In one of my favorite Hallmark movies, which is called “Stranded in Paradise,” as the mother and daughter are meeting for lunch, the mother rants on about how she raised both of her children and working three jobs.
As the daughter endures this yet again, just like a broken record. The daughter had just been fired from her job. There was no use to even talk because the mom would cut her off and did, not listening or picking up on the chaos felt within her daughter. So she squints her eyes and gives a fake smile, thinking just stop and don’t even waste my breath, as her mother was not going to listen or even be positive enough to truly hear.
While I watch the squinting eyes and fake smile, as I understand her. In my own life, I just give up, as it is not worth it to offer or make a comment most times, clarify a matter that may pertain to me, give my point of view or just make conversation. Just be quiet, observe and listen, which has been my place in life, childhood through adulthood. I do try to interject at times and actually if I am listened to, I feel shocked and I feel anxiety build within me. I do better with one-on-one conversations. Sometimes even in that scenario, the same.
I find that when I think or even say whatever or never mind, I am done, I am totally frustrated and will not waste my time. I was just shown that I am of no importance or what I have to say is the same. While it hurts, I move on.
Usually, I will walk or drive away telling the Lord just how that made me feel. Reminding myself that I am not important and it brings feelings of rejection. It happens.
Thankfully, I don’t let it get me down as much as before but it does trigger that automatic, negative thought process. I recognize and can turn it around and move through the thoughts and feelings. I speak up definitely more than I use to, too. Counseling has paid off.
At other times, I am really infuriated when I am finally getting a chance to talk to someone face to face but interrupted by a third-party and they take over. Hello!? This happens all the time. This, too brings and reinforces the thought of that I am not important, I am a nobody to either party so I just walk away, hurt. Yes, I tell the Lord about that also. What gives? Am I really nobody, not important?
If I need to speak with someone and they are talking to another, I try my best to back away and wait my turn to talk out of respect for both but often not reciprocated, or I try again later.
“When you interrupt someone it says to the person talking that what you have to say is more important than what they are sharing. It shows disregard for the person and what they are saying.”
Am I faultless in this matter, oh no because I have spoken when I should have remained quiet and/or respectful. I catch myself and usually kick myself afterward, going back into a hole of despondency once again. While hating to be in that position, sometimes I feel it is best to remain quiet and just listen. The balance of listening and talking.
“ The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~Ralph Nichols
Writing this, I have been watching a situation play out for weeks now at my church. My Pastor is walking in my direction, while I am at the Welcome Desk closing up before church service, and he is already speaking to me but this one woman greeter always changes his path in order to have his full attention. The first time, I was disappointed, as I would have liked to talk to him, as he was already talking to me. This past weekend, the same, she grabs his arm this time to redirect. I see it happen but now I expect this in and from her. Little does she know, I already have her number from a couple of situations I dealt with years ago, by her. There is an issue but not worth my time, but I can pray for eyes to be open. Sadly, the games people play, even in church. Patiently, I wait, as I have done through the years.
The other day, I was reminded and screaming within, wanting to just leave the dental chair as I tried to explain a couple of issues after my dental surgery, which prompted this writing, as I did not feel listened to. Normally, I am fine with dental or medical procedures. It is hard to talk though when the dentist keeps trying to get his fingers in my mouth. Just stop and listen to me, please!
The day I had my dental surgery, he did not believe me when I told him that something was not right with the crown next to the one he was working with, well I was right, to his surprise. Too much pressure from the extraction and the seal broke and now dealing with not just one tooth but two. Once the numbing wore off and days ahead, I was also concerned of even the next tooth due to extreme tenderness, which had my fear of a domino effect. I ain’t got time for this! I felt he was not listening to me. I went into this appointment knowing I would have his limited time for this post-op visit and my anxiety was high due to pain and if another crown would be jeopardized from the pressure felt.
I think I know enough of dental procedures from experience and end result, it is my mouth and I am the one paying. I think he knew I was over this whole post-op visit and past week. Perhaps even now doubting him now from years of care and honestly, I was.
Please listen to me!
Talking and being misunderstood, always makes me feel stupid. Does it to you? When talking or telling something and being dismissed brings frustration. I have just learned to accept this way of life in myself and in others through the years. Still, I can desire to be heard. We all want to be heard and listened to.
I go to counseling and I talk, sometimes ramble but he or she listens, asks questions and seems interested in me and cares. Plus, to be heard, understood and to understand myself, brings healing. I have learned, too, that I do have a voice, which I lost years ago.
I find it somewhat funny to watch facial expressions, as so many are used to me being quiet. I think they are surprised when I do speak forth. It might be short and sweet or to the point, but I do say something.
Many times through the years in my office, calls or people will come in wanting to talk to me. My co-workers often comment that when this happens, I am requested, although they, too, could answer the questions, etc. I take time and I listen to them, not just re-directing them to another office., etc., which is what makes a difference.
As I have pondered all this, of the please listen to me, I am sure the Lord thinks the same with me or each of us. He wants only the best for us but we often ignore or don’t listen to Him. Still, He does not give up on us, He will keep calling and knocking until we listen. We can run but we can’t hide, as the old saying goes.
So for Him to give me grace when I have failed and ignored Him and did not listen, I can give grace to those that did not listen to me or take time for me.
In the end, I know He will never leave nor forsake me and He hears me. I don’t have to beg or pay Him to listen to me. Same for you. Trust Him!
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The Bible has many references throughout of hearing and listening. I never realized how much until I started writing. Perhaps He is wanting me to listen to Him and I need to hear Him.