+AMERICAN CULTURE – LOSING THE ABILITY TO *LISTEN* TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING?

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Are we losing our listeners?  Are listeners becoming an extinct species?  Who is noticing?  If nobody is left to truly listen to other people – truly listen – is it becoming true, then, that very few will even notice that the listeners are gone?

It is critically important to me on those occasions when I have a clear and strong need to be HEARD – that someone listen to me.  I have been left lately feeling like the odd woman out, like a total oddball, because I actually NOTICE that nobody seems able to listen to me — and odd because I care and notice that a listener cannot be found.

I just don’t believe this is only happening to me!  Listening – something an adequate mother/early infant caregiver MUST do for her infant during its rapid social-emotional right limbic brain’s so-rapid development in its first year of life.  This listening – tied to resonating and to mirroring her infant — is DIRECTLY tied to the development of emotional regulation abilities in the developing right brain – that will set the patterns (hardwire the brain) for an entire lifetime.

Safe and secure attachment cannot possibly happen without the inclusion of adequate – good – listening!

Is the lack of listeners tied to so many people now not ACTUALLY having received the kind of safe and secure attachment interactions in relationship with early caregivers that they needed to build an adequate right brain – so that MOST people now have a lifelong insecure attachment disorder (which of course they don’t know and would never admit)?

Why would the people who were not – perhaps have never been – truly listened to even know that such an experience even exists?

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As my own test-research subject, I do find it interesting, intriguing, even greatly mysterious that given the horrendously abusive first 18 years of my life — I am (TRUTH!) and excellent listener!

How did that happen?

I do not actually know, but as I write this it comes to mind that for all the long hours of forced isolation/solitary confinement that Mother included in her abuse of me from birth – I LISTENED!!  I learned much about the workings of the environment – and of those within it – by listening to the sounds of the world of my family going on without me being a part of it.

As I got older, as our family spent time on our remote Alaskan mountain homestead, the listening skills I honed included learning how to also listen to incredible vast silences of the wilderness.

Was I able to transfer my incredible listening abilities to a compassionate, caring kind of listening to other people (who are not disrespectful and hence obnoxious to me)?

It is a truth that humans have two kinds of hearing:  One only of the physical ears (physical sense of hearing) and another kind of hearing from the heart, a hearing of the soul.  No doubt as a child I actually used this second spiritual hearing probably more than I used my physical hearing — given the lengthy, bizarre and terribly long periods I was forced into confinement alone.

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So, I don’t know the answers – but it seems just totally WRONG to me that a society could ever begin to suggest (!!) that one has to PAY a THERAPIST to be listened to compassionately – to be HEARD?

That is SICK!!

It also seems completely sick to me to live in a society that seems to be losing all collective memory of what if feels like to be listened to – truly listened to – to be heard – to be resonated with – to be cared about this fundamentally.  People seem to be losing their awareness that a need to be listened to even exists at all — let alone that THEY have that need – that everyone has that need – that everyone CAN listen – if they knew it.

I am left feeling very very sad.  True, I long ago left my abusive home of origin — but I have not lost this sense that I am very alone – really – in the world — and that for all their chatter, for all their insignificant ‘yakking and squawking’, people are spewing empty, meaningless words that have nothing to do with their true self, with their soul, with compassion, with a quality of life that has value far past material pursuits and trivialities.

I am NOT mentally ill that I NEED to be listened to and heard!  I am not mentally ill that I know there is a great injustice in our increasingly sick culture that has so fostered insignificance in life that people no longer even recognize that we all need to be HEARD — which also means that we all need to be listeners when it is our turn!

Listening.  Being heard.  No changing the subject.  No ulterior motives, no advice, no platitudes, no slogans, no condemnation, no criticism or critique, no suggestions, no attempts to control/manipulate another person, no getting your own ‘stuff’ mixed up/added in while listening, NO DISRESPECT — NO SHAMING – just an honoring, truly caring and compassionate inner stance, an attitude of recognizing the sacredness of being alive – with our needs – to be heard AND to listen to others.

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