Reflecting Spirit by Listening (and watching)


Reflecting Spirit by Listening (and watching)

A core practice of P2SW is Reflective Listening.  Seems simplistic at first, but then when you consider that many of us were not “seen” or “heard” in our early years of development, it is easy to discard it as just simplistic. And then when we acknowledge that most of our personality was shaped in those early times, learning to be an agent of change through deep reflective listening not only serves the “other” but deepens the Self.

At the core of relationships is the need for trust, number one on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Today, generally people don’t listen.  They stereo-typically either just talk or retreat into their cell phones. The discord in our country can be mostly traced to individuals collectively and reflexively diving into their divisive posture. “They” don’t feel listened to. Then they either fight back or just discount the “other.”  “If you don’t trust what I have to say, then I won’t listen to you.”

The significant increase in the rate of suicides* or mass shootings** can be traced to being ignored as a child and thoroughly not listened-to. Why would one want to trust others with that baggage of being abandoned and not having significant attachment to parental figures?

What P2SW understands is that we are all needing to reach out to be understood. Being validated in our relationships is what we need to exhibit our trust. And the greatest manner of receiving understanding is to give it. There is always the risk of generosity in giving away more than what we receive.

Eawaren, the Indian mystic, shares what others like Richard Rohr and spiritual masters have shared…

God is not outside us somewhere; he is within us, in the very depths of our consciousness…and within EVERYONE…We need to discover that we are not just physical creatures that need to be satisfied with physical gratifications, but spiritual beings made in the image of God.

Take a moment to take this in…yes, EVERYONE, and that by definition includes loving our enemies as well and loving those who have disappointed us and likely our primary partners who trigger early emotional loss.

Reflecting on the godliness of whoever is attracting your attention is a challenge and requires empathy and at times forgiveness.  It is Spirit meeting Spirit. Empathetic attunement comes easier when reflecting on another’s reality and to appreciate its origins.

Reflective Listening is the progressively deep connection between speaker and “listener, whereby mutual understanding builds trust between both parties, the extent to which insights and new purpose can evolve.” Empathy and forgiveness are skills that can be enhanced through dedicating oneself to deeply listen to the “other.” Simply by trying to listen to the essence of another challenges one’s sense of mutual reality.

*Suicides: 105 suicide deaths each day in the U.S.(2015) 2nd leading cause of death of 15-24-year-olds compared to 10th overall.
**3 mass shootings in 1966 and progressive increase to 43 in 2015 and more on the way.

David Lindgren
Path to Spirit-Warrior

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