Destructive beliefs and opinions can lead to destructive behavior. Sometimes, the impulse to change someone's mind is healthy and courageous. But destructive beliefs are often protecting wounded hearts. If we take the time to hear their hearts, we may get the chance to change their minds. It's a start. It's a jumping off place. And it's hard.
The world is loud. The world is in a hurry. The world is disconnected. The world is trapped in disagreement. But it doesn't have to stay this way. We can stand together. We can declare a new truth. We can heal the division, bridge the gaps, and bring the world together. We can do this. All of us can do this. The world needs to be heard. We got this. We can make it happen. Join us.
Sometimes, the sound of love is hard to hear. It can be drowned in the noise, blocked in the traffic, and muffled in the chaos. But it's there. The voice of love is quietly whispering to be heard and believed. Sometimes it's hard to hear, but it's always there. Always. Even in the chaos, the anger, and the fear of today's world, we must listen for love.
Today, it seems like it's easy to dislike people who think differently than we do. Groups of people are categorized based on their political preference, cultural tendencies, or religious affiliation. It's easy to mistake the policies of an institution for the complexities of an individual. When we hear things we don't like, we can become angry, reactive, and bitter. We stop listening, and start judging. These judgments divide us, keep us from understanding, and make listening impossible. They keep us from bridging the gaps of disagreement and division. How do we find unity in our disagreement? Begin with understanding their story, put yourself in their shoes, and recognizing their humanity. We don't have to like everyone, we just need to understand them. It's the quickest path to unity.
Listen. When it's hard, listen. When it hurts, listen. When it's loud, listen. When you've lost your way and you want to give up, listen. When the world is at your finger tips and all seems right, listen. When it all seems pointless and you're losing hope, listen. What you seek is being whispered to you. If only you'd listen.
A cardboard is all it takes to bring people together. Something so small. Something most of us throw away. What will you use to change the world?
Being heard is the first step towards being healed. Never underestimate the healing power of your attention, your presence, and your care. Be with people, sit in the silence, and listen. All it will do is change their life.
If our love can hold space for paradox, tension, and disagreement, there's room for all types of beliefs and opinions. Division is a choice. Our love, our listening, must bring in, not edit out.
Our volunteers in Ireland have maintained Free Listening for more than a year. This is a group picture during a debrief session led by Helena Walsh. It's important to remember that Free Listening deeply effects the listeners as well as the one heard. The debrief session give us all a chance to unpack the powerful experience of being available to others. It's a time of reflection, reaction, and growth. It's a time to connect to each other and share with your community.
Sometimes, when life seems to be collapsing all around someone we love, we find our selves wondering what to say, how to be, or what to do. We may feel uncomfortable holding space for someone who is openly suffering or struggling, so we shut down, avoid, and close ourselves off. Or, often, we try to fix, to solve, or to be a hero. It's a weird thing, but sometimes in these moments of struggle, the most power language is silence. The most healing fix is touch. The most protective action is presence. Words are not always the most effective form of love. Sometimes there's nothing to say, only someone to be.
The heart of relationship is listening. When we make ourselves available to the mystery of the other person, we stop controlling, we stop manipulating, and we start accepting them just as they are. This is the posture of availability that Free Listening guides us into. It's beautiful. It's listening. It's love. It's free.
The voice of inspiration will never yell over the crowd. It will never fight against your distractions, your technology, or the other voices in your head. The voice of inspiration speaks in a gentle whisper, quietly reminding you that you matter, you belong, and you are valued. It whispers a life that ushers you into the future. Find quiet, find stillness, find solitude, and listen.
There's a lot of bad news out there. It seems like everyday, there is tragedy, confusion, and disharmony. We live in a broken world and sometimes it's hard to believe in love. But, if all we see is the brokenness, we will never heal. We can bring light into dark places, we can show the world something else, we can be a voice for unity and understanding. You are real. Love is real. And we are listening.
Where there is joy, there is listening. Where there is love, there is listening. Where there is hope, there is listening. Everyone has a badge, this is ours.
Today, give your mother the gift of your attention, and receive the gift of her wisdom. Ask her question, listen to her response, and remember where you came from. A mother's strength come from many places, but the strength of their wisdom is only received when we listen. Today, we honor those who brought us into this world, and we also honor the those who teach us how to navigate through it. To those who are mothers, who want to be mothers, and those who use their strength to mother the ones who are lost, we honor you, we thank you, and we are listening. Listen to your mother.