In many circumstances, I've found listening to be more important than speaking. For many reasons - you learn more, it's tremendously respectful and generally speaking others are more important than oneself. Listening to others is a rare gift, one that I try to practice (with different levels of success) everyday.
Let's put that sort of listening aside for now.
There's a different kind of listening that I've never really thought about before last week - listening to one's own heart. Just as important as listening to others, listening to one's own hear is just as imporant and it's harder I think. It requires a complete absence of mental noise and a quiet confidence to hear the "song that's being sung from within", so to speak. The only type of listening that seems to be harder, is listening for god.
But, why is this so important? I think it's something that's contrary to our nature as social beings. We try to contextualize and create meaning out of ideas, and we have desires. There are things that we want. And in our own hearts, our mind is easy to draw us into selfishness. I don't know exactly what I'm saying, but what I'm trying to get at is there are so many things in the world that stop us from listening to our hearts and so many people that want us to "hear" something else. And that's what makes it crucially important.
We have to listen to our hearts to know what we really feel and believe. I thought for a long time about the power of "thinking" and how anything can be figured out if you think about it hard enough. But, I think that's erring. Some things require a stronger beacon to guide decisions - something that accounts for feeling, spirituality and morality.
In all its nakedness, listening to ones own heart is irreplaceable, and, I think that it's probably the only way to make decisions that matter most.
But, how to hear it clearly? And, it's miserable to hear the song of one's own heart and not know how to or have the courage to follow it - that's an entirely different matter.
And also, I think it's so hard - I can hardly express feeling to anyone outside of writing it and reflecting on it in a blog, how can I possibly be in touch with my own heart to listen to it?