When life forces us to move on, there are lessons to be learned from looking back once you begin to heal. The problem, of course, is looking through clear lenses. The rose-colored ones and the ones tainted by anger will not give you an unobstructed view of what actually happened. Everyone’s reality is different. We know that, but I have an intense desire to see and understand both sides. It isn’t easy but it is the path – for me – for learning from my mistakes and doing better next time.
I have written before about my endeavor to be a better listener and for the large part, I have succeeded in that. However, I have discovered there are two separate kinds of listening. The first kind is easy: listening with your ears. I hear, I sympathize, we move on, or it goes in one ear and out the other. Oops. Well, sometimes you have to let it go to keep yourself from getting bogged down too.
The second kind of listening is much harder: listening with your heart. This is where you listen for the holes in the other person’s heart and you try to understand where that hole came from. It is easy to give your friends advice – good or bad. It is not easy to see clearly where their pain and needs and selfishness come from. This is where you have to be still and let your heart do the work.
I am guilty of being wrapped up in me and not doing a good job of listening with my heart. So, I have another new goal, another sticky note pasted to my computer that simply says “Listen with your heart.” New goals, by the way, are good. I’ll stop making them when I’m dead. In the meantime, I am alive and listening!