The Sacred Art of Listening

“What we all need is a good listening to”

Listening is natural. That said, we often need reminders to quiet our own minds down enough to actually listen to another. Listening is complete in unexpected ways. So many of us have busy lives and pressing responsibilities it is as if we’ve been trained to notice problems and to fix them or at the very least manage them and keep things under constant control. That habit undermines the sacred art of listening to another human being.

Often in the rush to fix and manage, the heart of a person get passed by. Listening seems too simple to be able to address the urgent issues of our lives, yet when we are heard something shifts. When we tell our story without being intruded upon with assumptions or advice or cheer leading, we have the chance to be whole and be respected exactly as we are. Even if we’re suffering, or especially if we’re suffering, being listened to respects our individuality, and surprisingly it also respects our privacy. The act of listening is not invasive, yet offering advice can be. When no one interferes in our story we get to hear the story ourselves. It is possible that in sharing our stories we experience a resolution more effective than prescribed advice could have been.

The sacred art of listening is actually rather simple. It is, in some way, “just” listening. What makes it a sacred act is the willingness to do it. To truly listen to another is the willingness to accept that person just as they are. Attempting to fix another’s situation creates a subtle and unintentional message that they are not acceptable, not whole, not lovable as they are right now – joys and sorrows, smiles and suffering, and all.

To be listened to is a moment of being received without having to prove anything. And who doesn’t need that?

To listen, as well as to be listened to, brings forth a moment of humanity – a natural hospitality in an often inhospitable world.

If you need to share your story, please know you are welcome to do so at the Listening Post.