This is part 1 of 3 of a piece on listening.  I think this listening thing is a game-changer for me.

Who are you listening to?

Do you listen to Them?

I have.  Why?

Who are They?
And why do I give them
so much power?
Paralyzed by what They might think.

Nameless,
Faceless
Opinions.

* * *

Do you listen to Should?

I have.  Why?

Should is an ordinary, but insidious word.
The definition for insidious is really perfect for the way “should” acts.

“Should” entraps or beguiles; it is stealthily treacherous or deceitful;
it operates or proceeds in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect.

Should is that expectation that we hold for ourselves and the expectation that we think others hold for us.
Should does not let us enjoy where we are at.  It guilts us into thinking that there is always something else we should be doing.
How can I be present when should is tapping me on the shoulder?

What would happen if we shushed the shoulds?

What would happen if we listened to the deep needs of our souls, listened to Love?

* * *

Do you listen to Fear?

I have.  Why?

Fear screams:
The fear of missing out.
The fear of disapproval.
The fear of being wrong.
The fear of messing up.

Fear paralyzes.
Fear shrivels our souls.
Fear tightens and closes our hearts.

But Love breaks our hearts wide open.
Opposite ends of the emotional spectrum.
Opposite physical reactions.
Fear closes us off.
Love opens us up.

* * *
Fear, Should, and They are noisy in our world, competing for our attention.
Their cacophony drowns out the one voice that matters.

How can we move toward this?

                               This is how sweet and free of fear I feel now in myself.
                               Beyond opinion and judgment, undistracted by guilt,
                               I am walking strong and steadily home,
                               Not timid or uncertain
                               With my eyes splendidly clear.
                               All one pearl of gratefulness, no fear.

                                . . .

                               The Friend is still whispering in my ear, . . .    ~ Rumi[i]

Maybe it is in the whisper.

Can you hear it?  The whisper that leads you home?
The whisper that conquers fear, judgment, opinion, and guilt?

What would happen if we listened, really listened, to the One who whispers?

 

 

[i] From Rumi’s poem the King’s Lead Camel in The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks.

 

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