Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I never thought about listening. I guess because I'm a terrible listener. My mind tends to wander when I'm listening (or suppose to be) and before I know it I've missed 50% of what someone is saying. In AA you have to listen a lot. Only one person at a time may speak, which is followed by "Thank you so-and-so". This shows respect and a fellow AA made a comment the other day that really stuck with me, "If you're thinking about what you are going to say you're not really listening". Wow! How true, thoughts or advice or statements should be spontaneous not prerehearsed in your head as the other person is talking. I have spoken a few times at meetings but lately I've just listened. This is a tremendous task for someone like me who thinks she has valuable advice for everyone. What I found out is that by really listening to someone you don't just hear words. You hear emotions. A person told of their struggles with just admitting that they were an alcoholic and I actually felt their pain. So much that I didn't even notice tears were running down my cheeks until someone handed me a Kleenex. I have been going 80 mph for the last 15 years. Rarely do I stop and really listen to all that's going on around me. So now I can't get the past back but I can listen starting each and every day. It's amazing what people are trying to tell you. What God is trying to tell you. Be still, it's not something I'm good at but when I am still I am in the moment. I have avoided pain and feelings for so long, scared I wouldn't survive them, but when the focus is off of me,and on what I need to be doing the pain isn't so overwhelming, I can do it. My challenge is for everyone to set their ego's aside and listen, really listen to someone else. You will be amazed at what you discover, about them, and about yourself.