Compassionate Listening is an Art
Compassionate Listening is an art. When offered through the heart of compassion, listening has the power to transform all concerned.
Most people have not been taught this art. Most engage in listening through the filter of judgment and shame.
Patterns of Judgment/Shaming when it comes to listening, include:
- Hearing someone’s emotional pain as complaining.
- Trying to deflect or talk them into seeing things differently.
- Attempting to “pump them up” or shift their focus.
- Shutting them down; walking away.
- Listening in this context, is a means to defending one’s own fragile ego. Its stops the healing process to maintain the ego’s status quo.
Compassionate listening means:
- Shifting the point of focus away from Self and onto the Other with the goal to understand the Other, not from one’s own perspective and worldview, but from the perspective and worldview of that Other.
- Hearing someone’s emotional pain with empathy and interest;
- Willingness to validate and mirror the Other, even when it challenges one’s worldview/Self perception (ego’s perception);
- Willingness to listen until that person is complete.
Compassionate listening reduces suffering.
This is because so much human suffering is caused by the perceived lack of understanding and empathy from others, which recreates an existential isolation. Compassionate listening allows an individual to be held within a safety of what my guides call “the Inspired heart” and the “triangle of light”. This energetic practice, which I teach, invites the individual to share openly while the listener remains connected to his/her inspired heart, radiating compassionate light throughout the share. By doing so, this rewires the brain. When someone is held within the heart of compassionate listening, it reduces the production of cortisol and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes an influx of healing hormones to serve the thriving of mind, body and spirit.
Compassionate listening is an art that always reduces suffering for the one who feels heard.
The Ego’s Resistance to Listening
Most of us human’s have an ego. The ego’s narcissism can prevent compassionate listening, if we perceive what the individual is sharing through our own needs and wants. The ego lives in fear and may perceive what is being shared as a threat. This may lead us to react in a combative manner or flee the conversation entirely. Compassionate listening requires the suspension of the ego for a time.
Shifting into compassionate listening is a conscious act to reach beyond the ego’s narcissism into curiosity and a willingness to understand the other’s worldview without judgment. This is an act of being awake, being free from our defenses of shame and judgment. Shame and judgment prevent us from true understanding and connection. They lead us to believe we have to control the dialog or flee to be safe.
Compassionate listening can feel like a selfless act, because it is one that invites us to be hollow and open to understanding another with a pure heart and open mind without any agenda that benefits our ego. This type of listening leads to deep connection with other, to our soul and promotes our spiritual development. Compassionate listening evolves us.
Compassionate listening is a sacred art that can heal interpersonal relationships, transform an individual’s trauma and connect you with a whole new understanding of self and other. It is a key to healing our soul and world.