Responding From The Heart

We often only halfway listen to those around us.

We think we excel at multitasking, but ultimately someone suffers because they have not received our undivided attention.

We mix things up. Or we think we know what they mean.

When we assume rather than ask questions, we proceed to take the task at hand to a new level which is probably where no one intended on going in the first place.

We take what is not about us and make it all about us.

We take other people’s experiences and throw ourselves into the equation.

While we might be affected by their actions, it seldom has little if anything to do with us.

On the rare occasion it is about us, we put ourselves center stage rather than in a minor role. What others say and do tells more about them than us. Our response says everything about us.

Why do we allow others that kind of power over us? Are we too insecure to trust our own instincts?

We have the power to keep their business about them by not responding or reacting.

No immediate reaction is usually the best policy.  A good rule is to breathe deeply before responding in word or action. Give yourself time to think. Step away if you must.

This attitude keeps things where they belong and in perspective. Those that judge us as uncaring for not reacting are still saying more about themselves than us.

We have the option of being part of the problem or part of the solution.

We have nothing to prove to anyone but ourselves. What does your heart say?

We should not choose our responses to impress upon others but to be true to ourselves while also keeping a clear perspective.

While others should not guilt, shame, bully, or intimidate us into seeing things their way, we should not operate with a personal agenda either.

We need to listen clearly. Trust what we are hearing. Act in accordance.

If we are driven by need, desire, or retaliation, it will be obvious in our response.

If they are driven by those same things, their reaction to our response will tell the truth.

When we take the time to communicate from a place of love and understanding, we can always find mutual ground.

Look, listen, love…you can do it!

Living in the Gap

April 17, 2012 –  Squirrel Stealing Birdseed

I see fluttering about the bird feeder we’d just set up. I am all excited as I think the birds have discovered it. I get closer to see a squirrel has looped his tail around the steel rod and is handing upside down shaking the feeder with all he’s got!

He drops to the base and fills his mouth with seed and lifts himself himself atop the wire to enjoy his snack. Who knew squirrels were such high wire acrobats?

He decides to get a closer inspection to see if there is any way he can eat directly from the holes rather than having to work up sweat for his meal. He goes back to shaking, shimmying, and swinging the feeder. From a distance I watch his determination pay off a little at a time.

Living in the Gap

April 18, 2012 – Designer Dress in the Sky

A jet rips across the morning sky, tearing a powdered streak into the periwinkle blue. Another follows below the line and then one above it. The sky becomes a striped blue spring dress. Contrails expand, soften, and fade into the blue much like patterned fabric after many washings.

43 thoughts on “Responding From The Heart

  1. Love your squirrel photos. When we first moved here the squirrels and I had running battles for the first two years. I love watching them, but they will do everything in their power to get at the birdseed and it took me several feeders to find a kind they didn’t destroy in their attempts. I could not believe it took me that long to outwit them – which makes me wonder, am I smarter than a squirrel?

    • Ha, obviously I’m not smarter than a squirrel either…but hey a squirrels gotta’ eat, too! I just wish he’d eat from his feeder and let the birds at theirs’.

  2. Well said Suzicate. Once I read in a book for knew pastors that the most important thing that you can offer others is your undivided attention.

    We have a squirrel thief as well here. He only has one-eye but seems to do quite well.

  3. Suzi, what an AWESOME post! So FULL of insight!

    I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is to be a good listener; not hearing what I assume, but hearing what is being said.

    “We take what is not about us and make it all about us.”

    That is so spot on!

    And of course, you know how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these photos of the squirrel. OMG…how CUTE!!!!

    “From a distance I watch his determination pay off a little at a time.”

    HA! Yes, they’re determined little creatures, aren’t they? But that’s why I love them so much!

    Happy Wednesday, my friend…..X

  4. You’ve put a lot of thought into this post, and it shows! So much miscommunication wouldn’t happen if we paused to digest what someone says before reacting in haste.

    • I’ve found myself thinking things at times that are way off base yet not much different than when someone takes something I’ve said or done out of context.

  5. I see you have acrobatic squirrels, too. I have a “squirrel proof” feeder and I have been meaning to take a picture and send it to the company proving it is not squirrel proof (they hang on it, swing it to knock the seeds out, reach their paws in, and guard it so the birds can’t get close). Where there are seeds, they find a way to get them.

    The “assuming”, “multitasking”, half listening behaviors …. they are annoying mostly because it is growing. Our fast society has developed this need for speedy answers, judgements, and responses. We are forgetting about patience and taking the time to think before we speak.
    This is also a bigger problem because of cell phones and texting … how many times have you been with someone, having a great conversation and it is interrupted with a text and instead of ignoring it, the person you are with tries to multi-communicate …. It does not work.

    • Squirrels just seen to be very creative and coordinated…and SOOOO entertaining!
      Yes, my multitasking skills are not as good as I think sometimes. I have a friend who can tell over the phone if I’m doing something else while talking to her, and she calls me out on it. Yes, she puts me in my place as I well deserve it!

  6. Ahh . . . listen with love. :-) I tend to agree with bearyweather about the communicating. Society doesn’t really slow down to listen.

    Love the pictures of your determined squirrel. And I knew. I have watched out squirrels perform amazing feats of all types of dare-devilness. They are very dertermined.

  7. When I obsess over little details in my life, I remind myself that no one else cares as much as I do.

    Love the squirrel pictures. His determination is admirable – talk about figuring out how to work the system.

  8. This post reminded me of Ruiz’s Four Agreements. One of his agreements is don’t make assumptions. At one time or another I think we jump to conclusions and then react. Often times we place ourselves in the center, when the situation may have nothing to do with us.

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