by Lois Cheney
What is the First Rule of Love? It is to listen, to be fully present and to intently listen. Listening is a skill that very few of us have taken the time to fully practice.
What makes the act of listening a rule of love or perhaps an example of love in action? It is simply this: when we take the time to thoughtfully listen to others, being completely aware of, and in the “now” moment, we are truly accessing our own ability to offer unconditional love and acceptance.
As most of us are aware the unconditional kind of love that Spirit asks of us comes only when we allow and accept others to be just as they are without judging. When we take the time to thoughtfully listen to the ideas, thoughts, desires and fears of others (without formulating our own response before they are finished) we are acknowledging that “you” are as important and valuable as “me”!
Being willing to give attention to others requires effort and more than a little discipline. No matter how spiritual we feel we are, there is that little voice, mostly ego, which says we and our ideas are somehow “right”. However there are rewards in making that extra effort to give an opportunity to others to be heard.
If you have ever worked in a business situation you are aware of the value of knowing the feelings of employees as well as employers. Information and new ideas allow improvement in the workplace. Certainly in everyday life gathering fresh ideas can lead to broader understanding and the possibility of real wisdom.