The Listening Life * Book Open House #2

Hey Friends ~

Grab your dog-eared, underlined, highlighted copy of Adam McHugh's The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction and let's get this conversation going!

It looks like we're all in very good company.  Adam's hit a raw nerve that's begging to be healed.  Each Thursday for five weeks, I'll be putting two quotes on the table for discussion.  Even if you're not reading the book, the dialogue is absolutely open to you, too.

A big welcome to Adam's friends who've arrived here via FB and Twitter.  Whether you jump right on into the conversation or sit quietly on the sidelines and just hang out, I'm glad you found us.

Meanwhile, commenters have been brave enough to admit ...

As She-Who-Finishes-Her-Husband's-Sentences, 
I can always use a refresher.

Sounds like a perfect read for me!

I know I need help listening....

Definitely something I struggle with.

I'm looking forward to this new adventure of going deeper.

I hope I get it some day.

My internal chatter is definitely disruptive.

It was easier overseas to take the time to listen 
since we had few electronic distractions.

Definitely an area I need to work on!

At work, this is an area of ongoing frustration.

Telling myself to shut up rather than spouting off words of advice.

I'm ready to plunge in with new vigor.

Having the last word, or the first word, 
or all the words in between 
is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Listening is very definitely difficult and tiring.

I'm looking forward to growing in this area!

I can so identify with this.

Better listening skills is one way I want to grow this year.

Let's talk about ...

'But somewhere along the way we start to violate the natural order of things.  Speaking our minds and asserting ourselves take priority over listening.  We interrupt someone else because we are convinced we already know what he or she is going to say.  We begin to take up more space than we allow for others.  We consider ourselves experts on topics without anything more to learn.  We tell God what to give rather than asking what God wants to give.  We participate by speaking and sharing, and we assert our identities by taking verbal stands.  We shout our messages from the rooftops without knowing who is listening and what they need.  We view others as projects rather than people with unique stories to be heard.  We consider our great Christian task to be preaching, rather than assuming the listening posture of a servant.  We speak volumes, but we listen in snippets.'

Chapter 1 - The Listening Life
'Loneliness drives us to talk about ourselves to excess and to turn conversations toward ourselves.  It makes us grasp on to others, thinking their role is to meet our needs, and it shrinks the space we have in our souls for welcoming others in.  That loneliness would keep us from listening, and others from listening to us, is a tragedy, because being listened to is one of the great assurances in this universe that we are not alone.'

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