Listening in Kindness

Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing. Song of Songs 8:7

At the end of being with a person or a group of people, I review in my mind what I have said and how the person reacted and thought about the exchange. I consider an email two to three times before I send it. Admittedly, I have shot off emails, texts, messages without review. The responses felt like backlashes and were surprising. I thought I was a victim. It was my fault. I do these reviews in business and never thought to carry that practice with my family and friends. I now do that too.

I have learned how to evaluate what I have said quickly. I am an extrovert, and that is not always helpful when you are connecting with another person.  Many times ego takes over. I know that I tend to have word vomit and I speak too much. I was not thoughtful of the other person. I forgot to listen with my entire heart and body. Listening is more than just two ears and one mouth. Listening is the most difficult skill to achieve. I am always impressed with people who gauge a person and can empathize with their pain or enjoy their company. My wonderful introverted friends do this so well, and I am learning from them.

My review of a conversational exchange: Did I fully listen? Was I fully engaged? Did I remember to ask if that person needed help? Please learn from my mistakes. I have to keep reminding myself listen, listen, listen. I also have to remember to be kind, be kind, be kind.





Thankful vs. Thoughtful

Being grateful and being kind are different processes but can be incorporated with each other.  Gratitude comes in many forms:  a thank you note, recognizing a person for their contribution in a group or tagging them on Facebook, or the reliable goody bag at the end of an event.  Thoughtfulness is similar to thanking by sending a note to say I’m thinking about you, lifting someone up, or giving a person an omiyage (a gift to bring back to family and friends when you have traveled).

I admit it; I am not good at writing in my thankfulness journal.  Honestly, I have written only three things that I am thankful for in that journal.  I have heard that if you write down ten things that you were thankful for that day, you are a much happier person and content with your life. I do pray every day and thank God for three things – the people that I have met, the people I am going to meet, and the people that I will never meet.  He knows the people that He will place in my life are people that will need the gifts that He has given me.

At times I have been thoughtful and thoughtless.  I catch myself and assert what I think people should know, or I’ve been a real jerk and dismissed the person from collaborating with me and missed a golden opportunity.

Sometimes I surprise that person in such a way that I didn’t think my thoughtfulness made a difference.  After 27 years one example has stood out for me. I used to send birthday cards to a lot of people before good old Facebook. I barely knew this person but found out his birthday and his address.  He was amazed and was thankful for that one small act of thoughtfulness.  I didn’t expect anything in return.  I don’t think he knew my birthday or my address.  At that age, everything was freely given, and I wasn’t guarded.

Life happened, and my thankfulness and thoughtfulness have changed.  I think I am more thankful and less thoughtful.  I want to work on having both equal and abundant and not be in competition with one another.

I am thankful for you my readers and joining me on this journey…..

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