Most people enjoying talking, well the extroverts do! Talking is not difficult but listening sure is. I don’t mean hearing people, that’s easy too. Listening is a skill that can go deeper and deeper with maturity, selflessness, and experience. As you know I am in a Spiritual Direction Internship. It is a wonderful program. I am learning so many new ideas and skills. One of the most important is the art of listening.
To listen well you must be in the moment. You cannot think about the past or the future. You cannot think of your own experience and how to relate it to their experience. Your experience may appear to seem similar but every experience is extremely unique to that person. In spiritual direction the director cannot take sides of an issue instead you just listen; no thoughts, no agenda, no leading the person just listening. This is a time set aside for the person who comes to the director. Listening is not just for Spiritual Directors it’s for all of us! Listening well builds the esteem of others, it builds relationships, and the kingdom of God.