I came across a quote by David Augsburger and I have not been able to get it out of my head. He said:
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
I capital L – Love this!
I’ll be the first to admit that being heard is one of my deepest desires and, perhaps, is why I enjoy writing. People who write, in some respects, are doing it out of an innate desire to be heard, even if only heard by the page. I’ve spent entire days writing and editing works that I may never publish on my blog or anywhere else. And that’s okay. Sometimes my head and heart have so much information banging around inside that holding it in feels like being beat up. It feels like the opposite of love. So, I write.
I’ve always equated the feeling I get from writing with the feeling of being alive, or more accurately, coming back to life. Most days I walk around like a zombie – a friendly non-human-eating zombie – certainly feeling dead. But the days I sit down to write, I feel like my heart is being revived one word at a time. I feel like all of the pent-up mental and emotional energy suffocating my heart is being released. I feel something like love.
Today, it seems the world is one big ball of pent-up mental and emotional energy. There is a lot going on, there always has been, and it keeps building. We are in desperate need of a release valve, and I think Mr. Augsburger may have given it to us.
Hearing may be our release valve!
The reality is some people will not let you love them no matter how hard you try, but almost everyone will let you hear them. And (insert whisper here) they won’t know the difference! So when someone doesn’t want your heart, give them your ear instead. When someone doesn’t want anything to do with your love, just listen. I think you’ll get a lot further than arguing or tuning out completely because hearing’s only agenda is caring.
When someone says “hear me out,” it is a call. It is a cry. What they are saying, consciously or subconsciously, is “I need you to care.” Not, “I need you to agree.” Not, “I need you to give your opinion.” Simply, “I need you to care.” That’s it!
That is one of the reasons I am such a proponent of therapy. Really, I think everyone needs to see a therapist (yes, even you!) because we all need to be heard. We all need to speak and have someone sitting across from us hearing every word, caring. It’s powerful and healing.
I really don’t know how to solve the worlds problems. I don’t even know how to solve my own! But, I do believe you can always start somewhere. You have to start somewhere. Not with an answer, but with a willingness to find an answer. Not with a statement, but with a curiosity.
And I’m curious if hearing is not the start we’ve all been looking for.