Sunday 25 May 2014

DSTSS - listening more

 29.  Become a better listener

Way back in chapter 7, i blogged about the importance of not interrupting others or finishing their sentences - this was one of those little things we can do to help us not sweat the small stuff with the aim of living a more peaceful and happy life - it was about taking the spotlight off ourselves and letting the other person know that what they are saying is truly important.

so here in this chapter, we are encouraged to become a better listener.

with all the upheaval that has happened, it feels like i went into a bit of lock down in order to just maintain some basic functions - my sanity being the most important one and without a coping mechanism that enabled me to keep working and also to remain somewhat sane, i would have been fucked and the problem of losing my house would have seemed nothing. As my stress levels had raised i felt that i was in this weird zone, whereby, in order to cope, i has just switched off to some stuff and it feels nice to have some breathing space again - even just for a short while.

During the peak (and i hope it was the peak) of this time, i had people around me who would listen. I was able to talk and they would just listen.  That was really nice to be able to be heard, and not in a hurried way, and not in a way that was a competition about whose pity party was the best, but in a way that showed me the importance of true listening. The spotlight was turned onto me and i really understand the message in this chapter.

While i was out the other night, i had the opportunity to do some true listening.  I had an engaging conversation with a not so elderly man who was reaching a period in his life whereby he didn't know what to do when he retires.  we talked briefly and i shared with him some scenarios that he could perhaps consider - it was just a passing moment and i thought that was the end of it. we went about our business, then he came back to me and shared some more and he said it wasn't easy for him to share these things but he did and throughout the conversation the thing that remained most important was to just listen - he needed someone who would listen.  I saw a fear in his eyes, that he was really struggling to know what to do with his life when he retires.  working is the only thing he knows.  It's been his life. He said that he thinks he has the answers in his head, but just needed to work on them a bit more.  I asked him if he felt guilty about retiring and he said YES and a look of sadness and relief came over his face!  I think that was his moment to acknowledge what is perhaps the biggest challenge for him.  I don't know the answers for him, but maybe, by just having someone listen (as i did) he was able to work towards finding the answers he needs.

So with that experience, i felt like i had understood what true listening is and yes, it had enabled someone to build a connection with me, and yes, there was no hurrying, and yes, there was no competition, and yes i have no doubt that we will talk again next time i see him and yes, after our previous interaction, i shall once again turn the spotlight onto him.

And guess what - i am not even going to post a picture today, because true listening, means not having any distractions....

Note to self: If i continue to be a better listener, i will become a more patient person and if i become an even more patient person, then i am another step closer to getting back to the peaceful content life i want and deserve.

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