As a qualified Psychotherapist, I have been trained to listen. I listen to others on several levels; the words spoken, the words unspoken, the physical body, the emotions displayed, the transference in the room and the transversal to name a few. Listening is a skill that can be learnt but it requires a willingness to give oneself wholeheartedly to the other whilst at the same time never losing connection with oneself. To listen to the other, caring for them whilst constantly monitoring oneself and ones responses and ones congruence requires a special listening which can be exhausting and challenging.
This is real listening and is a gift to the speaker.
I dare to listen in this way because I learn. I learn about the other, I learn about humanity but the most rewarding aspect of this listening is I learn about myself. Having self awareness, the ability to monitor my own responses, when I truly listen, I discover more about who I am and with this self knowledge comes the ability to grow and develop.
I apply real listening in my writing life. When I write, I am listening. As the words form in my head and are transcribed on the page, I am listening to the deeper meaning. I monitor as I write, constantly aware of what’s happening in my physical body, my emotional state, the visitations from the past or recent happenings. I believe writing this way facilitates writing with emotional depth and helps me flesh out my characters and scenes.
Real listening is rewarding in both my writing life and in my day to day life, but it can come at a cost. It can be frightening to discover things about people or oneself you may not have chosen to know. Once knowledge is imparted and received it needs to be processed and this may not be easy. I choose to listen but I listen with care.
Will you dare to really listen? Try it and see how it impacts your writing. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I dare to be a listener.
Day 6 – Invaroran to Glen Coe Mountain Centre – 9 miles
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