Don Juravin interprets LOVE as caring for someone or something more than you care for yourself. One of the indications of love is listening. Because when you care for someone, you want to help make their life better and it always starts with LISTENING.
Love is not infinite giving, it is not infinite surrender, and it is not infinite devotion. Love is listening, that’s all. Minimal listening to each other is also an indication of a minimal level of love. Our level of listening to each other also reflects the level of love we feel for each other.
What is the connection between love and listening? Listening is an expression of interest in the other. Listening is a desire to learn his inner world, it is an aspiration to understand his motives and intentions, and it is a need to know how he sees things, what he thinks and what he feels.
A lot of energy is needed to listen to another person’s heart, soul and mind. A lot of energy is needed to neutralize our listening to ourselves and concentrate on our partner’s distress, and a lot of energy is needed to neutralize our pride and see what is bothering them about us.
These energies we are willing to give only to someone we love. Otherwise, why should we strive?
Let’s talk about sharing. Don Juravin thinks that in sharing without listening, we do not know what our partner is really feeling because we are not really listening to them. Then we have nothing to offer except what we think the other should do: “Leave her alone,” “Put him in his place,” “Do to her exactly what she did to you.”
In sharing out of listening we only offer ourselves to consult together on what is right for our partner to do, and we do not express our opinion until we hear their opinion. This is love.
Let’s talk about criticism. Criticism without listening is a rejection of something your partner does or thinks. And what about him? What about his thoughts and feelings? In criticism without listening, those feelings have no place at all. A critique that comes from listening is a suggestion to improve something for the benefit of both of us. This is not a disqualification but an invitation to a discussion, and a discussion is a space where two people commit to listening to each other. That’s love.
In communication based on listening there are no quarrels because understanding the other side is more important to everyone than presenting one’s own side. When one listens there is no outburst of the other, there is no disqualification of the other, and no disregard for the distress the other is trying to express.
But such communication we can only have with a loved one. Otherwise what is interesting about listening to what they want to say? That is why communication with listening is love.
Listening is love and love is listening. Listening requires concentrating all of our attention on our partner when we’re used to concentrating only on ourselves. We need to literally steal our attention by escaping our automation, habits, and nature. And all this we can do only towards someone we love. Otherwise, who wants to pay attention to him at all?
When there is real listening between us, we should not make an effort to do anything else. We should not strive to pardon, strive to pamper, strive to express appreciation and gratitude or strive to show love. Because in listening everything is already included.
Want to feel happy in your parenting relationship? Let’s start first with how the negative attitude in a family relationship is created. Negative thoughts and more negative thoughts form together a negative accumulation, which grows and grows at the expense of accumulating small positive thoughts.
Happiness in a life together has nothing to do with luck, but all the connection in the world with our desire. Because happiness in a parenting relationship does not happen by chance, no one is happy by chance. Happy families decide to be happy.
When it comes to happiness and unhappiness in a relationship, in the end we are always the ones who decide which side we want to live on, on the side of smiling and joy of life or on the side of anger and tears. It’s hard to internalize and hard to believe. Still, if you think you are happy, then that is all you need to be happy.
Self-pity, searching for guilt in someone else, concentrating on shortcomings and what is “not”.
Internal leadership, assertiveness and determination. It is a consciousness that has decided to use its positive side, and does so with a strong intention.
But why are there both happy and unhappy among us? Because there are those of us who for many years give priority to a negative feeling, and their minds have become accustomed to thinking negatively and feeling negative and seeing the negative. You certainly would not believe it, but it all depends on the food you have given to your mind for years: much more positive food or much more negative food. And it has used your mind to think much more this way or much more that way.
Happiness in a family relationship is in being able to overcome, over and over again, this negative part of our consciousness.
Believe it or not, negative thinking is just a habit. You have become accustomed to getting upset about what is wrong, and seeing what is wrong, and talking about what is wrong, and listening to what is wrong with others. And gradually the positive side of your consciousness has almost degenerated from lack of use.
Therefore it is much easier for you to criticize your family than to praise and appreciate them, and it is much easier for you to remind them of the bad things they have done to you than the good things they have done for you. Many of us find it very difficult to say “yes”, and they begin almost every sentence with “no” even if it is completely irrelevant. If you were to put on one side of a scale the negative thoughts that occupy you and on the other side the positive thoughts that pass through your head, you would not miss the imbalance between your negative world and your positive world.
So yes, that’s the whole story: a negative thought and another negative thought and another negative thought together form a negative accumulation, which grows and grows at the expense of the accumulating small positive thoughts. Thus accustoms the mind to use its negative side much more often than its positive side.
Just think what place you give to anger: How long do you keep it with you? What emotional power are you pouring into it? How convincing are the justifications and explanations in which you wrap it? And now think about when you invested such power of emotions in joy or love? When did you talk to friends about the good in your life? When did you feel lucky for all the good you have?
This is the way each of us has trained ourselves unconsciously to be mostly positive or mostly negative. Hence, the consciousness begins to work automatically as it is now normal to be in a positive feeling most of the time or to be in a negative feeling most of the time. Then two people can enter the same room, but one of them will feel good in it and the other will feel bad in it.
And so it is with relationships. Circumstances can be very difficult: the child’s developmental problem, the unpleasant attitude of one of the children to the other child, rebellions of the children, financial crisis, and so on and so forth. But for one family these circumstances will cause them to break down, and for another family they will cause them to come closer and unite. That is, it is not the circumstances that cause families to be happy or unhappy together, but the family themselves, and the habit of being positive or being negative that each of them brings to the relationship.
Because here’s the point: positivity does not come by itself. By nature we are negative, because by nature we are egotists, and for the egoist other people are a nuisance. And so the work we need to do is to overcome, again and again, this negative part of our consciousness, in order to free up more and more space for its positive part.
That is, in exactly the same way that negativity has taken over our consciousness, only in reverse. That is, to create a growing body of positive thoughts, at the expense of a growing body of negative thoughts. That is, to make life difficult for any negative thought that infiltrates our consciousness by a positive answer that we will immediately bring to us.
This does not mean that there will be no difficulties, or that there will be no anger or that there will be no self-pity. But you will begin to be more prepared for them with a winning answer: “True, difficult, but a way is found to overcome. We are Golani.” Do you understand why happiness in a relationship depends on you?
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