From The Heart of Love
Are You Hearing What My Heart Is Saying?
By Scott and Shannon Peck
How many people in the entire universe really know what is going on inside your heart?
It’s amazing how few people know us. Even a significant other, a parent, or a good friend can be in the dark if they don’t have outstanding listening skills.
The rewards of being an expert in listening with love are absolutely extraordinary. The person you are listening to feels deeply cherished. You learn more about the beautiful gems within them. And you discover the rich intimacy that flows from two hearts in union. Listening is a love skill of immense proportion — so, let’s become experts together right now.
If you care more about yourself than another person, don’t even bother to read on. Listening with love begins with genuine love. That may seem obvious, but this is often a primary missing ingredient. If we love someone, we want to know their inner heart. Not to expose or judge them, but to discover the goldmine within their being. If you assume the goldmine is there, you will find gold. So motive is #1 when it comes to listening with love. If your motive is to impress someone, you won’t get even close to their soul. If your motive is to get something, others will sense your motive like a public billboard and you will experience intimacy at a very shallow level. If, however, your motive is to cherish and support someone, read on.
“What’s going on in your heart?” There are a million ways to ask such a love question. In fact, since love is infinite, there are infinite ways to ask a love question that seeks to unite two hearts. Forget the words. Let your heart say to another in whatever heart language surfaces: “I want to really know you and connect so you feel cherished and we can relate more intimately and genuinely.” Let your eyes and smile and body communicate the same message. There’s no faking here. Even if you stumble with the words, your eyes can be as transparent and magnificently clear.
And then, so often, comes the silence. Learn to love this silence. Silence is a giant love skill. Often, when you ask another person to speak from their inner heart, they will be silent — for several reasons. First, they are assessing your motives and sincerity. Second, they will often need to ask their own heart what is going on and give themselves the time and love to let deep emotions surface just a bit.
Staying silent at this very moment with your mouth, but not with your eyes and hearts, sends the message, “You are a treasure and I am remaining silent to let this treasure within you emerge. I want to know the real you.”
As their heart begins to open, practice staying deeply tuned in. How many times have you listened to someone and realized (to yourself), “Oops, I don’t have the slightest idea what they are saying!” Genuine love stays in intense, unblocked focus on an-other’s heart. Your calendar and your needs are temporarily placed outside your consciousness so you can live in another’s heart space. This is empathy — and it is a love skill generally missing in heart-to-heart communication. Why? Because we are so busy judging, thinking of our own goals, or wanting to get something that we literally miss the plane. The other person has begun to reveal a heart journey, but we missed the take-off.
Which brings us to the listening skill of all listening skills — validation. How do I know you are hearing what my heart is saying? Without some sort of validation that you have heard, most listeners will shut off the heart and move back to superficiality, out of intimacy.
Validation is a subtle love skill, but it flows out from a heart that is deeply connected to what another heart is saying. For example, if we had been listening to your heart for the last several minutes and we were deeply focused so we could connect with your true self, we might say, “What I hear your heart feeling as you read this column is that you truly want to be an expert listener.”
If your validation misses the mark, because you were not truly connected, or your motives feel short of wanting only to honor the other person, he or she will retreat to safer heart space. You may not see it, but it will surely happen. When you sense the loss of intimacy, don’t give up. Check your motives, tune in, get real, get humble, and start listening with love at a deeper, more genuine level.
When your validation is accurate, the other person will either say or indicate “Yes” and usually start sharing even more. This is how true intimacy flows like a magnificent river full of unending richness. Welcome to the heart of Love!
Dr. Scott Peck & Shannon Peck are Co-founders of TheLoveCenter, a non-profit educational organization holding the space for all humanity to live in healing Love. They are authors of “The Love You Deserve,” “Liberating Your Magnificence,” & “All the Love You Could Ever Want!” (audio set). Shannon’s new book, “Love Heals: How to Heal Everything with Love” will be available September, 2003. For lots more love, visit www.TheLoveCenter.com , or e-mail TheLoveCenter@aol.com , or call (800) 266-1525. Copyright 2003 Scott & Shannon Peck
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