Diogenes says: “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” Yet, listening is a great lesson we have to learn and a great ability to achieve for we have to keep our mouth shut and ears open, and the biggest difficulty is keeping them in the right order. (Craig D. Lounsbrough)
In my opinion, these words are true, for we have learned to talk more (especially those who represent us, politicians) and to listen less or not to others because we do not even know to listen to us.
We pay attention to everything that seems out of the ordinary, to everything that can cause a sensation, but we do not pay attention to the common fact, because it does not catch the ego’s attention. In this way, we do not listen to ourselves because we do not feel important and do not find interesting what we have to say, and on the other side, when we do, we like to talk about ourselves because it is what the ego loves, and then we listen less to others.
We are always told to consider things from others’ point of view for understanding them. I agree with. What about considering things from your point of view? What about understanding yourself? How can you understand others as long as you do not understand yourself? You lie to yourself when agreeing with others just for pleasing them and deep in your heart you know it. We have been taught we should say “YES” to others, for it is polite or right. What about telling yourself “YES”?
You know to listen to others for it is what you are taught from the early years: listen to your parents, your teacher, your boss. How many times have you heard “listen to yourself”? How can you say that you know yourself? Listening to yourself means following your heart, wishes, and desires, not following others’ wishes. Also, listening to yourself does not mean disrespecting others. You can listen to them and listen to yourself, and decide what path to follow for your decision always belongs to you.
It is a kind of theatre play we have been taught to play on our life scene. The wrong part? We play instead to live the life we have it here and now. Considering yourself impolite or unlucky, you make compromises and they will be followed by frustration. You will become anxious and angry, living with depression and developing diseases.
You can both lose and win when you listen to others but you will not know what your true power is, you will not really know what you can and cannot do. In addition, you can be dependent on someone else’s decisions and somewhere deep inside you will always be followed by the idea that if you would have done as you wanted, it had been better. So, why not doing something by listening to yourself and thus living without regrets?
I have told you before about myself living most of my life in a flat at the 4th level in a “ghetto” neighborhood as my son used to call it, but dreaming to have a cottage, to own a little garden and spend time working in. I have always been discouraged by those around me with words as “you cannot change anything”, “ you cannot afford it”, “you come from a poor family”, “you are a woman”. Listening to myself, I made the move selling the flat and buying the cottage and changed my life in the way I wanted. Maybe some of you will say that I am lucky. I will say that I listened to myself, not to others around me and another wish became true.
In my opinion, listening to others means acting as you see your life through their eyes, and listening to yourself is acting as you see your life through your eyes.
It is another lesson we can learn from nature. If snowdrop or crocus will listen to the weather forecast, it will never come out from the snow. They always follow what they know – their way.
How to really Listen to Yourself?
Show curiosity in what the person next to you is telling you.
Talk more about the person in front of you than about yourself and
“Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.”
You will always know when to listen to yourself, for it is your inner voice and as Vernon Howard says,
“Inner guidance is heard like soft music in the night by those who have learned to listen.”
Act with courage and integrity as your soul dictates you.
Learn and love silence, for in silence only you hear what “your” soul is telling you. (“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.” Alfred Brendel)
Never be afraid to listen to yourself, for that voice never lies to you and it speaks to you, only if you listen to.
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