Updated: May 23, 2022
When my sisters and I were growing up, I remember how we used to say "I'm about to!" when our mother would ask us to do something for the 7th time. She would get mad at us, telling us to do it NOW. It was at that point that we had no choice but to move, or we would be moved.
That’s how God is. How many times does He tell us to do that thing softly before He adds louder inflection? I guess, based on my own life reflecting, that it’s more than 7 times! Most of the time, we look for synchronicities, a repeat of something to confirm it’s importance, before we even hear the call for what we would consider the first time.
When we are children we behave like children. We should. When we get more mature, wise in thought and action, we realize what we did not know: It is best to listen for the call to move, and when we can respond the first time we hear it, we should. In most cases, at varying points, our lives will depend on our ability to listen.
Over the last year, I’ve spoken to friends about the call I’d been hearing to move back to the east coast. I didn’t feel a rush, but I knew to keep my heart and eyes open. Like I said, the “first” call was probably not the first. Once I started to hear and respond to the call, a year or more had gone by. One thing I knew was that if I kept responding to the little calls, the bigger ones would happen too.
It’s good that we can practice listening, and that we are not left to our own devices to figure out how. One would think it’s a natural thing, to listen well, but it is not. We are not all good listeners. Whether we have access to our hearing ears or not, we can feel more in tune with what each experience requires of us if we practice listening to spirit, to the heart, and to God, and in some cases, to others.
How do you know when you hear the right thing?
You don’t, at least not at first. At first that’s the tough part. It takes time to develop your sense (intuition) around what is right and true for you. There are many people, thoughts and voices to attend to, or not. Hearing the right one is not impossible.It just takes some time and attention.
You can start by feeling what is right. To know what the-move-or-be-moved sound is before it gets to that point requires practice in feeling the quality of the speaker who you want to hear: the types of things it says, the love and peace it conveys, and how its touch impacts you.
Like the way the breath expands the lungs, you feel it.
Not only did my sisters and I know my mom’s voice, but we knew the quality of it. We knew what would happen if we didn’t listen, and what’s more, we knew the difference between her voice and my dad’s.
As it is with all the things we care to pay attention to, we must establish a relationship. We must study to show ourselves what we know and discover what we are missing. What is one thing that you can identify right now that distinguishes Love’s voice/ touch? We must be in relationship and practice, holding space to get to know its impact and nuance.
Being in Relationship requires…
1. vulnerability. We can not expect openness when we do not open up space to be in communion. Same with the things we want to hear. We must be open enough with who we are so that that which we stretch to hear is interpreted in the same openness and lightness of being. If you close the door, nothing gets through, not you and not it.
2. intimacy. Though this may be a type of vulnerability, it’s important to mention intimacy specifically. Being “into” whatever you love means you know what it likes, what it doesn’t and when it speaks of things sometimes without a word at all. You are in to it. You vibe like it vibes. You keep pace.
3. quality time. Over the years and living in many different places, I have met a lot of people. My friends live all over the world, (probably just like yours since Zoom hopped on the scene) but if I don’t spend time with them, if we don’t share our story with each other, and if we disappear and never interact, I can not say that is a friend. We have a personal connection so I feel them, and they feel me.
It is the same thing with all relationships: ours to food, exercise, entertainment, meditation, pets… whatever we create union with. We listen for it and their “call” in the same way we listen to a friend’s (or at least we call them back). We show up with ourselves and for them because they matter.
I can admit that I am not at every given time good at these things, but I practice them. I practice the things I want to be good at offering. I want to hear and be heard. So I offer up my ear. I promise. Right now. I’m about to keep leaning in to listen and observe with clarity, cause if I don’t, I will be moved-
Always moved in the practice.
Gently, I pray it is so for us all.
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