Review of Week 45 – Optimizing Yourself – Listening is an Act of Love

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Listening is Love

As I worked on actively listening to those that I spoke with this week, I found that truly listening to the people in my life was hard work, but well worth it. Dr. M. Scott Peck says it is rare that someone listens to you with their full intention, as people’s minds wander, or they are busy driving, or cooking, and are not giving their full attention to you.

This week I put in the effort to listen to the people in my life, and it made a difference. Instead of thinking about what I was going to say in return, I let them talk. I could tell they were aware of the intensity of my listening by the look on their faces, and they felt my love.

I also learned that listening is healing to the person you are giving your attention to.

I have a friend who is retired, and this week he told me about a friend who moved away to a gated community. I worked hard to give him my undivided attention, and soon realized why he told me about his friend – he himself was thinking about where he was going to live for the rest of his life, and I felt empathy for his situation, and actively listened to him talk for about ten minutes.

At the end of the conversation a huge smile lit up his face, as if he was happy he had told someone about his plans, and as if a load had been lifted from him. I felt like I had given him a gift that had cost me nothing. When he drove away, I realized that I too had received a gift. By putting in the effort to not interrupt him or change the subject, I grew and developed as a person through the conversation we shared.

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