Thursday, September 11, 2014

listening vs. hearing

Most days you start talking, your friends pulling out their phones, on and off looking at you or looking at the lit up screen. You keep talking, wondering how much of the conversation they are actually picking up. Then you get the classic, "sorry, what?" Or the "sorry.. but have you seen this post?" The best is when people open snapchat videos while you are talking... as if the screaming in the background is actually going to assist your conversation. It never gets old to finish your sentence, wait for a reply, and realize that they are still looking down, unaware that your sentence had ended; or that it ever really started. Is it worth repeating what you said, or do you just move on? The apology or ask to repeat yourself, as if they didn't have control of why you were interrupted.

Is it really that hard to listen to people?

When people listen to me.. actually listen to me, I want to hug them and thank them. Who knew such a simple, human instinct, could be so complicated.

We wonder why people feel so alone, or like they have no one to talk to. Are we ever really listening? Or do we just wait for an overly emotional instagram post, or a vague facebook status. Then the flags shoot up. We care then, right? When it's on our lit up screen, we suddenly pay attention. We ask others if we saw what they posted, wondering what might possibly be wrong. We forget that it would be so incredibly easy to just listen when they speak.

I am so grateful for technology and all we are blessed with in this day.. but it's taking a toll on relationships. I absolutely hated when my parents would comment on this subject, while my friends were over. Now, I can take a step back and realize.. maybe just maybe, there was some truth to what they were saying. (shocker.. right? ha ha.)

We need to listen not just hear.
We need to care now.
We need to remember that in the end, all of us just want to be heard.

We say things like, "You look so good," when someone has lost weight. Or, "You seem so happy," when they start dating someone. We ask, "are you okay?" After there is something posted. All these things are after the fact. Finally a flag shoots up to say something. Suddenly there is a reason to listen.

I want to know you. I want us to talk about our dreams. I want to hear what your future home will look like, or what your frustrations might be. I want to be all there, during conversation. Mind, heart, body, soul. I want to listen without waiting for a chance to reply. I just want to listen. I want to listen until you are done. In turn, I hope that you would do the same. I want to be heard. I want that damn phone to be put down for two seconds. I want us to listen until we are finished and there aren't any words left to say.

Never give it an opportunity to be too late.
Listen now.

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