Growing Deeper vs. More Familiar
The longer we live together, the more familiar we become with each other’s habits, language, and gestures. This does not necessarily mean we are growing closer and more intimate. Obviously, the more we share, the more often we share, the more we have possibility to grow deeper. But I would like to highlight an intentional way to grow deeper, and that would be through the art of listening. So I invite you to check out for a moment your personal way of listening. It has been said one of our deepest desires is to be known. To give the gift of ‘knowing’ to your mate, you must do some of the following things. Learn to posture your heart toward the person along with your ears. Do you hear what they are not saying as well as what they are saying? What is the intent of your listening…to fix the problem, to be sure you are right, or to hear their needs? Two factors marriage experts agree must be present: attentiveness and empathy. I like the way psychologist, Dr. Carl Rogers, put it: to affect change in a person, he said you needed 3 factors: unconditional positive regard, empathy, and respect. Dr. Rogers made it into the books for all ages because he brought about proven change in people using these 3 ingredients. So in your busy life, I suggest you use this prompt inside your head: Stop, Look, and Listen. Listen with intent to hear what is said and what is not being said. This exercise will greatly affect your mate and grow greater trust and potentially greater love and a deeper knowing. It will provide an experience of love and care to your mate as they feel known by you.