"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Love and Listening

"The first duty of love - is to listen." ~ Paul Tillich

The quote above says that listening is love's first duty, but there are times when listening is love's deepest joy.

Doesn't it just move you when someone takes not only the time but also makes the effort to listen to what you have to say? Doesn't that space just resonate with sacredness? Doesn't that kind of trust intoxicate your soul?

I just came back from my Christmas holiday and it hit me that when I am with the people I love, I do a lot of listening. Ok granted, I do a lot of talking too! A little too much most of the time! But if you know me well enough, you'd be familiar with my silence too. Sometimes, if we're close enough, you'll be bombarded by it, to the point that you may think I am not invested in our conversation. It may even seem that I'm bored! Many times though, I find I am merely introspective. It's like I morph from being part of the interaction to being a spectator. Just watching. Just enjoying being in the midst of people and their activity.

I realize today that I did a lot of that over the last three weeks. There were moments that I loved special, like listening to my nephew Papi sing in the shower, or eavesdropping on my parents conversing with their grandsons. I also got some one-on-one time with each of my folks and although I will admit that there are aspects of the conversation that weighed heavily on my spirit, listening to them was not only my duty as their daughter, it was also my joy. Even when it pained me, it was my honor to listen to their stories on how they are doing in this phase of their journey.

Thanks too for listening to me. For taking the time to read this blog. Know now that I appreciate that. Thank you.

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