Posts Tagged ‘Being present’

Listening is something that does not come natural to most people. We like the sound of our own voices. We like our thoughts to be heard. We like to be “helpful.”

But are we?

Are we hearing or being heard?
In my experiences of being a counselor, conversationalist, and well…a friend, I have heard lots of listening styles. I do mean heard lots of listening….

What kind of listener are you?
I have thoughts about different categories of listeners. These are not technical terms or names, some styles I hear. I am not saying any of these are right or wrong, but there a different styles of listening for different people. There are also pitfalls to every listening style. You just have to find the right kind of listening for you.

The Match Maker Listener:
Some people communicate that they get it through matched stories. For example, someone is telling you their thoughts and you have experienced something similar. The match maker tells a similar story in order to convey their understanding and “getting it.” For some this form of listening works. Both parties feel understood. For others it can feel dismissing.

Strategic Listener:
Some communicate listening by asking challenging questions. Some people take what is being said and see the way to fix it. Some people need those questions of challenge and strategy. Some people need help in the way of direction through their processing. This type of listener helps others get to the hopeful desired end. However, some might not be ready for strategy.

Dear Abby Listener:
Some people listen with the intent to give their two cents of advice. Some people listen with the intent to share their own thoughts. Some people need the advice of others. We can get stuck, or even have blind spots in our own processes. However, Some people might not need/want feedback or thoughts yet.
Listening is Listening. Scripture says, “be quick to listen and slow to speak…” Listening is a skill. Listening is a sought after need. We so often forget that listening mostly requires just BEING present with someone, and really getting to know their hearts.

I want to challenge you to get to know what kind of listener you are. Not only that, get to know what kind of listener you need for yourself.
We all want people to see, hear, and know our hearts. I have found the best way to listen is to just be present. I ask the person if they even want feedback or just for me to listen without questions or thoughts. We can “get it” by hearing where the person is wrestling, and offering empathy not necessarily our thoughts.
However, I will say that if you find yourself saying the phrase, “How are we back on me?” or “I felt like I talked the whole time….” You might need to work on your listening skills.
Hear people. Listen to what they are not saying. Listen between the lines. Learn people’s hearts. Everyone is saying the things they are saying for a reason. Care about that thing. It matters to THEM!

What kind of listener are you?

What kind of listening do you need?

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Wow. What a week.

My heart and head are still trying to catch up with each other, not to mention my emotions.

The Catalyst Conference rocks me every year. There is just a great mixture of meeting great people, and content to marinate on. This year was packed with more people then content, but the marinating is still ensuing.

This year’s theme for Catalyst was Be Present.

This is a concept that is becoming more and more of a foreign in our world. Present is a segment of time, yet we don’t treat it as such. We are addicted to the “what’s next” in every area of life. We are addicted to what is presently happening in everyone else’s life.

We are constantly looking, searching, and trying to find.

I am learning just how much my heart has been begging me to be present with what is just going on inside of me. Our emotions have a way of keeping our hearts tethered to the present. I know I can’t out feel my heart. She does not go away.

I am in the midst of a huge transition. (more to come). I feel winded in the deepest of ways. So many times during the conference I felt the deep beginnings of surfacing sobs. My hearts way of beckoning me.

Being present takes surrendering; even when it comes to the heart.

So I stood surrendered and the tears flowed. You see, being present with our hearts enables the ability to know where we are, which enables the reality of where God is and wants to be.

Being present with our hearts enables the pain to be real and felt. Choosing to be surrendered to the present state of our hearts allows our body to exhale from the breath we’ve been holding tight; even if the tears follow fast.

Surrendering to the presence of my own heart has highlighted the areas of silenced ache in me. I see so much room for the healer and comforter that was blocked by my own survival skills. He is patient and waiting.

Surrendering does not mean it’s all just easier. It’s honestly harder before it gets better. We are made to feel. We are wired for a healer.

Being present is watching with the hope of one day’s renewing, and breathing through right now’s exhaustion and pain.

What does it look like for you to be present with your own heart?

What blocks you from being present?


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