It was a lazy day for me as my first appointment was at 10. I was lying in bed beginning to open my eyes around 7. Nadine had been up for a couple of hours and was putting the finishing touches on her beautiful eyes. She noticed that I was beginning to stir so she came into the bedroom and said, “Good morning honey.” I responded in kind and then she mentioned a conversation she had had with a new employee at her shop. I asked her about it thinking it would only be a short conversation.
She began to open up regarding her conversation. I got a blow by blow description of the encounter. The more she talked, the more details of the interaction popped into her mind and I found myself thinking that I was a fly on the wall reliving the exact discussion with Nadine and this employee. There were two thoughts that came to my mind as I was listening to the replay. The first thought came as I was thinking about Nadine’s need to get to work. The second thought came later as my mind started focusing on what my schedule would mean for me. Within about 5 seconds of each thought, I brought my mind back to the central issue at hand–listening to Nadine and her story.
It was during this 20+ minute encounter that emotions were shared by Nadine as she relived the conversation. There were times of pain as well as times of real joy that I got to see as Nadine replayed back to me an important part of her last day. At that period of time, there was no more important thing that I could have been doing than to listen to Nadine. I was hearing the deepest part of her heart. Her soul was opening up so I could see deep down who she really was. I was witnessing a person who was barring her true self to me. True connection. True intimacy.
What would have happened if I had gone with my fleeting thoughts and verbalized them to her? The conversation would have closed off and no connection taken place. I wonder how many times in our conversations with others that we never see someone opening up to us because we allow our thoughts to drive our actions and ultimately never connect with the people that are closest to us. It takes discipline to take the interrupter thoughts and push them out of our mind so that true connection and intimacy can occur. I have too many times allowed the interrupters in my mind to dictate the conversations. This experience has put within my mind a determination to stop the interrupter thoughts so that I can be the best listener possible for any and all that cross my path.
On this journey, God wants us to use the physical tools (ears, eyes, nose, touch, etc.) He has gifted us with and use them to connect with Him as well as with others. It makes the journey today much more enjoyable and fulfilling if we will only use what we have been given.
Great insight, Jim!