Oct. 14, 2015

Listening vs. Hearing

Alright, so I’m going to vent for a minute, but in love of course. Perhaps someone out there can relate to this, but I’m starting to think that listening is a lost art form. My family seems to have a genetic defect in their ability to truly listen. In my kids’ case, it isn’t just the listening, but also the “doing” that should follow the request. It is funny, but I used to think it was just because they didn’t want to do what I was asking them to do, but nope, that isn’t it. I could be asking them if they want ice cream, a movie, or even a new puppy and they would be completely clueless. They just flat out don’t hear me.

My husband, on the other hand, does something totally different. He will half listen and then try to fill in the blanks to what I said. He gets the blanks filled in correctly about 2% of the time (and I’m being generous here). Really!? Just pause what you’re doing or thinking about for a few seconds and just listen! It is almost comical to watch him squirm for a few minutes when I notice that he is being oddly agreeable but with no eye contact. The worst part though, is that he THINKS he is listening, so his 2% accuracy rate becomes his truth.

This is, of course, all tongue-in-cheek. Listening is something that is less about the ears and more about the ability to hear. Although my family may struggle with their “listening” skills, they do have the astounding ability to hear. They are always there supporting my passions, expressing their love, and encouraging me to become all that I can be. Sometimes I think that is the hardest thing for me to listen to. I struggle with hearing and accepting that I am unconditionally loved. I think if we were all completely honest with ourselves, the idea of being loved without merit seems to be a pipe dream, but that is what I am learning to listen to. Perhaps the problem with loving people around me at times is that I haven’t come to terms with loving myself unconditionally.