Friday, September 16, 2016

Listen

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today's prompt is "listen." We would love to have you join us. Just hop onto Twitter on Thursday evenings and follow the #fmfparty. Hope to see you there. And a little business before I begin today, thanks to all who entered my giveaway of Colleen Mitchell's book. Gayl Wright, you are the winner!! 

Listen--to pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said, sung, played, etc; used to tell a person to listen to what you are saying; or to hear what someone has said and understand that it is serious, important, or true. 

I lay in bed last night listening to the rain go pitter patter against my window. As I listened, I found myself also trying to block out all the other noise around me. How hard is it to listen when so many other noises are competing for our competition? Yet it's so important for us to truly listen to one another.

It took me 18 years, 18 years to tell my families story of living with a mental illness. I am the daughter of a woman who daily lives with a mental illness. Yet so often, I find that people don't listen to stories of mental illness. Many are quick to jump to rash decisions and rash conclusions. Yet it is important for us to listen to one another; to listen to each other' stories.

Next month is Mental Health Awareness month. This past week was Suicide Prevention week. These are important times for us to listen to those who daily struggle. The truth is that I do not truly know what it is like to live with one of these illnesses. So it is important for me to listen to my family who do daily struggle. 

It is important for us to listen and then to "speak the truth in love" to one another. I am reminded of how we hear the words "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." As beloved children of God, God calls us to open our ears to what is happening around us. It can be so easy to want to talk and jump in, but it seems to me that there is gift in truly listening to one another. 

So let's lean in close and listen


22 comments:

  1. Such truth in your words. Thank you for sharing. I have believed for a long time that we never truly know what others around us are dealing with. The truth is that if we would just take the time to listen to them, we might better understand. Again, thank you. Joining as a fellow FMF writer! Have a blessed weekend.

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    1. You're so welcome! Hope you had a blessed weekend too!

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  2. Yes! A lot of us "listen to respond" instead of truly listening.

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  3. So true! We need to listen to one another- it is the only way we can gain any understanding of what someone is going through and often taking the time to really listen is the best gift we can give.

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    1. Lesley, yes, we need to listen to each other.

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  4. Yes, indeed. Listening to each other's stories is so important. And, listening without solving problems or talking is often better. I'm learning to sit with people and just "be" in their moments. Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

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    1. Annie, it is! You are so welcome!

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  5. Absolutely, Tara. Listening to one another's stories is key, especially when there is vulnerability in the sharing. I've struggled with mental health problems, as have several members of my extended family. It's not pretty but it is important to raise awareness. Only by admitting that we are struggling can we begin to heal and eventually help others who suffer in similar ways. Thank you, friend. It's good to be back reading your words again after my lengthy timeout! xo

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    1. Joy, yes. Reminds me of how Brene Brown says, "The bravest thing you'll ever do is tell your story." You are so welcome! Missed you too! xo

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  6. Yes! There is a gift in listening to one another. Thank you for this reminder. Just simply listening... not to have an answer or to finish another's sentence or to solve a problem... is a rare gift, indeed. Bless you, Tara. (Keep telling your story too!)

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    1. Julie, there really is a gift in listening to one another. We all need this reminder. Bless you too friend!

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  7. Tara, I cannot express how much I appreciate you standing with people like me, who struggle mightily with our minds. I want to gift your mom a copy of my book when it comes out. I want her to know that she's not alone and that God loves her in the middle of the mess.

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    1. Marie, so sweet of you. I love that you want to gift my mom a gift. I am not sure if she'll be able to comprehend it. She and you are not alone!

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  8. So true, Tara - you are an incredible advocate and friend.

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  9. So true, Tara. We do need to listen to each other's stories. To take the time to hear and respond. Without judging or replying with a quick answer. There is a place to speak the truth in love, and there are places where listening speaks louder than any words we can come up with.

    Great post, friend!

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  10. Beautifully written...Lean in and Listen. I just posted Tara...Blessings Diana

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    1. I'll have to come over and read you!

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