Monday, February 9, 2009


The ear is the first organ to develop on the fetus, and the last one to shut down upon death. It is related to the conch shell in terms of the shape and the fact that it enhances our ability to hear. The eyes can be fooled by optical illusions. There is no equivalent for the ears.

What is ultimately important, however, is that we develop our ability to listen. I have a friend who is deaf and is one of the most adept listeners I have ever met. I had a father with fully functioning ears who didn't know how to listen to most people. No matter how acute our hearing is, if we don't want to listen, we simply won't hear.

How often we could avoid heart break if only we would listen. But active listening is something that most people lack in their training. Active listening has to do with focusing on what the other person is saying and meaning. Their verbal inflections, tones, and facial expressions tell us so much that words cannot express. But when we hear their words, we need to hear their words. We can't project onto their words our own interpretations and meanings. We can't let ourselves go onto tangents mentally and miss a paragraph or two of what they were saying. And we can't try to fake it or inject our own thoughts into their story. We simply must be in the moment and listen. We can ask for clarification and bounce ideas off the the person to whom we are listening. That way we gain more understanding. Most of all, we need to get ourselves out of the way of their story, even if their story involves ourselves. That way we can get down to the emotions that energize their story and help them, and ourselves, to grow through the energy that is in motion. This way we can get to the truth of any situation.

Blessed Be

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Penny said...

I hear you. It is something I am trying to learn.

Trent Deerhorn said...

No matter how much I discover on this subject, I find that there is always more to learn. The basic art of getting out of the way is something that was enhanced when I was studying Tai Chi.