Have you ever noticed how we people often try to entertain each other by continuously talking in each others company? As if we’re almost pressured to say something, so the other person won’t think we’re bored or not interested in talking to them. I love these words of the Dalai Lama: “When you talk, you’re only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” But what could this possibly mean?
Does this mean that in conversation with others, one has to speak continuously and the other one has to listen? No… It means that if everyone would be focused on listening and learning something new, people would be more selective in the topics they discussed. I notice everyday that people just talk because they want to talk. The topics are often about daily life and tell nothing new or extremely valuable. Yes, it may be valuable to us. But are we always speaking about insights or life lessons in order to inspire another person? Or are we just complaining? Because when one is to stimulate growth, the other doesn’t bring us any further. Complaining about the past, even if it’s yesterday, doesn’t change a thing and complaining about the future doesn’t make you feel more motivated to face the coming challenges.
So what is the reason behind our desire to speak non-stop to our fellow humans? Do we want to feel connected? Do we want to be liked by them? Do we want the confirmation that we are interesting, fun, adventurous enough? Do we want to create the impression that we have exciting, busy, successful lives worth talking about? That we experience enough? What is it that we want to share exactly and what is it that we want to gain out of it?
Because if the reason is none of the ones I described above, then it also could be the desire to connect with one another. And the fear of being disconnected. Well, now the puzzle pieces will fall into place. Now we probably get to shine a light upon the biggest desire lying within us and every other person. The desire to feel connected. But let me tell you this as well, in order to feel connected we don’t need words. Not any! By speaking we actually split into two different person, when in fact we are already connected. Always.
We are always connected to each other and in order to experience our connection we actually have to do the exact opposite of speaking. Only when we become silent, we can experience our one-ness. Only if we dare to remain silent in each other soul’s company, we can truly observe ourselves and them. We can feel the light shining through ourselves right through the other present human souls. But it seems to be so hard. We are so conditioned to speak when we get together. We want to be heard, we want to be seen, we all want to be understood.
But we actually are. There’s nothing else to be understood than what we already are. We can only truly experience who we are if we dare to stay silent. If we dare to stay quiet. If we dare to listen to the voice that’s coming from deep within. That is always there. We can develop so much faster if we dare to just sit down and listen to all the knowledge that’s already available inside us. But we don’t. We are afraid.
Afraid to listen to ourselves. Afraid to listen to others as well. WE want to be heard. WE are the ones that want to speak. We all want to have an exciting story to tell. To make people laugh maybe, so they think we’re funny. To make mouths drop open, so they think we’re very adventurous. To complain about everything, so we don’t feel alone in our suffering. And as long as we don’t get rid of the need to get anything out of the conversations we have, it’s nothing but manipulation.
Are we trying to spread love by the words we speak? Are we trying to share an insight that got to us recently? Are we speaking in order to help another person, and are we speaking right out of our hearts? If not, well then stop and think for a while. What is it that I’m trying to get out of my conversation and why is it so hard for me to let go of that? Why can’t I truly listen to another person without thinking about what I want to tell? Because in everything we hear lies so much more than we think. But we first need to let go of our obsession of listening in order to respond.
If we really want to listen to what life’s got to teach us, we need to let go of the urge to speak.