The men in my family – my father, my husband and my son – all suffer from the same malady I like to call “selective hearing.” They’ll either pretend that they’re listening but not hear what’s being said, or sometimes not even pretend. It was a running joke (and still is to some small degree) with regard to my father. But now that my husband has the same affliction, I have to say it’s no joke.
Yes, I often make a joke of it and we laugh it off. But really, it stinks when you know you’re not being heard. It makes me feel less valued; it makes me feel as though what I’m saying doesn’t matter to him. And by extension, that I don’t matter.
I know that not to be true, of course. But it still stings. Which is why it’s painful to admit that I also occasionally suffer from “selective hearing.” Am I really to busy to give my kids my undivided attention when they call, and really hear what they have to say? Am I really just so involved in that silly TV show or video game to stop and listen – and hear – what Maury wants to tell me?
This Elul, I am working on being fully aware and engaged in each conversation and in each interaction so I can truly hear…and maybe even be heard.
The Jewish month of Elul leading up to the High Holy Days provides an opportunity for spiritual preparation. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh – looking inward and reflecting on the past year. The daily sounding of the shofar calls us to examine our words and our actions, and the words of Selichot (prayers of forgiveness) inspire us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others. We look ahead to the new year when we can begin anew, striving to be the best version of ourselves. Each day, I plan to blog on a thought related to this period preparation for the Days of Awe, along with many others in the Jewish blogosphere. For further inspiration, search #blogElul on Twitter or Facebook.
I invite you to add your own thoughts on the daily topic. Feel free to add your comments below or write your own blog, following the daily topics indicated or any others that call out to you.