Friday, August 29, 2014

A Good Listener

You know why therapists are in such a high demand? They are really good listeners! They can spend an entire hour just listening to you talk with an occasional "That's very interesting" or "How did that make you feel?" and open you up to keep talking more. Many people go to see a therapist because they just need someone to listen to them.

Have you ever started to share something personal that was on your heart with someone, you are totally pouring out your heart to them and suddenly they interrupt you and say something like "Guess what happened to me today! My co-worker came in today so late, she always comes late and guess what? She is getting that promotion I was telling you about!" It is almost as if they did not even hear you. Or maybe you are talking with your childhood friend and finally decide to tell them something that was heavy on your heart and she periodically looking at her phone and occasionally nodding, but really and truly not even listening...Or here is another one: you are hanging out with your significant other and you are sharing something that is really important to you and you are getting into the best part, when all of a sudden they get up and go get something and tell you from another room "Keep talking, I am listening!" Um...really?

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I realised today how much it matters to listen. I don't think it's just me, because if it were just me, therapists would not be making so much money. The older I get the more I begin to appreciate the people God put in my life who are able to be present in that moment, really listening and actually caring about what I have to say. These are the people who do not feel the need to provide a solution or give advice to what is being said, but the fact that they are attentively listening without interruptions and avoiding the urge to redirect the conversation to themselves. The success of effective communication largely lies in good listening skills.

Today I woke up and it was one of those days when I just wanted to stay home and relax. Thankfully it was my day off, but I still had a lond list of things to do. Nothing was really wrong, but deep down inside I felt this heavy feeling. Fridays are usually the days when I get to spend at least an hour with one of my favourite people, Miss Alice. Talking with Alice and just having someone to listen was very helpful. By the time we were done talking over some coffee I realised that the feeling from earlier sort of lifted up. For the rest of the day I thought about how helpful it can be to just listen to someone. It is so true that time is the most valuable thing you can give to someone...

This led me to think how busy we all really are and how little time we have to give to just sit and listen to someone. The best friendships and relationships are those where we invest our time and where we are able to be good listeners. As I mentally went through the names and faces of all the people in my life who really take the time to listen I realised that those are the rare quality people and relationships in my life that I am so very thankful for! However, what I discovered, the one Listener that really matters and Who really cares and listens, the One who knows my heart and who is always available is none other than my Heavenly Father.

Today The Lord was speaking to me, calling me to Himself and letting me know that He is missing our time together. We often get tempted to seek people to meet the expectations that only God can meet. He is the Greatest Listener who is always there always excited when we run into His presence. He is also the One who is more than able to guide and comfort us in the time of need...

...and for that I am thankful!

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