The Lost Art of Listening
We wake to a screaming alarm or boisterous morning DJ, then turn on the morning news to be informed of the latest global horror, political tantrum, celebrity antic, and fashion trend.
Next we to rush to gamble our lives in the skirmish known as the roadway commute. We balance scorching coffee and consume empty calories while fielding emails,texts, and social media updates...then get dressed a second time, this time in body armor to safeguard our eight to ten hours of human interaction.
The volume of the world has risen in every aspect of life.
I’m not a fan of noise, and as I get older I like it less and less.
My coworker at the salon shared last week how she’d worked forty years in the industry before finding a place with the music that suited her. (we baited her with spa tunes and in-house laundry facilities) Decades of working to her full potential immersed in unpleasing to her pallet noise.
A scene in Bridges of Madison County depicts the mother cooking in the quaint country kitchen while soft sleepily jazz floats over the stove simmering with supper. Miles between her and town, the tractor's rumble and vocal strains from the livestock soothe rather than annoy, until stomping teenage feet, a slap from the spring tethered screen door, and a quick spin of the radio dial wreck her peace in under seven seconds.
Hijacked happiness happens so often we scarcely notice.
Whats worse, we expect to operate below pleasing and simply "deal" with it.
Basic Self preservation. I prefer to listen~ rather than have my ear pillaged and plundered. I limit or avoid global news, weather guessing, celebrity fashion disasters, and details of the torment served up in endless sound bytes and video snippets.
Control exposure when I can, to what I can, which sometimes means choosing to tune out and swim in the haze of white noise somewhere in-between.
But here’s the Ugly Truth...
I get annoyed by Flip Flops.
Ta donk, Ta donk, Ta donk...The gate and stride... Ta donk, Ta donk, Ta donk...
The deafening sound irritates my frayed threads of patience.
I know, I hear myself...Flip Flops... we all have our triggers, so there you go.
Unfortunately beyond the exhaustion, frustration, inconvenience, and my flip flop idiocy there's a bigger problem.
The cumulative toll of muting and tuning out had begun to make me unobservant and inattentive.
I found myself needing to make an effort and
practice a lot.
In the movie As Good As It Gets Carol stops Simon from talking just to give him her undivided attention.
I mean she's driving...she signals, checks her mirror, pulls the car off the road and turns the engine off. Her full attention.
It's THAT important.
~ one of my favorite quotes is“I felt it shelter to speak to you.” ~Emily Dickinson
Providing Shelter = Good Listening.
Add it to your to-do list of Becoming the best version of yourself.
It’s necessary, vital, and incredibly rewarding, I promise you.
One day- each of us will seek an ear dedicated to us with unbroken attention.
Limit your noise and Practice listening.... and for the love of all things holy,
Walk gently in your flip flops
~chat soon, Laura
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