I had to be off-line for the last few weeks due to a family emergency. I do apologize for any inconvenience. So, we will continue on where we left off talking about Aubrey Drake Graham’s quote:“Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.”
The first two sections of the quote we have covered, so let’s start today with “listen without defending”. Many times in our lives we probably do not listen actively or with our hearts. Certainly, we do hear the words, but words do several things after going into our ears. They may just float around in our head along with all the other non-essential things, not really stopping to land; they may trigger previous conversations about the topic at hand, bringing up emotions; or they may initiate the defense mechanism which results in vindicating our position on the topic…..justifying why it isn’t so. So, yes we listened, but not with our hearts. We were too busy preparing our defense to really ‘hear’ the message. How much simpler would it be to listen consciously to what is being said, and not feel that we had to defend. We never need to defend who we are; we are valuable and worthy.
The last phrase of this quote speak without offending is probably one of biggest challenges of life. Do you know why? I believe it is because we all want to be right…….right about our opinions, our actions and even about our plans. Most of the time, we don’t really try to offend; but in haste, we may say things that we don’t really mean or just blurt out our unfiltered thoughts. Remember that old saying your parents probably said at least 100 times…..if you can’t say anything nice to your sister/brother, then don’t say anything at all. I think that is still good advice as adults. Perhaps a good way to think about what we say is to ask ourselves:
- Are my words necessary?
- Will my words uplift?
- Are my words kind?
- Are my words truthful?
Even though there is that old saying : Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Truth be known: words can hurt, and once said, they can never be taken back.
How can you change your listening and speaking to be more POSITIVE and bring more JOY to others?