It’s ok to not always fill the quiet space.
Today allow me to give you permission to exercise silence in conversation.
Day 11 in a 31 Day Series. Catch up reading by clicking here.
In your comments on my post from Thursday, you can read it here, a lot you said you struggle with listening. We have tendencies to:
-think of what to say while they are talking
-quick to add our knowledge of the subject or our experience
-can’t wait to add our thoughts
-respond with jokes
I believe there is a better way to relate to others that will ignite deeper more meaningful friendship. Isn’t that what we long for? Meaningful friendships? Being valued and heard by others?
If I am sharing something about myself, the response that means the most to me is often a question to know more about what I’m saying or a comment about what was noticed or perceived, etc. I’m guessing you might find the same to be true for you. We want to be heard. Not necessarily sympathized with (or agreed with) but just heard.
It is difficult to keep our mouths shut when we feel differently. Sometimes I just know my advise or how I would handle their situation is WAY better. Isn’t it hard to disconnect our personal emotions to respond to them intentionally. To respond with what they need not what we think. Can I inwardly acknowledge my personal feelings and then to call out to the Holy Spirit for direction in responding? Voicing my two cents will most likely just shut them down or resolve them to not share on a deeper level with me in the future.
It is difficult to continue in friendship if we feel differently. I have a friend who is courageous at loving me in-spite of our differences. I know we feel differently on a few things yet she doesn’t make them a big deal in our bond. To this day we are best friends. The fact alone that she can hear me when I voice how I feel that is different from her, lets me be me. She doesn’t try to change me or make me think/feel like her – that is HUGE. Is she secure enough in how she feels to not have to persuade me to think like her?
There is power in listening. I’ve said that before. I remember the times when I’ve been truly heard. I long to do the same to others. What a gift. I long to listen and hush my
controlling heart to the mystery. I long to dance with the trinity, the Holy Spirit and allow that voice to lead me.
The mystery of not planning what to say next is uncomfortable. Am I brave enough to give space in my heart for this curious Holy Spirit to move? What if there is no movement? Can I trust it’s leading in my heart? That, my friend, is a big question and a whole. other. series!