I recently realized that when my wonderful friend wanted to share with me what they were going through, which concerned what I was doing as well; my ears got what they wanted to listen to based on what I was feeling at the moment and my own predispositions about the situation. So I thought I was "hearing" but in fact I was only "listening." To this friend, when I realized the error of my way I did apologize for not hearing them and not being a good friend when I really wanted to be. So this is the reason for this blog. If we want to hear our friend, or anyone for that matter, instead of just listening, we should really clear ourselves first. Clear ourselves, of how we are being impacted, feelings about ourselves, our prejudices, our predispositions, our beliefs, our intentions, and hear from a place of pure love. If we want to hear we should be as an observer/witness with unconditional love to what our friend is saying; in the same manner that we would observe/witness our minds and ourselves ... a loving neutral third party observer. Is it easy? Probably not, since at the time that your friend starts talking, "first step," and a very important one, is to realize where you are at before your friend starts talking to you, and then you would need to take a little minute to adjust your tuning so that you can "hear" rather than just "listen." You might have to either stop them take a minute or two so that you can readjust, and if that is not possible then tell your friend that you want to be a good friend and you like to hear them rather than just listen so it might be better for them to give you a little time so that you can clear your head and feelings before they talk to you. However, if you miss the first step, well then it is downhill from there since you will not even get to the next step. The first step is always very important; to realize what you are doing and where you are at. For this particular friend I missed the first step and did not realize things until the next morning.
I do hope what I have stated here helps you become a better friend. And I hope that all my friends (specially this great friend) knows that I am sorry if I was "listening" when I should have been "hearing," which is what you would expect from your friend. I want to be a better friend and I will be following my own advice.
I would like to close with three of my favorite quotes about friendship from Kahlil Gibran. In the meantime Keep on Watching, Living, Loving, and most important of all Enjoying.
“When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you with hold the “aye""
“My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear — a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.”
"And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
Artist thoughts on life, love, happiness and spirituality.