I’m loving delving into this month’s “LOVE” theme! So many ideas are coming my way it’s tough to choose which ones to share about. But this recent NPR interview struck me as profound – and actionable! – so I made a Graphic Recording of the podcast to share with you.
As you can see in the resulting mural, Dave Isay, in a recent interview with On Being‘s Krista Tippett, asserts that Listening is an Act of Love. He described true listening as having genuine curiosity and being fully present with another human being.
Most of the time most of us are thinking that we already know what they will say next, or figuring out what we are going to say next, or are distracted by something else going on in the room or even in our own heads.
In doing so, we can miss out the intimate moments of deep connection and sharing with each other about the things that matter most to us.
We can also miss the opportunity to simply BE with another human being. Literally to just look into their eyes, and BE with them with no other intent than to exist in this time and space together.
Dave Isay insists this depth of listening and being is an experience you will never regret, and one that leaves you feeling nourished and fulfilled (rather than depleted).
He suggests that creating a time limit focuses the intentionality of the conversation, and that creating a sacred space to hold the conversation facilitates intimacy and deep sharing.
I’ve found both to be true, and further assert that we can create a sacred space anytime and anywhere we so choose, simply by declaring it so with our dialogue and our body language. Even in a busy restaurant or other public space it’s entirely possible to create a quiet bubble of sacred space between two people, if both are willing to let go of all else but the current moment with each other.
Perhaps that’s the key then, the willingness to fully participate. Even if it makes us uncomfortable.
Honestly, that’s when my biggest learnings and most profound experiences have occurred: when I was at least a little bit – and maybe a whole lot! – out of my own comfort zone.
As Dave Isay says, feeling emotional makes some people feel uncomfortable. I’d have to agree. But allowing myself to authentically listen and be fully listened to is totally worth the discomfort. Every single time. Do you feel the same way?
What are your experiences with listening and being listened to? I’d love to hear your stories of the best and the worst – share them in a comment to this blog or on social media!