To hear something with thoughtful attention; to take notice of and act on what someone says; to concentrate on things around you
Since 2013 I have chosen a word to represent the year ahead. Past years choices have been words like joy, create, bloom and nourish. I usually don’t know the word I will choose until New Year’s day, but this year was different. I knew listen was my word for 2019 in June. It’s really not a very exciting word, is it? Kinda the oatmeal version of words of the year….something that warms you up and sustains you….but gets taken for granted in day to day life. So many times I am guilty of listening with my ears, with the intent to reply, to be heard. This year I want to listen with my heart, with the intent to understand. To listen to my Savior, myself, my family, my friends, my community and my world. To pay attention with my ears, my eyes, and my heart. To hear more than the words being spoken, to hear stories and the feelings behind the words. I want to listen to people the way I want to be listened to, I guess it’s kind of like The Golden Rule of Listening. I am so guilty of looking for a place to jump in the conversation, to preach or solve the problems being presented, instead of slowing down and allowing the person that has trusted me with their words to get their full thoughts out. I will stop thinking about how I am going to respond, and start thinking about how I can be there for the person in front of me. I will also listen to myself with grace and understanding. Boundaries don’t have to be explained or justified to others. If I need rest, then it is rest I will give myself, no questions asked. I will listen to myself with the same respect and attentiveness that I am giving others. After all, everyone longs to feel heard and understood, and this is a gift we all have the ability to give freely to the world around us. Happy New Year!!!