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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Listening takes more than ears

Ever seen the Pixar movie 'Brave'? It's about a Scottish Princess who defies the wishes/patterns of her mother and family line in order to be her own person in the beginning of the film. One of the aspects of the film that stands out to me the most is the relationship between the princess, and her mother, the queen. They fail to understand each other, and have frequent arguments, wishing the other would listen to their plight. This reminded me of a person in my life I had a similar relationship with, and recently I have learned that listening takes more than just your ears. People hear each other all the time, computing and processing each others' words in the way they see fit. But I realize that listening with your heart is more important. This person I have argued with for years, my brother, has been one of the most challenging I have ever dealt with in my life--but only with regard to opening my heart. We both came to a point where we recognized that we were saying the same thing, but in different ways, and then there came a choice: open up our hearts or remain in conflict. Of course we decided the former. Once I opened up my heart, his words became new to me, they had a magic about them. more than that, I wasn't paying attention to his words, I was opening my heart to the experience entirely. It hurt like hell, but it was worth it. The heart reveals the magic in all things, and we need it desperately in order to really listen. You ever heard people in an argument say "I'm listening to you!" You know they are not though, because they are angry, their heart is closed off, they are protecting themselves from you. So know the difference between listening and hearing when you are doing it, too. Another point: listening is not just 'letting the other person talk'; it is being engaged in the conversation as the receptive party, treating the person with respect, not from the mind, but from your feelings, from your heart. You may not agree with everything being said, but the heart is the ultimate detective, and is able to filter through all the superficial things and show you many things beyond just what the other person is saying. Experience heart-centered conversation for yourself and you will learn what these things are in your awareness. Peace n chill, GG

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