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Learning to listen


”You are so busy reacting to what happens or does not happen in your life that you do not have time to savor your experience. You don’t feel your joy or your pain, your anger or your grief. This is unfortunate.

You are wasting so much time looking for answers to your problems outside of yourself. If you just took the time to be with yourself, the answers would arise spontaneously.

Learn to be present with your experience. I’m not saying “try to figure it out.” “Being with” is not an analytical activity. Indeed, recognize that you cannot figure your experience out. You can either be with it, or you can intellectualize it, which of course is an escape.

Every moment you are receiving suggestions which can help you steer the ship of your life back on course. But you cannot hear these suggestions if you don’t take the time “to be” and “to listen.”

Ironically, it is precisely at those times when you are most frantic trying to figure out and “fix” your problems that you most need to be quiet and listen.

You may not realize that at first. But you can’t help but notice that the more you try to figure thing out the more confused they get.

Sooner or later you will give up trying “to make your life work” the way you  think it should. And then perhaps you will wonder “why am I going through this transition time? Is there something in my focus that needs to change?”

And you will learn to listen for the answer.

Usually, when you are on a collision course, the answer that you receive is something like: “slow down, look around. Maybe you are not really going where you think you’re going.”

That might not seem like such a great answer but it is sufficient to help you take the next step. Slowing down and looking around is the beginning of correction.

As long as things are flowing smoothly in your life, you need not seek correction. But when the waters get turbulent, you would do well to pause and consider your course.

Just this much timely introspection would make a profound difference in your life. There are times when external reality simply closes down around you and the only appropriate place to go is within.

I am not asking you to meditate for two hours every day. Nor am I saying that regular meditation is not helpful. I’m just saying that there are times in your life when you need to be quiet and listen. If you learn to honor those times, you will save yourself a lot of grief.

The more you learn to listen within, the more you will begin to “be with” your experience as it happens. You will develop a partnership with your life, a willingness to participate, to feel and experience what comes along.

When you refuse to take time to be with your experience, it seems as if you are a victim of what happens in your life. That is a great self-deception. You have related to your experience as something you must conquer and control.

And when your experience refuses to conform to your expectations, you feel that you are being unjustly punished. That is not what is happening. Instead, you are merely experiencing the negative effects of your need to control.

You are not open to your experience. You are not in constant relationship to it. You are not in dialogue with it. It is no wonder that you have a love/hate relationship with it. You love it when it goes your way and hate it when it does not. Yours is a black and white experience. Life is either totally blessing you or totally punishing you.

The truth is that life is neither blessing you or punishing you. It is working with you to help you awaken to the truth of who you are. Life is your teacher. It is giving you constant feedback, constant correction, but you do not choose to listen.

Choosing to listen means surrendering to your partnership with life. It means accepting the dance of thought, action and correction. It means experiencing all of this as a necessary but not unsavory part of the learning process.”

Source – Love without conditions – Paul Ferrini

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