The previous post on listening inspired me to make February all about the nuances of listening.
Addressing how we listen to the positive statements about ourselves inevitably heightens our awareness to how much negative we take in each day. If you’ve really been listening to the nice things people are saying (as suggested by the previous post) you’ve probably also fought the inner dialogue that tells you to negate it. It feels more humble to diminish it in some way. You say, “it’s nothing,” or “it’s not important.” You may not realize it but there is a cost incurred each time you do that. That kind of humility becomes a drain on your spirit; the silent drip of each negative thought is the Chinese water torture of the emotional realm – it slowly, but surely eats its way through your positive view of yourself. How can your deepest Self trust you when your logical self doesn’t seem to think much of it?
What you have to understand about that piece of you that interrupts a compliment is this: it is simply your ego nudging at your consciousness – it is telling you that you should think about what other people think. It is not your true voice, it is not your Truth.
Once you realize this nagging little voice that acts as a shut off valve to your rightful positive input it will become natural to fight with it. Of course, it is just as unhealthy to negate and argue with the ego as it is to believe its assessment of you as truth. As though this inner tug-of-war isn’t enough it won’t take long before you begin to second guess which part of you is right – the part that feels loved and nurtured by the compliment or the part of you that feels the need to diminish it. The incessant push and pull can lead you to the point where you’re simply telling yourself just to shut up already.
And, as we all know, “shut up” is simply not nice.
Here’s a tool to use; simply acknowledge that humility response as your ego. That’s all it really wants anyway…just a little acknowledgment will go a long way toward quieting it down: “Hmm, that was my ego talking.” Leave it alone now. Turn back to the compliment and bask in it for awhile. If that voice comes in with, “yeah, but….” let it finish and then say, “hello, ego” and return to the compliment.
It takes some conscious practice but you’ll find that, over time, you’re adapting to a more positive position in life. You’ll slowly learn your value in the lives around you and ultimately in your own. You’ll learn your strengths because you’re recognizing them through both the eyes of others and your own. You’ll build on those strengths organically and soon you’ll have a better sense of your place and purpose in this life and in this world.
Listening can be transformative when you do it consciously. Just remember, it does take practice. If you don’t get it right straight out of the gate trust that it WILL come. By the time it is a part of you it will be so easy that you won’t even realize what a big accomplishment you’ve made – but someone will tell you and you’ll truly hear it when they do.