening and being fully present, often what we assumed the other person was saying, or what we think they were going to say, is nothing more than our inner-fears raising their ugly head demanding we shut the other person down (by talking over the them before they say what we believe we don't want to hear). In other words, we may be freed from our own fears.
How do we know we are no longer listening?
- We are "rehearsing" in our minds how to respond (or defend) something we believe we have just heard, before the other person has finished talking. By doing this, we have stopped listening and instead begin to create a narrative based on our beliefs, and not on what the other person may in fact be communicating.
- We may say to the other person something like, "I know exactly how you are feeling. I went through exactly the same thing." No, you don't and no, you did not! All you are doing is stealing energy from the other person to make yourself look more important than them. Stop, and just listen.
- An emotion is triggered with us. This is often nothing more than us being reminded of an old memory or a learnt belief. When this happens we sometimes mistakenly assume the other person is attacking us, when all they may be doing is expressing an opinion based on their own beliefs and which may have nothing to do with us. We may become irrationally defensive.
- Miscommunication often results with the unintended consequence of offending the other person, or feeling inadvertently offended by them.
- In the worse case, depending on how aggrieved we may feel (which often has nothing to do with reality), we attack the other person. Friendships are can be ruined because we have not listened to the other person.
- Often, our archetypes are triggered. Under times of stress we may fall back to learnt behaviors which have served us well in the past, but which may no longer be useful today. As an example, if you "hear" someone is having a difficult time making a certain life-choice, and if your archetype is the Rescuer, you may be inclined to step in and give them advise on how they should proceed. This advice can only be based on your own perception of the situation and is often both unwanted and not useful. Instead, you should hold a space of loving support so the other person can work it out for themselves, as only they truly know what it is they want to achieve. The author Caroline Myss has a wonderful book on this subject, The Archetypes.
Do you really listen?
This may be the time to be honest with yourself. Reflect on a time when you have felt offended when talking to another person, or when you have felt the need to defend yourself believing they are attacking you. Ask yourself if they really were attacking you, or they were simply expressing an opinion (which could be fact-based or ignorance-based, it does not matter as it what you hear that is important). Reflect on how you may have reacted in such an instance.
Use your journal to capture these moments.
- What was the incident?
- What was being said (how did you hear it)?
- How did you react in the moment?
- When you stop and think back, what do you believe the other person was truly saying?
- Was this about you, or about them (and their beliefs or opinions)?
- How could you have better responded, reacted or listened?
- What was the outcome of the interaction?
- How could this have been different, if at all?
- Would would you do next time in a similar situation?
- Is there anything you can do now to correct a past misunderstanding with another person?
Please...just listen to me. Do not try and fix me, or give me advice or tell me you know what I am feeling. When I am truly heard, I feel respected and worthy. And I will do the same for you... and this how we find inner peace on our path to freedom.
Additional Resources that Support this Lesson (available through Amazon)
Click on the thumbnail below to order.
Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. by Caroline Myss
Archetypes: Who Are You? by Caroline Myss
The above books are also available as audio books, and available for kindle download. Click on the book image for these options, and other books by Caroline Myss.