Are We Being Heard?

We’ve all been saying it. Some longer than others. Stand up – speak up – make your voices heard. A song keeps coming to mind … “say it loud, say it clear, you can listen as well as you hear.” Problem is, someone listening to the noise coming from our mouth is not the same as being understood. If we can make a difference, isn’t it our obligation as evolving beings to try?

When my husband and I first started out, our relationship deepened through natural processes. Our connection grew and life experiences expanded the bond. As years past, hurdles presented themselves – as they do for us all. Overcoming obstacles began to require actual work. Our marriage reached a point where someone or something had to give.

I’ve always been outspoken and opinionated. I was saying what I felt needed to be said – despite our differences in communication skill/technique/interest. We hit a wall. I made demands and issued an ultimatum. He gave up. We were on the verge of divorce.The root of the problems were different – separate – from what I voiced. Looking at it from only my personalized lens was not a solution.

I spoke based on my individual perception and expectation. It wasn’t until I considered his (very different – equally valid) perception, his side and grasped MY desire to make it work that things began to self correct. I wasn’t wrong – but neither was he. We both had to WORK and be considerate and grow in the relationship. It’s not a constant; it’s an ever changing interaction. Until I could share my side in a way HE could legitimately grasp, the message wasn’t getting through.

We want those with opposing views and stances to really listen. We want to be heard and understood and accepted. What we don’t want to see is the reality; not everyone is going to agree or understand or accept. There are times when we must bend or we will break. We have to work for what is important to us – if we want it to last. What some regularly forget is understanding doesn’t come through identical means.

When I see the disaster of our current government, I am naively appalled. I assumed there would be checks and balances in place to thwart these evils. What I’ve come to embrace as truth is this: those reacting defensively and brushing off the concerns of marginalized citizens – they aren’t hearing us.

What we need is for those in power to absorb the meaning behind the definitions. The implied truths. The literal realities opposing their comfortable alternatives.

I know how tired we are already. People want to pull away, shut it down – shut it out. Don’t want to see any more. Want to block out the bad and hide away in our safe spaces. Pretend it isn’t as dire as it seems.

I gave Twitter another shot after the election. A president who tweets so often, yeah – I need to be there – need to see. So I’m there – again. It’s serving its purpose. I am more connected to what is current. I see faster and more thoroughly. Twitter doesn’t play. There’s no hand holding. I like it – but … I’m starting to see what I see on Facebook.

People don’t want to see the harsh. They don’t want to lose the chill they’re trying to create. They aren’t interested in making new friends anymore than the people you meet in real life or other corners of the web. So, if you aren’t already famous or highly followed, good luck building those connections. Don’t lie to me, don’t be fake, but don’t say anything that will give me the feels or I’m out of here. That’s how it goes.

So I implore you, reader … If you have someone’s ear and they are resisting harsh truths – consider rewording. Consider giving some time to coming up with examples or alternative methods of delivering the same message. Attempt to frame the same message you’ve been previously offering in a new way. Don’t lie or scam – that’s not what I mean, but understand differences in perception impact absorption.

If they don’t get it – take the opportunity to TRY to find a way to help them see. If you have someone’s attention – if they are listening to you – do everything you can to make certain you are being heard. It may not mean the difference in whether your relationship or connection remains or strengthens, but it could help the rest of us in this community (humanity) if we make the effort to help others understand something/someone outside of themselves.

Let’s see if we can’t find ways to be Heard
by those who are listening.

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