M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, wrote that the proof of love is willingness to listen. I expect that’s true with all kinds of love – love of friends, animals, but it’s also true in our day to day lives. The willingness to listen is a gift.
Listening is a skill I teach my speech students. I ask them to monitor their self-talk, that chatter that goes on most of the time in our heads, and see what it says. I ask them to pay attention to the words they say to themselves, are they beating themselves up? I say, how well do you listen to others in a conversation? Are you already planning what you will say and don’t really hear?
We could all probably benefit from that monitoring. Our heads get filled up with to-do lists, details, news, family issues to solve, how much time we have left before….., the list, as most human behavior lists, is endless.
It might be difficult to hear spirit’s prompting if you head is full of chatter. One of my favorite quotes from many many years past, “Spirit gives us nudges; shrugs when we don’t pay attention” is as true now (and always) as it was thirty years ago when I first read it.
How are you going to hear God’s messages if you head is filled with chatter? And if you did hear it, how could you tell that voice from all the other noise?
It is possible to retrain your mind. The way I did it was to practice saying “trust” every time I heard my mind chattering out of control. Practice is a good word. I could have learned to play the piano in concert in the time it took me to retrain my mind, but I did it. You can too.
It just takes practice. But then, living does too, so there you are.