In this second offering exploring our motto we are considering the line `hear beyond words`. We are told that only 8% of all communication is speech. However most of us give much more credence to the words we hear than the manner in which they are spoken or the context in which they are said. Not forgetting `hearing` the words that are unspoken.
It is easy for us to remain at the level of words. It can be so easy to hear the words and then judge and respond from our judgement keeping both the speaker and ourselves trapped at the level of words. Words à miss-interpretation à reaction : which is invariably experienced as a `lose, lose` situation.
Sometimes our non-listening can be disguised as the polite chat we engage in with others, it might be at work, shopping or just seeing people in passing. We have all done it, walking into Tesco ( other supermarkets are available) we pass someone we know and ask how they are without breaking step…as for the answer, how often do they or we call “fine thanks” over our shoulders. How are they really? How are we really? Might it be nice to spend a few minutes being honest and real with someone?
In this state of rush we can, and often do, miss the subtext, the context, the body language, the subtleties of cadence, pitch and vocabulary. As it is wisely said, hear what is not said, or, as Rumi said
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen”
Listen to the tone of the voice, the timbre, the hesitations, sighs and what is left unsaid. Herein lies the truth.
In the Open Sanctuary our aim is always to have time to listen, to stop and hear how the other truly is, to listen more deeply and tune into their language. To hear when ` I am fine` really means I am lonely/drowning/confused/help me and any number of subtle truths the other is desperate to say but has no place to utter the words.
In these modern times there is no `acceptable` place to go to be heard by a truly open mind. Yet there you are, in the post office queue, at work, with family or friends, a walking Sanctuary.
It sounds so easy, to just listen, however to do so consciously is another matter. Have a conversation with a friend and commit to listening to your inner motivation and see how it plays out. You may become aware of your desire to join in, to fix, to cure, to sort out, to advise, to know more, to diffuse, to make a joke, to cheer up etc. In other words not listen to the other as there is too much focus on your part in the conversation…when lost in these thoughts we are not hearing the other and, in truth, doing a form of what politicians do. Answering what we want to say rather than truly hear the other.. Discovering who you are when in communication is a huge step . For this self-knowing alone opens the door to hearing more
In the Open Sanctuary we aim to listen , just be there, we do not speak as the other feels our listening and is enveloped in the sanctuary we offer. Everyone has their own inner voice guiding them, we are just safe, gentle sounding boards offering a sanctuary for verbal release allowing them to hear their own story…. And their own solutions. Breathe, just breathe.