I absolutely suck at listening.
Don’t get me wrong, when people are telling me about their life I’m actually pretty decent because I enjoy hearing about what’s going in the lives of the people I love. Few other things bring me such joy and fulfillment. Listening to people I don’t have particularly strong feelings for can be another story.
that is not the listening I am concerned about today.
What I realized upon flying out of St. Louis on Thursday night as I headed to West Palm Beach for what I knew would be a weekend of joyous listening to my friends, was that I had listened horribly to the encouragement of the 30 people I had just spent three days working on listening with. I’ve been quite aware for a long time that I’ve been awful at taking encouragement from others but I thought I had been getting better. Instead I realized that I had become better at quickly throwing words back at those encouragers to prevent myself from truly sitting in the love those words were covered in.
I had fallen right into another trap.
It is my new mission to listen better. To give more weight to the words of love and encouragment people have to give to me and to let them sink in before I even consider finding words of encouragement to offer in return. To stop engaging in the encouragment battle that goes on inside my mind and save my responses for the right time so that my words of encouragement will have just as much weight.
I will stop perceiving your heavy words as being lightly thrown and instead catch them with care, that is my new promise to you.
Thanks for having patience in the meantime.