Listening is an art form. . .

I wrote about the importance of listening in my last post but it really can’t be stressed enough.  It’s through the attention we give to others that we both honor them and hear the messages God has for us. I’m convinced of this.

When I first came into the recovery rooms, I found it hard to listen to the voices of some people. They were either saying the same thing week after week, it seemed, or they were talking about a topic that didn’t interest me.  And when they whined, I quickly turned them off.  Then my sponsor got ahold of me!  She convinced me that every person within ear shot did deserve my attention and they indeed, did have a message for me.  That’s how God worked, she said.

Because of my varied experiences and the wide-ranging information I have received over these last 35 years, I no longer doubt the wisdom and the truth of what she said.  I have received many of my most significant lessons from the very people I was certain had nothing of importance to say to me. We simply don’t know what the day’s key message will be so we must be on guard for every word that is spoken.  It can become the day’s adventure, in fact.  Choosing to believe that can keep us sharp and willingly attentive.  I have found it makes me joyful too.

Thinking of each conversation as an adventure that has been planned specifically for us is an exciting prospect.  If this idea doesn’t really appeal to you, consider adopting it for a week any way.  It can’t hurt and you might be surprised by the results.  Allowing yourself to suspend your disbelief might be the start of a whole new way of thinking and seeing, one that will open doors that had been held closed for many years.  I’m convinced there’s a whole life that awaits all of us once we agree to peek around the door that is now ajar.

Take a few moments and recall some lessons you have received from people you originally assumed had nothing of importance to say.  Maybe it was a woman you didn’t initially care for or a man who seemed to symbolize the kind of man you generally tried to steer clear of.   And yet, you know their words “spoke” to you in an important way.  Does this demonstrate what I am trying to express here? I hope so.  It’s definitely a truth I live by and one that has given my life purpose.

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