What did you just say?

One of the most irritating things about being in control of our own lives is that we inevitably tend to do everything else except those things which are most important in our lives. Unless it’s just me. But somehow I doubt that.
So a prime example of this is how we communicate with each other. Unfortunately I believe that the “commune” part of the word has been lost somewhat and that the entire word could be replaced or updated to read selficate. Sounds selfish and a tad gross. It is. For instead of engaging in a real conversation we are so distracted with our “self-ies” that we are not really listening to the other person.
When we are able to put the television off and the cell phone on silent and our own critical thoughts aside, we may begin to feel something close to joy and tranquillity in the communication process. It happens. We are saying silently to the one who wishes to share with us, “I am here, I am listening, I am feeling you, I am you.”
Then the communication is real. It has dignity. Like early African cultures….rushing things was not considered as dignified, but doing things slowly, gracefully, deliberately, that was regal and right.
We have all become such professionals at using our phones, laptops or watching tv while we chat with our children, our friends or our colleagues or partners. But what are we focusing on more in that moment? This is not listening, this is not caring for the other.
Too often one hears the words, “what did you say” or “I just told you a minute ago” or “are you even listening to me?” Seldom are people even looking at each other while talking.
To give up your own thoughts and judgements while someone else is talking is a huge challenge. And when we speak do we actually complete our sentences with contemplated thoughts or are we babbling in staccato, rushing from half phrase to confused interjections? “No but I think it should be so…….you what….yes I know…..she does that thing with….like a..oh my word it’s true…I don’t understand…you what?”
By listening with ear, heart and spirit to the other, we begin to hear the divine source which dwells within every human being. Try it.
Finally, if we don’t know how to communicate with ourselves, to follow our own heart’s voice, we won’t complete ourselves and be able then to listen to others. It always begins with us.
Matthew Stodel
Class 6 Teacher