Lately, it seems, I am making more time for reflection. Perhaps it is the season; perhaps that I am beginning to find comfort in the artful practice of contemplative photography; perhaps it is just who I am and who I am becoming.
Reflecting requires a high degree of listening. That said, I am beginning to realize how I listen best. I prefer face to face listening … even Skype … rather than the phone. I have always found that the phone was not an optimum method of communication. Texting is really low on my list of communication methods that work for me.
So, I am finding myself leaning into anachronism and outdatedness. Something else to reflect on.
Do more ears help?
Sure, I want to be current and connect with people of all ages, but not at the expense of authentic communication.
Not long ago, one of my sons explained to me that he felt unheard during a telephone conversation. I empathized. I’ve felt that way a great deal.
In this instance, though, it was the technology that was to blame. I liken it to getting used to our toddlers first communication attempts. Our ears are keenly attuned and we “hear” words where others hear a jumble of phonemes.
Folks who use cell phones frequently are in all likelihood, more attuned to the nuances of what comes through the fibre optics, for filling in the blanks, for filtering out the static. Me? Not so much.
It hurt deeply to hear that a very dear person to me felt unheard. It hurt more when my attempts to explain were pushed aside.
But it helped me to listen to what was under the words, to know that I have listened deeply, uncritically, and with patience and will continue to do so.
We need to listen under the words, sometimes, perhaps often. And when we do that with love and patience, we will hear volumes.
A week studying mindfulness in a great deal of silence taught me much.
Dare I say, it has changed me for ever and always. I am deeply grateful for the privilege. I am best able to listen … in stillness, in silence…
We need to hear with our hearts.
And best of all, we need to reflect on what we heard and what we know deeply.