The longer I live the more I realize how important it is to listen. On Valentine’s Day, I listed 14 reasons why I love my husband on Facebook. First on the list was that he listens to me. I mean, really listens. Sometimes he gives advice, but mostly he just listens without rushing me or acting impatient. I was reminded again today how important that is. For each of us to find someone who will listen to us. I’m learning that it is the most valuable skill we could possess. When we listen we make the other person feel valued and important.
I’m a fixer, I think I’ve said that. Being a fixer means I like to give advice. But there are situations that can’t be fixed. Sometimes there is no advice to give. Most of the time, I’ve learned, advice isn’t necessary or even wanted. Simply to listen, without judgement and with empathy. I try to be understanding. I try to be a friend. In return, they valued and loved. That’s right. Loved. All of us need to feel loved. Nothing quite like it.
I have 2 friends struggling with relationship issues. They feel devalued and unloved. I want to help them. I want to be a good friend. The “fixer” in me rises to the surface, but there’s no way to fix it. I flounder for awhile, wondering what to say. I wind up listening, not because I know that’s what to do, but because I don’t know what else TO do. But I’m beginning to learn that that’s all they needed. They needed to feel loved and valued. They needed to be heard.
My favorite time of day is in the afternoon, when my husband comes home and we share coffee and conversation about our day. I wonder if that’s really rare, in our society and our time, for a couple to spend a valuable few minutes every day to listen to each other. Perhaps someone can tell me whether or not it’s rare. I don’t know. I know it’s part of us. I know it’s part of how we connect with each other. I know it’s part of how we stay together when dealing with a child with issues is so difficult. Relationships are hard. Children are hard. Sleep deprivation is hard. All three is really tough.
I wonder what could happen if we all began to listen to each other. How much love we could show each other. How much more valued we would all feel.
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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/94595697@N00/5626559847″>Turquoise & chocolate</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>