We talk to people in many life situations. We have dialogues, speak interchangeably, chat and converse. We talk at work, with our friends, partners, parents and our children. We exchange opinions, information, advice and comments. We listen and we are listened to. However, do we hear, and are we heard? What is the difference between these two seemingly identical terms?
When we are listened to, the sound of our words reaches the recipient. We recognize from their response that our words have reached them. The same happens when we listen, and we are the recipients.
What is it, though, that in some conversations, something far beyond the spoken words is happening, and we feel like someone was looking as if through us, deep into our 'soul' and heard what we have not said at all, but what indeed is somewhere within us?
Being 'heard' by another person causes an extraordinary feeling in our body and our whole entity. It's a bit like connecting an electric circuit, through which electrical current begins to flow, which is indicated by a bulb that suddenly lights up.
Sometimes it takes a few words, a gesture or just the other person's facial expression that can make us feel 'heard,' 'seen' or 'understood' - whatever we want to call what causes this feeling. When this very moment takes place, everything that was difficult becomes easy, and what was obscured becomes clear and obvious. We know, we just know what to think or do, although no one advised us or suggested anything. Such conversations seem to be the 'keys' to the world of our inner peace and the mental clarity, which we don't usually have access to in our hectic and stressful life.
It is neither the length of the conversation that makes it so powerful nor the particular circumstances in which it takes place. Nor even the degree of intimacy between the speakers. What makes it unique is the specific kind of being, called presence, mindfulness, focus, or being here and now.
Sadly, we feel sometimes that we can receive more attention from a stranger than our own family member, for whom we are so obvious that communicating and talking with us is limited to exchanging problems of everyday life. So our soul keeps 'walking around' hungry and thirsty for enrichment and deep contact with another human being ...
We secretly look for this kind of connection as its field alleviates our pains, brings our will of life back, helps new ideas to come into being, dissolves our old grudges and resentments, and helps us to come to an understanding and peace. We need it just like air, water and food. It is the spice without which life has no taste and it is only an empty existence.
Being a human being is not limited to just consuming oxygen and earthly resources, but this means we also need food of a much higher subtlety. This need cannot be eradicated in any way. It can only be suppressed and muffled by the pursuit of material things. However, when the need is unsatisfied, it takes revenge on us for not inviting it to our lives, and just like the evil fairy from 'Sleeping Beauty', curses us to fall into a deep slumber in which we can only be awakened from by a true, selfless love 'kiss.'