To Listen with Kindness


“The healing heart is one that tries to connect more than perfect and make everything in our lives wonderful. It helps us sometimes to “just be” rather than always trying to “be happy.” (The Heart’s Code, Paul Pearsall)

View of Bethlehem

Some people listen to others in order to find connection. Some people, though, are in too much of a hurry for the other to have the right answer or solution up their sleeves already – and as a result, listen badly and ruin the experience.

When you’re getting to know another human being, you will not get far if you listen just to judge if she has the “right” or “wrong” answer. Nodding in acknowledgement is validating for the other to continue being honest, but tsk-tsking or shaking your head disappointingly creates unpleasant confusion.

Can you just listen? Listen not to judge, but to understand. This person has chosen you to confide in, not because you deserve the honour but because it’s a sacred privilege that someone has offered to trust their heart in your hands. Someone has offered to trust in you because they feel safe with you. Don’t ruin it all by making them feel inadequate and useless while you make your distasteful facial expressions at them.

Don’t immediately cringe when the other person’s answer is very different than your own. Your cringe, your withdrawal, shuts off the desire of the other person to be real and genuine with you. They may feel slightly unworthy of your time, your attention, and not reveal their wonderful hearts that everyone else is so fond of being connected with. And then you wonder why you’re not finding meaningful connection… Why you meet so many people you like but they shy away from you…

So ask yourself. When you actually are blessed to be in the company of another soul’s energy, do you try to be patient enough to understand it before comparing it with your own? Or do you make instant visible judgements which shut down the other person, making them appear uncertain and no longer confident you want to be spending time with them?

What is your intention when you listen? Are you a hasty listener, or do you listen with patient kindness? You see, when the other person sees how you respect their thoughts, they will undoubtedly want to seek your own opinion. And this is where, gently, you can explain where you see the flaws in the thinking and the issues in the superficial solutions they’ve come up for themselves. Your words will be embraced this way… because you listened first. Talked, after.

In a world of people hurriedly listening while preparing full speeches as responses, be that one person who listens truly to connect to another heart. And then your wisdom will pour worth.

Brother & Sister

And Allah knows Best.

– A.S.

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