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.