Your relationships will grow if you learn how to listen. I pass a big beautiful flowering shrub every day. We call it the butterfly bush. The butterflies don’t make a sound, but I listen and watch them anyway. I’ve seen up to 20 butterflies at one time fluttering around it. Butterflies always cheer me up. The thing about butterflies is that they don’t say a word. When I see them they remind me of how delicate life is and how delicate people are. Everyone is delicate, they just don’t show it. They cover it up or pretend like everything is fine. Look deeper. Find out more about people. Be cheerful like the butterfly and just listen.

We have two ears and only one mouth and it reminds us we are to listen. Stop talking. Put your mouth on pause and use your ears to hear the people around you. God talks to you when you listen. You’ll hear Him too if you quiet yourself and open your ears. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to uplifting music. It helps me to calm my mind. It is in the pauses we get answers to our questions. 

Do you realize people want to be heard? How many times do you think in your mind what you want to say next as the person you are supposed to be listening to is speaking? If you just sat there and listened without thinking about what you will say next you might surprise yourself as well as the person you are talking to. 

So many people are preoccupied these days. There are people who hold their phones to their ears, and they do very little listening with them. There are people texting while someone is sitting next to them talking. How well can you listen when you are texting someone else at the same time? How well can you listen when the TV is blaring, or the radio is on? What distractions do you have in your mind that are going on while someone else is talking to you? How often do you evaluate this? We are so busy and we are so frantic trying to get so much done in a day that we aren’t even looking at what is happening. Listening makes others feel important. Listening helps others feels special and complete. Be giving and give your ears to someone. It is an act of selfless service to listen. It will grow your relationships more than you will ever realize if you just stop – and listen instead.