The Power of Listening More and Speaking Less
“If you have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever the language may be.” ~Gandhi
I was recently contacted by a viewer, Nicole Edry, a beautiful 27-year-old young lady who has been battling chronic pain disease for the past 4 years with her condition worsening. Along with her email, Nicole forwarded me a video in which she recorded herself and asked everyone to distribute it. In her video, she talked about her debilitating health and the dismissal of her medical condition by the health industry. With tears rolling down Nicole’s cheeks and her voice ringing of desperation and deep sorrow, my heart ached with pain and I was very humbled by her courageous journey. Having been deeply affected by her video, I promised Nicole that I would share her story.
God gave us two ears and one mouth for a very good reason, so we can be better listeners than speakers. By just listening with care and attention, we are showing love and compassion, which is all any of us really want from others. It was obvious in Nicole’s video that while she cried out for help, she felt no one was listening. Feeling like she was being dismissed by the medical profession, her sorrow and frustration just turned into pain and anger.
As humans, we all reveal our highest manifestations of ourselves through our self expression. It is when our voices are heard, our inner light shines out into the world, which is when we feel like we’re living in our own truth — the path to finding ourselves. When our voices are muzzled, our spirit is repressed, like a slave who has no say or rights about his/her life. As a blogger who writes, cooks, and hosts videos, I can deeply understand the importance of getting your voice heard and acknowledged.
To be a good listener does not mean that you have the be a good problem solver. Like a therapist who just sits there to absorb emotional and mental information like a sponge, a good listening ear for someone who is in emotional pain, like Nicole, can be enough to give solace and hope. When our voices are heard, we have hope that we can change our bad situation for the better, which gives us a reason to continue the fight with courage and perseverance. Nicole does not expect that the doctors will find an immediate cure, but she wants to know that they care and are making their best efforts to help her, and, by listening, it is the best way to show Nicole or anyone in pain that we care.
Listening is the foundation for any good communication. As good listeners, we become better speakers, so our communication with others, both in personal and in business, improves exponentially. When we have the information we need by listening, we can then provide a better response, making the communication flow more naturally. The most awkward feeling is to sit across from someone, whether it’s on a date or in a business meeting, and you’re stuck for words. If you take even 30 seconds to listen attentively to what someone is saying, even if the subject may not be of particular interest to you, it is possible to formulate an appropriate response that will engage the other person. When you become a good listener, others will also start to become good listeners, so the benefit of good listening is reciprocated.
A good listener understands all of the nuances of the message. So if you’re really listening, you will know when someone is saying one thing, he/she may be really feeling another way or meaning something else. I remember, one Christmas, my husband gave me a blender, and while I smiled and thanked him, if he really listened, he would know that I was disappointed. As women, we all want romance, and a blender does not speak the romance language! A bad listener can even attract negative situations. I had a real estate agent friend who got sued for $1 million by a client who was presented with a rental property but got rejected by the landlord. When I asked my friend why she was a victim of such a frivolous lawsuit, especially when the rejected decision was made solely by the landlord, my friend told me that she was not a good listener. Rather than sympathizing with her client for being rejected and inconvenienced, my friend dismissed the situation as no big deal, which made the client feel unimportant. While the lawsuit was so ridiculous, the client sued because her feeling of being dismissed turned into frustration and then into anger.
When we are faced with difficult situations in our lives, the most powerful benefit to listening is that answers naturally come to life’s most puzzling questions. By listening to the powerful energies all around us, we connect to the divine wisdom within ourselves and that of the Universe, which brings important messages to serve our best interest, as Gandhi said, “if you have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever language may be.” God speaks to us 24/7; the question is whether we are listening. The messages, which are the answers to our life’s problems, give us the power to make the right decisions in our lives. Refusal to listen blocks these important messages from being received, so we end up making bad decisions. One bad decision leads to another to another, and before you know it, you are frustrated and unhappy with your life.
The best way to become a great listener is to nurture the silence within ourselves. Through silence, we train and learn to become better listeners, which is why Buddhist monks meditate and priests pray for hours on end. In silence, we can hear the messages clearly and loudly, so we become confident in the decisions we make. Another obvious way to become a good listener is by walking a mile in someone’s shoes. If we can place ourselves in someone’s life for just one day, we have the possibility of understanding their plight and, and with understanding, comes compassion. If we can imagine Nicole’s chronic pain for just 1 week (which she has been enduring for 4 years now), we can understand the hardships of her life, which will allow us to have compassion for her. If her doctors would listen to Nicole carefully, they would have compassion for her, and the chances of Nicole’s cure and recovery would be increased.
When we become better listeners, we bring positive changes to our world because good communication leads to peace. In her email to me, Nicole wrote, “On behalf of all those like me, whose voices and bodies are dismissed and made to feel like we are not worth helping, enough is enough. It’s time to take a stand. Please share this video and help me spread the word until we can make change happen together.”
Nicole spoke loudly through her video, so let’s all listen to Nicole’s message and improve our listening skills. When we listen, we make our world a better place — and that is a good enough reason to become a better listener.
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living
Below is Nicole’s video: