I always start to lose focus when I think I understand what I'm hearing rather than feeling it.
There's a reason why we have a left brain and a right brain. They both have work to do. The left brain is logical...it grabs the meaning...makes sense of things...understands. The right brain, on the other hand, is feeling- centered, emotional, intuitive.
Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that logic (the left brain) is ALL that we need. Like in conversations, for instance. Once we get the idea of what someone is saying or even just hear the drift of it and fill in the blanks ourselves, we think we have truly gotten the message.
We have heard the facts (or, perhaps even assumed them). We have heard the sequence of how things transpired. We may have even heard the end of the story...at least to this point.
But what we have not done is FELT the message being sent to us. That takes right brain work...and a little time...and an investment of our heart energy. And we are not going to make this effort if understanding others is not our
priority...if we are consumed with what is transpiring regarding our own agenda...and if we are not tuning in to the emotional states of the individuals with whom we are interacting.
And, if any of these conditions is true and we are not really perceiving the emotions of others, we are missing the opportunity to participate in the exquisite experience of CONNECTING with them through our understanding of their heart.
The giving of a gift engenders joy and appreciation and connection...and connection is one of the greatest pleasures we experience. Feeling cared about... listened to...honored in that way...is beautiful and so soul satisfying.
When we give our full attention AND invite our heart to respond, we open a precious pathway of mutual caring and consideration.
Listening beyond the words someone speaks and really taking in the emotional impact they represent creates the most beautiful environment for the expression of compassion and empathy...in both directions.
Put on your metaphorical headphones...
open your heart to someone's emotional music!
Choosing the intention of listening BEYOND THE WORDS may be the most wonderful gift you ever give to others and yourself!
image of girl with headphones from colourbox.com
originally published November 23, 2013