What Do We Listen To?

We are on tenterhooks. The election is tomorrow. Our focus is on what we hear and fear. And yet we must focus on our own lives as well. What do we listen to and follow? In the word fear is the word ear. In the word heart are the words hear and ear. Through which ears do we listen? This is good to mull over.

We are all waiting the election results with trepidation. There will always be trepidation. When fears come up of whatever kind, I’ll ask myself what I’m really listening to? It will probably be some scenario that I have made super Hollywood real in my head without knowing the big picture. I won’t scold myself. I will just remind myself that I am scaring myself, and that is unkind. This is an opportunity to make hope real instead. That’s a far better kind of creativity.

Listening to anger and hostility of every kind, we might confidently know that we are hearing the cover-up of fear. But we will nevertheless be affected. It is known that horror films, for instance, are popular because fear is fascinating. One wants to know what awful thing will happen next. It’s seductive. For a moment we feel intensely, and that for some people is to feel alive somehow though it usually leads to a dead end. Best remedy may be to take on some soul-challenges happen and to really feel alive because we dared them.

There can be a vast difference in what we hear when we listen to our minds instead of our hearts. How lovely then if once a day we would put a hand over our heart all day and really listen.

When the news is skewed with falsity, when we can’t see the end of difficulty, when we are confined, but not by choice, we will have reactions for sure! Why not indulge in a conscious hour of complaint in the living room? Why not bang pot lids and stomp around loudly, yelling it out the way it feels? It allows frustration to have a voice. We won’t be nice, but we’ll be real. Meantime, it’s brave to know that what we feel is not permanent and is part of a long story in which dark and difficult parts have to be appreciated and overcome.

We can be very busy trying to make things happen or mightily busy trying to avoid what is difficult. When we just show up where we actually are, we are more likely to hear what now wants of us. We would be more response . . . able than ever without forcing outcomes and fixing things the wrong way.

Memorize a poetry phrase or a song lyric–something beautiful that you love and that will sustain you. Say it out loud often. Before long you will hear it repeating itself inside you all on its own. It’s a good thing to help tune you away from negativity and worry and towards hope and beauty.

We can practice listening to a song phrase or a poetry line that we have learned by heart. It will help to sustain us. We can also tune into silence. We can let it envelop us and move us toward what really matters. It may take some time, but many people experience that they are found in silence and embraced as they truthfully are.

Listen to the breath in your body. It’s the wind. It’s the ocean. It’s the susurrus of leaves in the trees. It’s your body’s song. Remember that you are breathing with everyone and everything. Make it the breath of kindness and let yourself grow immense inside.

We have a lot of false news that we can’t avoid listening to these days on the radio and TV. When we listen to our hearts, the news is never false. Let’s place our hands over our hearts gently once a day. With a little pressure we can make some gentle clockwise circles. This action is immensely reassuring. It makes it easier to live a heart-full day.

Without even knowing that we are attending, we listen to a lot of negative self-talk. Unconsciously we infuse ourselves with a running commentary of self-criticism. Agreeing with your adversary is paradoxical. When you hear yourself at it, gently say, “You are right about that” and then add the magic word AND. The sentence might then sound like this: “You are right about my . . . AND everyday I’m increasing in goodness and confidence.” It’s a valuable turn-around habit to have.

I have already heard jingle bells and it isn’t even Thanksgiving. It seems we are asked to live ahead of ourselves. And now with, the virus we also long for a t future, doing whatever we remember as normal. How much unlived life there is when we skip over our precious now. Times are hard now. But it is a real time . . . a reality. I don’t know about you, but I want to live what is. That will be the real journey.

Here’s a lovely quote from Eliezer Shore: “A listening heart is always open, sensitive to the joy and pain of others, offering a space within itself for the other to enter. It gives each person what is so baldy needed–an affirmation of their place in the world.”

There’s a very popular tune with these words: “Listen, listen, listen to my heart’s song.” When I think of listening to my heart’s song, I’m not listening to what troubles and aches may be in my heart but to its intrinsic joy, which gives me the courage to tackle whatever is needed and difficult. Joy, different from happiness. It has a way of incorporating sorrow and trouble. Joy is inclusive. “Listen, listen, listen to your heart’s joy.”