Lately it feels like I am living with three walls, a husband-sized wall and two kid-sized walls. I am talking at them, not with them. I want to engage in conversation. To receive comments and followup questions. I want someone to be interested in what I have to say. I want a husband who focuses on me when I'm telling him seemly unimportant things. I want kids who respond and listen when I speak to them, the first time.
I am frustrated and discouraged. When I try to talk with someone it leaves me feeling unheard and unimportant, which is annoying, but also disheartening, like I should just stop bothering to say anything at all. So, in telling my husband what I wanted for Valentine's Day, it was mostly just another way for me to emphasize that lately, I don't feel like anyone is listening. I don't feel heard.
And then, I realized. How well am I listening? Instead of focusing on myself, maybe I should shift my perspective and make sure that my family is feeling heard by me.
I know that when my husband is talking to me, when my kids are talking to me, I can be distracted. If it's not the phone or computer, it's the twelve million other things going on in my mind. And, if I'm feeling ignored or unimportant, how must my family feel? Probably ignored and unimportant.
Isn't that what we all long for? To have our voice be listened to. To have our voice be heard. To have our voice be validated by others.
And how often am I doing that for my family? Or rather, how often and I not doing that for my family? I know I can do a better job. And, although I know that I can not drop all distraction and give them my one hundred percent focus every single moment (there is a seven-month-old distraction after all), I can do a better job than what I'm doing right now. A much better job.
Instead of worrying about what I am saying, I need to open my ears to what others want me to hear. I need to Listen.
So today, and from now on, I'm going to be better about focusing on my husband and daughters when they are talking to me. I'm going to Listen when they want to talk, because what they are saying is important, and I want them to know that what they want to say to me I want to hear. Always.
My family is the most important thing to me, so why shouldn't they feel that way when they are talking with me.
Everyone wants to be heard. And I'm ready to listen.