We have recently reflected on the need to let situations, and sometimes people, go. Clearly if we are in an unhealthy relationship being bombarded with loshan hora (gossip), we are called upon to stand up against such behavior rather than utilize the listening skills I have been advocating. By contrast, when in a loving relationship, we have focussed on letting our egocentric viewpoints go, as well as expectations we put on others to change and fit those expectations. These often familial situations are the relationships that are the subject of this discussion.
As we adjust our mindset to be more open to walking in another’s shoes, we become more able to understand what we are hearing. With that come feelings of peace, and the renewal of love for another. All of that is true and helpful as we work to avoid the inevitable pitfalls of daily living with each other. Yet one more arrow, the most important one, to add to your quiver. . .
We have emphasized the importance of hearing each other. Sometimes, however, no matter how hard we work at that, our human failings get in the way. Either we don’t succeed despite our best efforts, or we realize that what we are hearing from our loved one is still difficult to manage. We just can’t communicate well no matter how hard we seem to be trying. As we lose patience and throw our hands up, as we acknowledge more is needed than we can do and let go, we make room for HaShem . . .
Sid and I were having one of those challenging discussions earlier this week. It was some routine planning attempt pushing all the frustration buttons when in the midst of the discussion, it was as if a light bulb when on that showed us why we were not hearing each other. HaShem opened our eyes at that moment to be able to see what was happening in our communications that was causing the frustrations. He was able to show us the trap in our interchange in a way that was not accusatory and so could be heard. We both could see what we were doing that was impeding good communication. And we both could see that it was our Abba who was using this example to help us over this dynamic we had been struggling with in our interactions with each other.
So yes, we need to engage in empathetic listening, and often let go in reference to a point we may be digging in on that is not that important. But the most important way we can nurture and sustain healthy relationships is by letting go, letting God, for through Him our words are blessed.