Sidenote #12-Listening….

“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”

-Epictetus 

“If you spend more time asking appropriate questions rather than giving answers or opinions, your listening skills will increase.” -Brian Koslow

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” -Winston Churchill

I have been reflecting today, and well to be honest, for many years on how some people tend to speak and some people tend to listen. Being the youngest in my family by quite a margin (10 1/2 years younger than my sister, and 13 1/2 years younger than my brother) I have done my fair share of listening, and been shoved out of many conversations. Being around mostly adults by the time I was 8 years old, it left me competing for attention and speaking loudly when trying to have my voice heard. I remember many occasions at the dinner table, after trying to feel out an open spot in the discussion, resorting to raising my hand as I had learned to do at school. It definitely made a point, but to this day I still tend to get talked over and bumped out of many conversations.

I feel there is a significant importance to those who listen, and it is necessary in any genuine, productive discussion to have someone who sits back and connects by lending an ear. I just wish the talkers would sometimes learn to listen as well. Give everyone a chance and take notice to the auditor; maybe since they have been listening they have a perspective that could profoundly add to what is being said. Oh, and when the words don’t come out quickly, just give someone a minute. Sometimes some of our brains are trying to find the words and are not produced as quickly for some, as for others.

I am a Pisces who was raised in a household of Libras, every single one of my immediate family members. I did not really realize, until recently, that according to my astrological sign, I am not supposed to be very compatible with a Libra as a spouse. Well, I happen to have surrounded myself with this personality type my whole life and nothing is changing anytime soon. My husband is a Libra, as is my daughter. It is what is familiar to me; whether I am supposed to be compatible or not. I do not hold too much substance to this, but I have definitely found that my astrological characteristics describe my personality very well and always have.

As I continue to write my father’s story and reflect on our relationship and all that is tied up in his life and death for me, I realize more and more every day. Today it is that I miss his ability to listen to me. See, he was a Libra too, and he was also a man of fewer words than most. He knew his convictions, but did not need to repeat them over and over in monotonous discussions. He lived by example and was able to sit back and just take the world in without having to comment on it constantly. When he asked me a question, he genuinely wanted to hear my answer and was not waiting for his turn to talk. I honestly don’t remember him interrupting and talking over me, like my mother did and still does. Our discussions, and even arguments, were calm and considerate. He respected my voice, and I really miss that.

So this is why I write. I figured it out. It is to be listened to with open eyes and ears. It is the only way that I, as a person with something to convey, don’t have to worry about being interrupted. A way to put my thoughts down, read them over, make sure my point is being made clearly and as precisely as possible, and then send those words out into the world for those who care to listen. If a response is generated, wonderful, but if not, at least it wasn’t obstructed before my thoughts were complete while trying to communicate it.

Interestingly enough while writing this I looked up my zodiac and this is my horoscope for today on http://www.astrofame.com:

Your usual determination has gone out of town and left no forwarding address. Of course, like any self-respecting Pisces, you continue to accomplish what’s demanded of you. But you sense something missing in relation to your motivations. Those around you notice it as well, so expect to have to justify or explain your occasional lack of pep. 

This pretty much sums up how I have been feeling.

Thanks for reading and listening! Now you may know better than those closest to me where my determination and pep has gone for the moment.

Love,

Anne

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