I am writing about this because I see, every day, how difficult it is for most of us to really feel heard or seen. Being around others often increases our sense of loneliness, our lack of grounding, our unease, or it plainly doesn’t leave us enriched. We often wait impatiently for others to finish their sentences so we can say our part. We often know beforehand what we want to say, the advice we want to give, how we would solve a situation… We all need a platform for expression, and we often just take it, use it, and walk on. We take each other lightly, and we feel entitled to ‘fix’ each other constantly. We think we have seen it all before. And so it happens that we are not really there for others, or for ourselves, at that precise moment. We keep missing out, again and again, on an irreplaceable opportunity to ground ourselves in our own power and to empower others.
You might wonder why I speak about power now: My favourite question in the world is “How can we be more ourselves, all the time”? To be myself is to connect to my strength in a conscious way. To feel entitled to enough space and time that I can identify my longings and my own capabilities for fulfilling them. To feel free, in the knowledge that I am safely centred around my soul and that this is the place from which I interact with the world. Communication holds a key to this: How can we not lose ourselves in the presence of others, treasure their individuality and the path they are on, remain connected to our own centre, whilst keeping our minds and hearts open to what surrounds us?
We can all start by changing the way we listen.
Here are some steps we can follow to really listen. Try this next time you are with a friend or a relative, and see what you discover:
This is ultimately what we are all looking for: to understand our own needs, as we speak; to find a bridge from ourselves to the world. If we listen in this way we are helping others – and ourselves – to find that bridge, over and over. And we are creating dignity wherever we go.