Don’t fret. I used to be one, but I’ve been fine-tuning my skill, and you can too.
I believe, you’ll want to improve your listening because good listeners have fulfilling relationships and are more apt to experience good health.
Regarding relationships, as you look to improve your listening ability, there are destructive behavioral habits you’ll need to be aware of and abandon. (Several habits detailed in Are you really listening?: Keys to Successful Communication – Donoghue & Siegel)
Rude – Do you interrupt others while they speak? If you make the moment about you, you’re not listening, not considering another’s thoughts and feelings, and you’re certainly not being courteous. Rudeness is an unhealthy behavior for a relationship.
Savior – Do you give others undivided attention because you believe you’re the one to solve their problems? When you think of yourself as a savior, you can’t hear the real need or come up with sound solutions. You merely add to their challenges.
Target – Do you stop listening when you perceive another’s words to be critical of you? Low self-esteem flows from a victim-mentality and this self-centeredness takes offense at everything said, turning it inward. When you’re a target, you miss the point of conversations. It’s hard to listen when you’re defensive.
Waiter – You don’t interrupt, but you don’t listen either. You just wait. You don’t really care what others say. You just want them to stop talking so you can begin. It’s all about you.
Recognizing these habits to be wrong enables you to challenge and replace them with the building blocks that nourish relationships: love and respect.
So, how can improved listening skills benefit your health? Perhaps, a link between spirituality and health provides the answer.
The University of Michigan Health System recently reported, “Scientific researchers and clergy alike believe in the positive relationship between spirituality and health. Regardless of the religion, evidence points to a connection between the two.”
The building blocks of love and respect are vital to relationships because they are spiritual qualities. You express them because you are spiritual, whether you know it or not. Just as love and respect are spiritual qualities, health, as well, is being considered more as a spiritual quality or spiritual state of being rather than a material condition.
This is why your mental state affects your physical state, and, as well, why good health requires good listening. The more you listen to the divine as you pray, the more your body will express divine order and harmony.
If you are a poor listener to family and friends, most likely, you’re also closed-minded to the inspirations from Spirit. This listening deficiency is harmful because only in the stillness of prayer do you receive the spiritual ideas and power that produce healing.
Again, consider abandoning hurtful behavioral habits in order to improve your health.
Rude – Do you interrupt the divine? If you make every moment about your problems and wants, you’re not listening, not considering how spiritually loved and cared for you are, right now. Studies show that those who pray (really listen) are happier and healthier.
Savior – When you believe you’re a savior, you usually don’t hear the real need or find the right solution. Even Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” He demonstrated that humility and selflessness lead to a spiritual mastery of mind and body.
Target – Do you stop listening because you’re convinced the divine doesn’t approve of you or has lost sight of you? You are Spirit’s image and likeness. You’re consistently loved and adored. As you begin to listen, you’ll learn how special you are, and improvements will follow.
Waiter – Perhaps, you don’t interrupt the Supreme Being, but you also don’t listen. You just wait. It’s time to consider that nothing happens in a waiting room. Everything happens at the moment when divine inspiration is heard. Stop looking to impress Spirit with your sorrows. Your remedy rests in what Spirit is saying about life and health.
Since good health requires good listening, I find this quote helpful: “In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. … The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers.” (Mary Baker Eddy – Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)
As important as listening is to building fulfilling relationships, even more so, listening is critical when it comes to gaining and maintaining physical health. Good health requires good listening. Why not begin right now?
– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com