I was going to say this post was not about music, but instead I’ll say it’s not mainly about music. Yes, I’m a musician, and yes, I appreciate when people listen to my music, so thank you for listening. (I hope you enjoy my music.)
But many times it seems that listening is a lost art. Or maybe the word “skill” would be better suited for that sentence.
A new friend told me something a couple of months ago: “people just want to be seen and heard.” We were talking about conversations that delve into philosophy and politics more specifically, but I think his words go even further.
A while back, I was hanging out with another friend, and I opened up about some personal thoughts and feelings; when finished I said, “Thank you for listening.” She replied, “You don’t have to thank me,” but I responded, “But I want you to know that it means a lot.”
About a month ago, I was on a digital meetup with new friends in other states, and I thanked them for the same reason. They listened to me. They allowed me to express what I needed to express. I felt seen and heard.
Last summer, I had a moment where I felt seen in a way that caught me very off guard (in a good way.) It’s weird trying to convey such a powerful feeling with words because language is so limited, but it’s generally the best tool we’ve got.
In the past year, in the inner work and shadow work and my personal journey, I’ve really come to more deeply understand the importance of being seen and heard. I think I have always been a good listener… recall might not always be the best, but I think I’ve got the listening part down pretty well.
There are many times in my life where I haven’t felt seen or heard – a bit ironic as a musician and actor, but a truth nonetheless. I saw the same sorts of things happen to my mother at times. At those times, I felt anger because I felt she was disrespected.
I’m a different person now than I was then; I’m slower to anger, and I have a higher level of awareness. I pay closer attention to my energy and notice more intently if people are amplifying or depleting it. I make a conscious effort to be more present and less distracted. I try to ensure that I’m listening to understand rather than waiting to respond.
Obviously I’m not going to claim perfection – I’m a work in progress – but I’m actively trying to be the most authentic version of the person I want to be. And I want to be a good listener because I think that’s important. I want to feel seen and heard and loved, and I’m going to do my best to be that for others. I want to be in the moment and show love, and I want that to extend to the people around me.
Listening is important. Listening is an act of love. I hope you feel seen and heard and loved.
Thank you for listening (and reading, watching, supporting, loving, and all the wonderful things you do for others.) Much love.