Why is it that so much of our communication with each other misses the mark? By the end of the day, we will have done a lot of talking, but can we honestly reconstruct all those conversations? Did we really get what others said?
The trouble I often have in a conversation is I spend entirely too much time thinking about what I’m going to say next, instead of listening to what people are saying to me. I’m up in my head instead of down in my heart.
[THE GREATEST DISTANCE]
It’s been said the greatest distance one will ever travel is the 12 inches from your head to your heart. Let’s face it, there’s enormous truth in that statement. And this long journey from our intellect/mind/brain to the center of our soul is a lifetime one. Even when we finally make it there, we can get lost again and have to find our way back.
The only way to be fluent in the language of the heart is to understand what it is and learn to speak it. As with any language, it takes practice and repetition.
[WHAT IT ISN’T]
Solely intellectual. Rather, it’s honest and caring and certainly not self-centered.
Only words. This is one of the most significant things that the head has a hard time recognizing. Communication is much more than just verbalization. Our looks, facial expressions and body language convey and communicate meaning.
Man-made. It’s God-given. The apostle Paul stated it best in 1 Corinthians 13: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
The first step is to turn our attention to God. Jesus tells us that when we look to Him, we are seeing the Father. He and the Father are one. Therefore, taking to heart His commandment to love God with our everything—all our heart, mind, body and strength—should get our heart tuned to the proper frequency. Then, and only then, can we go to our neighbor and love them properly. It’s not love as we define it, but rather as God does.
A special communication happens when we are truly speaking the language of the heart. It’s intense, honest, humble, respectful, caring. It involves your whole being, your undivided attention, and you can feel it. You’ll know it when it happens.
Listening with our hearts and not our heads open us up to a message we often miss. As with so much of living our faith, the key is to deny our selfish interests and be more interested in others. This is often accomplished by, to be frank, shutting up. Instead of thinking about what we’re going to say when someone else is talking, we need to give our full attention. We need to try hearing with our hearts, try speaking from our hearts. We need to talk less, listen more, and that may prove to mean more than any amount of talking could express.
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