” The word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT. ” – Alfred Brendel
We are ripping off another page of the calendar. February has come to a bitter icy end. Snow lay everywhere in sight ringing true the statement that winter rolls out like a lion and spring wanders in gently like a lamb. Today is Fat Tuesday the biggest party day of the year in New Orleans and another reason to celebrate the end of a cold month.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday for those who follow that tradition, I on the other hand know it’s the first day of Lent and for the next forty days I could graciously give something up. A few years ago I gave up eating off full size dinner plates because the salad plates in the cupboard never got used and they looked lonely. Well, I never went back to the full size plates until recently when I started cooking Sunday Suppers. So what could I give up over the next 40 days? I can think of an entire list but there is really one thing that comes to mind and that would be … listening for the intent to reply.
This year I started making lists. Have always been a list maker to get things done but these lists are different. I’m not talking about a Bucket List, or a grocery list, I’m thinking these kind of lists are important they will contain: thoughts, quotes, songs, you name it. Lists that will take my life deeper. You know show a little deeper me, the heart of me.
Through Pinterest and the many ideas on what one could bullet journal about I came across the List 52 Challenge. Soooooooo guess what!? You get to see my lists! Poor you! ( Please enter a roll of the eyes with a touch of sarcasm here ? )
We have started Week 8 of 2017 which means that the prompt for this week is to “list your favorite quotes.” I started this list post off with one of my faves!
Listen, the definition of the word listen goes something like this: give ones attention to a sound.
The definition seems rather vague at first but after pondering what normally goes in ones ear and comes out the other it is generally a sound in the natural world. There are exceptions to this rule though. Example: The small still voice that comes in through the pounding of each heartbeat.
I know your probably asking how I went from listing my favorite quotes to rambling on about listening. Well, if you read any of my other post than you realize I usually tell my story somehow and this post you will get the reading pleasure of recent enlightenment or struggle however you want to look at it of something that I’m going through.
I’ve been driven to listen more. Listen with the intent to be silent and not to react with my brains or my big-never-right mouth at the next instant but to listen and wait patiently. Hummmm … this I’m finding is more of a challenge than I bargained for. I’m determined. I will win. My struggles seem to lie in the waiting patiently.
We seem to be trained our entire school days to listen to a question than answer it so that whatever flies out can be judged if it’s the correct answer or not. Some of us strived to always have the right answer to get the kuddos we need but never truly learn to listen to a story or concepts that could take many days, months or weeks to unfold. Sometimes it could take years to truly understand a story if we are consistently listening in silence but that my friends is a rarity in my world. Being honest here.
Over the last couple years my brain has had to be shushed. “Honey hush” that kinda quieting. The chaos in there was a constant whirlwind of never ending noise, rocks clanging on tin cans kinda rattling, and voices dragging me from one end of the spectrum to the other. So when someone asked my opinion hell, I was wret to go and come hell or high water I was going to be right, whether my answer be right or not.
Here’s my list of quotes that are helping me along my listening with patience path:
1. “People want to hear songs with words they are afraid to say.”
2. “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
3. “People say a lot so I watch what they do.”
4.”When the two ears are out side by side they form the shape of a heart. Interestingly, the word ‘eat’ fits in the middle of the word ‘heart’ ( h-ear-t ). The ears are the way to the heart. If you want someone’s heart, learn to listen to them. If you want the heart of God, learn to listen to him.”
5. “Listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard.”
6. “Music is not in the notes, it’s found in the silence between.”
7. “If anyone tells you a song is important to them, you should turn it up loud, close your eyes and really listen because at the end you will know that person much better.”
8. “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
9. “The earth has music for those who listen.”
10. “Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.”