we all have them. some of us have them once a day...maybe even once an hour. words come out of our mouths. thoughts enter our heads. and it's done.
we've asked for something.
we've built an expectation.
and then we wait....
this pattern has never been more poignant than in my marriage. i say one thing and have created what will happen as a result of said statement/question/request. whether the desired outcome is in an hour or a year, i've already visualized and fully created what that outcome will be. the poor guy is doomed from the start - he can't even surprise me with joy or love me unconditionally...because i've created what that looks like, too!
it's a recurring pattern in my life. so today i've taken a few moments to examine the impact. (it only took a few moments, because i didn't like what i saw). when i fail to take time to listen...to really hear from the person next to me - because i am only focused on me - i'm isolated. my world of self-created expectations, even when those expectations are centered on the happiness of another person, doesn't leave room for what's effortlessly in front of me. a couple hours to sit back and hear about the life updates of my nearest and dearest. a couple hours alone on the couch, with nothing to do but be still and soak up life. a spontaneous dinner with new friends. in grappling for control, the very essence of a beautiful life slips right through my fingers...leaving behind what could have been, if i'd only let go.
conversation is the means to one of God's greatest gifts - connection. the equation of connection, however, must be equally balanced on either side. an equal amount of intentional speaking must be met with others-focused listening (in my case, i need to double up that listening to speaking ratio...2 parts listening to 1 part conversing). in that space, where words are spoken and heard, opinions surface. thoughts are shared. life is opened.
and we connect.