The best advice I ever received was this: to suspend my certainty about what I think I know.
I heard it from a trainer who was going through the pre-lecture bit of warming us attendees up for the task of listening. We were all clinicians and many of us, myself included, were sitting there wondering how much of what they would cover did we already know, like in so many other trainings. Like in so many conversations.
I’ll tell you that when I heard this something shifted in my being and I really began noticing how many layers of listening – of understanding – of knowing – actually exist.
This happened many years ago and I’ve been blessed to have learned much from making it a mantra.
This was the best advice I had ever received. And by ‘received’ I mean that it was actually heard, taken to heart, and used. I received it. Funny, since the message was about this very thing: how much of what is said to us, presented to us, do we actually receive, and integrate as a new facet or layer of our existing understanding? We are changing every day. Hopefully by gaining new insights and opening our hearts more. Why wouldn’t we hear the same things differently as we change? If and when we realize we’re not, it’s an invitation to feel more. To appreciate more.
There are many layers of knowing. The best part of giving ourselves the gift of listening at a different, perhaps deeper level and learning and using the insights, is the immense appreciation and respect we can feel for the person who is teaching us, and for their understanding of the experiences they’ve gone through, which they understand as a part of their experience of who they are.