This morning though was different. Almost all at once, for a few seconds, everything was calm. No dogs, cars or people. All I could hear was the beautiful and joyous morning song of the birds welcoming in the new day.
This set me thinking
How much do we miss because of the background noise of our own thoughts and feelings. How well do we actually listen, and hear the needs, wants and desires of others?
Someone I know is great at ringing up to ask about the weather or how the dog is and could I just... What she is actually saying though is "I need help with...". Someone else I know takes on the worries of others and frets constantly: "what if... then.. it will be down to me to sort it as usual.". It is easy to lose sight of the issue, and too easy to think about problems in terms of how it will affect yourself. It ain't all about you, sweetheart!
I made a big and potentially dangerous error tonight. I took the dog out for a quick pre-tea wee, and just clicked his extending lead onto his collar, rather than putting his proper walking lead on. He saw his friend the puppy from across the road and ran to play.The small collar ring snapped, and the dog ran off, over a busy road and into a park. I was very worried and had to try and get him before he ran onto the road and got hit. Have you ever seen a fat woman trying to catch a whippet? A little girl came to help me, and as I explained to her the art of dog-catching: don't chase too closely, make it into a game etc, I realised that what I was doing was tempering my needs: to control, to catch, to be in charge and keep safe against his needs: a wee, a run and a play! In short I listened and heard.
So: your homework.
1 listen to yourself, and establish what you really need. Ask for help, but be really focussed and clear what you need and how you ask for it.
2 listen to the needs of others. Hear the real message, which is often not in the words...
3 remember: it ain't all about you sweetheart!