When my buddy’s son was small, he talked incessantly. Born with Venus in loquacious Gemini, he jabbered continuously about tales he’d learn or what he’d seen on tv that morning. His mom is a affected person girl, however finally the sheer amount of phrases wore her down. Sooner or later, she remembers, driving alongside along with her baby chattering away within the passenger seat, she immediately couldn’t take any extra. “May you please simply cease speaking for one minute?” she begged her small son. “And instantly,” she instructed me, “his little eyes crammed up with tears. I couldn’t have felt extra terrible!”
Few emotions are as wounding as not being listened to, particularly by these we love. In his guide The Highway Much less Traveled, M. Scott Peck characterizes true, attentive listening as one of many best items of affection we will supply one other individual – and probably the most tough. There are occasions when it’s simpler, in fact — within the first flush of ardour, when the one you love’s each utterance is like honey, or when your toddler is first studying to speak. However to essentially hear even while you’re not within the temper, while you’re heard the identical story a dozen instances, while you’re nervous about one thing else, when there’s nothing in it for you personally – that’s arduous work.
It’s most tough to hear when individuals speak about belongings you don’t need to hear, issues that problem your worldview. Every year at Thanksgiving, with the Solar in Sagittarius – the signal of beliefs – many household tables are minefields, as we faucet dance round matters that we all know will invite controversy. This week’s Gemini Full Moon (Nov. 27, 2023, 1:16 am PST) falls a few weeks too late to lend conversational sparkle to your Thanksgiving celebration, however in loads of time to deconstruct it. How a lot loving consideration have been you in a position to muster for the bombastic uncle, the long-winded grandmother, the cousin’s political tangent? Had been you too busy attempting to be heard to essentially hearken to anyone else?
Once we quit pretending that we all know every part, we free ourselves to be taught from what different individuals should say. And if we flip off the cellular phone and cease texting for 2 minutes, we would discover that the girl sitting subsequent to us within the physician’s ready room appears scared to demise and may be pleased about somebody to speak to. Listening – that straightforward present of consideration and love, like holding open a door for somebody getting into a retailer as you’re leaving – makes the world really feel a little bit kinder, a little bit extra civilized.
In public, watching everybody round me texting away and ignoring everybody else, I’m wondering how on this planet they ever met the individuals they’re texting with. Cell telephones have change into like little pressure fields we supply to neutralize publicity to strangers. They permit us to tune out the raucous dialog of the younger males loitering on the nook, but additionally to disregard the outdated girl asking for instructions to the bus. We’re in worlds of our personal, jealously calibrating the circulate of dialog that has the facility to lubricate the gears of a attempting world.
The world and its individuals can certainly be attempting, and maybe we could be forgiven for taking refuge behind the white noise of iPods and banal cellular phone conversations. Too simply, although, inattention turns into a behavior that persists even at residence amongst these we love, and that’s an issue. Love, as Peck notes, isn’t just a sense, however a verb. It’s one thing we do, a little bit of religious theater we enact by way of actions giant and small. And listening, even after we don’t really feel prefer it, is a small however highly effective act of affection. That’s what my buddy acknowledged that day within the automobile, when her unwillingness to hear made her son cry. She took the lesson to coronary heart, and made up her thoughts from that day on to provide her vivid boy the present of her listening.
The Solar’s annual passage by way of Sagittarius blesses us with perception into our most cherished convictions. Once we faucet into our Sagittarius energy, we might really feel the urge to proselytize about our beliefs; caught up in our personal ideas, we’re prone to overlook that others see the world fairly in another way. The Full Moon in Gemini reminds us, merely, that listening – bearing witness to a different’s actuality – is a sacred factor and a loving act. Listening connects us to 1 one other – and it enriches not solely those that are listened to, but additionally those that hearken to them.
Writing and collages © 2002-2023 April Elliott Kent
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