What does it really mean to listen and to be heard?
To get a sense of what another is saying, requires full attention, not necessarily about what is being said, but the energy and need behind the thought’s, the words the narrative.
When a person wants to share something, or be heard in some way, it’s possible that their words may get in the way of them being truly listened to.
When someone wants to tell you something, it’s in the wanting to tell that drives the content.
Who is it then that is driving and directing the story?
Who is it then that is speaking?
And who is it that wants to be seen and heard?
The desire to relate, to attach and to connect starts before language and thought and even before impulse. Of course this need to bond with another is paramount to our very survival and existence, yet is this drive more than just that?
Are we just separate and isolated individuals looking to belong?
Or are we one organism and a multitude of separateness looking for a reconnection of singularity or oneness, just one being showing up as many?
Some philosophers and many religious authorities often elevate their theories as they point to the transcendent upward motion and drive toward merging with something other than themselves. In this hope the divine or mythic deity or godhead will hear them and embrace them and all will be well.
And many psychologist’s may take their reductionism theories and suggest that this drive to connect and be heard is an infantile attempt toward attachment, to reconnect as far back is possible, toward safety and maybe even as regressive as the oceanic bliss felt in the womb experience. (If indeed your prenatal experience was a blissful one?)
The first principal is referred to as the trans-rational and the later often the pre-rational, yet all to often they get a little caught up and confused with each other.
(See Wilber who has this beautifully mapped out with the pre - trans fallacy).
Yet on a truly personal level, listening beyond words needs heart, which naturally enables a deepening of your own self- awareness whilst in relationship. This is absolutely possible when listening is based upon an intention of open and receptive curiosity toward the self that drives the need, and the self that also then speaks the story.
These extraordinary moments of connection and real intimacy can happen in an instant, here lies the secret to truly hearing and really seeing another.