Making time to listen is most often forgotten because of defensiveness. When we tell another to talk to us, we are rarely present with the other in the conversation because we simply issued a command and took a position. When telling another to speak, our goal is to know the one speaking better as well as discern the subject at hand to bring understanding that leads to action or stability. Most of our intellectual time is spent postioning and defending an understanding that we already have which we call self defense . I call it logic trumping the heart encounter. That just hardens the understanding we brought to the conversation rather than a deeper knowledge of truth or what is true about us or another.

So much initial conflict arises from this defensiveness that the energy drained away is the very energy that is required to talk and listen compassionately.

In one of my favorite books, Myth of Certainty, author Daniel Taylor wrote "We can preserve energy by avoiding unwinnable and unproductive struggles or conflicts because most arguments are not actually over announced issues, but underlying ones which are unstated, usually unrecognized, and probably more emotional or instinctive than rational."

Listening, you see, brings enlightening light we call insight that heals us from being heels.