I have to confess that I quite like to be listened to.
And if there's something I really want to get off my chest, I find it very frustrating to be told that someone else has had a similar experience only slightly worse! Sure, the whole world is in pain but I want my pain to be listened to now!
Maureen Matthews, writing in The Age March 20 2016 gives some useful advice to those who find themselves forced to listen to a friend's woes for the umpteenth time.
She reminds us that while offering a sympathetic ear is indeed a great gift, we do not need to feel compelled to agree with everything that is said. Nor do we need to feel obliged to come up with answers to what we may perceive as the speaker's problems. In many instances, communication between friends will flow better when the listener refrains from interjecting their own point of view on the issue being aired. And taking this a step further, we all have the capacity to solve our own problems. We should respect this capacity in others and realise that actively listening to them in a non-interventionist, non-judgmental way, may be the most effective loving action we can perform to support them at that moment.
And then, recognising that we are all human, Matthews reminds us that there are times when we simply don't feel up to the task of listening. When we know that we aren't able to hear what we are listening to, then suggesting another activity such as going shopping or seeing a movie together may be a loyal friend's most loving option.
Paul Tillich, the great twentieth century existential philosopher and theologian said 'The first duty of love is to listen'.
EMF Balancing is a body of work that places our focus squarely on our potential evolution as human beings into a greater understanding and experience of the energy of love. In fact, from the perspective of life through the lens of the lattice (the Universal Calibration Lattice that connects us to Source) the fundamental emotional quality of our experience as beings of light and energy is love.
In a Phase VI session, The Templates of Infinite Compassion, associated with the hands, the receiver is invited to choose to practice attributes of mastery that are relevant to their understanding of what it means to them to act with compassion on a day-to-day basis. Phase VI echoes the harmonies that were first sounded in Phase II, when the receiver is invited to align with and activate the Templates of Phases I and II, associated with forward movement and self support. in order to move forward we need to cultivate habits associated with compassionate action like neutrality, joyfulness, kindness, balance, humility, gratitude, patience, compassion, communication, respect, generosity.
Effective listening with love isn't specifically included in the attributes of mastery associated with living a life of compassionate action. However, each set of attributes includes a 'wild card', an attribute that is not on the list that can be chosen by the receiver. Listening, I suggest, could be one such attribute. Listening with love may involve the practice of any or all of the eleven attributes listed above. And just as 'The quality of mercy ... blesses him who gives and him who takes', listening with love blesses both the receiver and the giver.
When we are listened to with love, we are more likely to be able to move into a space of neutrality with regard to incidents that previously aroused only violent passions. We may even see the possibility of experiencing joyfulness and gratitude that we have been listened to with respect and generosity, not to mention compassion. The experience of these powerful emotions may support us in adding more of them to our own lives. From being listened to with love, we may move into a space of acting with greater kindness, humbled by our awareness of our common humanity, knowing that we are all struggling with the same life issues and more ready to look for balance in our communication with those around us.
The common theme of Phases V-VIII is, 'Who are you?' 'How do you choose to express yourself through the attributes of mastery?'
Each receiver is asked, 'Do you choose to practice the attribute of ... ?' On an affirmative response, the giver affirms, 'In this sacred moment of choice, let us give the intent to strengthen the attribute of ... in every fibre of your being as you lead your most enlightened life'.
As human beings, who are we? Do we choose to practice listening in the energy of love? Let us give the intent to strengthen the attribute of listening with love in every fibre of our being as we lead our most enlightened lives.