Are you listening?

I do a lot of listening. Whilst working, and in my personal life too. Through listening, I learn of others’ stories, feelings, thoughts, struggles, wins and losses. Listening makes me feel connected to others. It feels great to learn that I’m never alone with my own concerns – there is always someone else in a similar place and by listening, and sharing myself, we can help each other feel supported.

Lately, I’ve been taking up a bit more space in conversations. The end of a long term relationship has meant that I’ve needed to be heard, I’ve needed those close to me to really be there, to really listen. Every time I’ve shared how I’ve been feeling I’ve felt heard, I’ve felt cared for, I’ve felt reassured that I am not on my own in the journey.

But I know, oftentimes, we don’t get heard. I chatted to someone a couple of weeks ago and as I was sharing my thoughts my companion repeatedly looked towards the door, switched focus to others in the room, and jumped in with their own agenda. It felt really disappointing, and I felt like I was unimportant and that my voice didn’t matter. The impact of not being listened to was huge.

In today’s busy busy world we have too much to do and not enough time. But I think it’s vital we start to take some things off our plate if only to have more space to hear each other. Loneliness is an epidemic in our society, and I think it’s because we’re just not seen and heard enough.

Truly listening to someone is one of the most powerful things we can do.

If you’re already a listener – you’re amazing. Make sure you have a couple of people in your life that can hear you too. If you’re reading this thinking ‘maybe I could listen more’ then practice. Take someone for coffee and really hear them, ask them questions about how they feel and what their dreams are and what’s worrying them right now. Be that precious space for them and know that whilst you are in that exchange, not only are you are offering someone something truly healing, you’re supporting yourself to realise others out there travel similar journeys to you, and that you are not alone.

With love as always, Hannah and Team Bird

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

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