“It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak and another to hear.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Usually when I think about this quote, I envision myself in front of a classroom, emphasizing the importance of listening and truly hearing in building effective relationships. These are both important; that is an undeniable truth.

Today I’m struck with a completely different idea. Today what resonates with me are the times that I truly “can’t” hear. When I’m in overload and too many things are going on, my ability to hear others declines, or more truthfully, completely evaporates.

I’m currently under stress – there’s illness in my family, parental care issues to ponder and act upon, a business to run, children to take care of, a life to lead…and at times it feels simply like too much. I’m aware that I’m not at my best and that I find it hard to “hear” when others need my attention. The demands I put on myself and those placed on me by others creates noise in my head that blocks my ability to be present and fully listen.

So, for right now, I give myself permission to step back, regroup, and take time out for myself. By taking time out to find my inner strength and ground myself once more, I can then step back in with freedom and forgiveness. And with that, I can begin to hear again.

Where or whom are you not able to hear? What’s preventing you from truly hearing? What do you want to do about it today? Reflect on where you’re not hearing someone or something you need to hear. Choose to take action and begin truly hearing, or give yourself permission to step back, regroup, and take no action for today.

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