Listening is so overrated. I say that because we all learn about how important it is to listen, and yet so few of us actually do take the time to listen. Yes, it actually takes time to listen. And the time it takes to listen seems like nothing is happening. Because we are not seeming to be doing anything. We are not talking and so we feel that we are not being heard. We are not taking action, so it feels we are not doing anything. We are not being listened to, so we feel that we are not at the forefront of the topic—like we are not important.
Listening is a big obstacle for our ego. Our ego is our sense of self-esteem or self-importance so when we are listening our ego has to sit on the shelf. It sits on our shoulders so to speak, and it talks to us, “I know the answer to this. I can help. Let me talk, please let me talk. Stop talking so I can dispense my wisdom. I know what to do. Stop talking and I can tell you what to do!” And so we interrupt. We say our piece, but does the other person really listen to our profound wisdom? Of course not. While you are speaking their ego is going through the same conversation. “Please stop talking so I can get a word in.” and so it goes. We call it communication but often times it is just people giving their own view-point, telling their own story and dispensing their own wisdom. I guess that’s why I enjoy writing. I can dispense my own wisdom uninterrupted!
And yet, I am listening to you. I decided to write this blog because I had gone through the experience of being depressed. And after years and years of finding ways to overcome my depression I realized one day that I have a suitcase full of combat moves to kick depression. I decided to share them. If you are still with me, that is wonderful because I listened to your needs, and here are some ideas. You may not try them all. You may not even try one; but somewhere along the way, something may click. Today it is about listening.
Depression does not want to listen. It wants to be the only voice. And it is a big, big voice. It doesn’t sound big when we are lying in bed unable to get up. Or when we are living our daily lives barely able to function. But have you noticed when you stand up and start going a different way, choosing a path of possible joy and contentment, the voice of depression will rise up, “Stay in bed. Don’t communicate. Stop working. Don’t take a walk. Don’t call your friends.”
Today, don’t listen to the voice of depression. Instead, listen to your loved ones. Listen to a therapist, listen to a co-worker who wants to tell you about their vacation, or the problems they are having with their teens, or your boss who has some new ideas and new projects. Listen instead to people instead of the voice of depression. Just for today. Because when you listen to the right voices today, and you do it today, and today and today…all those today’s become your tomorrows and pretty soon they become your future and your past and you are balanced in the middle listening and enjoying the experience of being the listener.