Have you yet reached that day when you look in the mirror, and what looks back is not you, but your mom or dad? It’s quite unsettling.
In reality I’m not the spitting image of either my mom or my dad, but I seem to be growing my mother’s ears. And apparently it’s true —
I was in denial — but yep, no doubt about it. Rita’s ears.
I love that I am learning to listen — really listen. It takes practice, and dedication. It really is a skill. I think I’m getting better at it. I don’t get distracted as much as I used to. I’ve practiced listening with my eyes open and my eyes shut…
There are myriad tips for how to listen better, to focus, to read body language. It depends on what you are listening for: Is it in the service of understanding? Creation? Empathy or compassion? In the service of me? Of you?
A friend of mine recently told the story of an experiment he and a few friends did setting up a ‘listening stand’ at an event. The invitation was for anyone to tell their story to an unbiased, non-judgemental person — to get it out. Hardly anyone took it up. My friend thought it was in service to the person that needed to ‘get it off their chest’.
In retrospect, he realized that in fact it wasn’t about creating the space for individuals to get their story out. It was actually about him, hungering to hear their stories.
The next iteration of the experiment will be “I want to hear you”, not “you need to tell me”.
That’s how I learned to love my big, every growing, somewhat knobbly ears.
I want to hear you.