It has been said that one of the greatest gifts we can ever give another being is to really and truly listen to them. Listening, truly, is an art. Listening, without seeking to share one’s own opinions or points of view, is rare. To truly be able to listen, which is not to be confused with the mere absence of words, we need to quiet our minds enough so that we are doing nothing but paying attention to what the other is saying.
Most people rarely get listened to and most people rarely really listen. The average individual, whenever engaged in listening, is too preoccupied with thinking about what they need to say next to really be listening. They are too busy thinking about what best advice to give or how to share their opinions and thoughts about what the other is saying. And they can barely hold their peace long enough for the other to even finish speaking.
This is not listening.
Listening is paying full attention, not only to what words the other is speaking but to all means of communication the other uses — including their vibrational frequency. Oftentimes words do not fully convey what a being really wishes to convey. They may lack the courage to speak not only their minds, but even more, their hearts, or they lack the verbal skills to really and truly be understood.
The verbal part of communication is merely a few percent of all communication. The rest of communication is non-verbal, body language, tone of voice, facial expressions — and most of it involves energetic, vibrational messages that are not picked up by our senses but that we need to tune into with the Divine aspect of who and what we are in order to hear.
And so the art of listening is not so much listening with the ears. Nor is it merely listening with all of the five senses. To truly master the art of listening, we need to listen with all of our being, including our heart and our intuition.
To really listen, we truly need to be still, and hushed on every level. We need to be still enough that we may tune into the vibratory field that the other is emitting. We need to be still enough that the egoic need to master, to be validated, to be deemed this or that, is muted to the point where it is no more than a soft whisper in the background.
Listening does not involve handing out advice or sharing our opinions — unless specifically asked — and even then we want to be very cautious about from what perspective our advice or opinion is coming. We never know what course of action or what choices other people need to move along their unique and particular paths of unfolding. We can never know what is best for another from a spiritual and higher perspective. So, we want to always be aware that we cannot ever truly advise anyone about anything.
The best gift we may give is our full attention — allowing others to be where they are without seeking to get them to where we think they should be. As we become still, we turn part of our attention within to the still, small voice that is eternally whispering words of love and guidance to us, and we give part of our full attention upon the other.
This is how we listen.
For the most part, simply being listened to, simply being allowed to express what we need to express, is the greatest of gifts. When individuals are given permission to share from their heart, they become open and available to receive guidance and insights that will help to move them forward.
And so, perhaps using our breath, we may want to anchor ourselves in the nowness of this moment, hush and listen. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give another being. It is perhaps the greatest gift anyone can receive. A gift of love, a gift of God’s love.