Written by Phyllis Stephenson, Executive Director

As we live, work and play in the life of our families each day, many times we take each other for granted and do not stop to truly communicate with those most important to us.  In our hurry to arrive on time, meet our appointments, and keep everything organized sometimes we lose valuing those who are the reason for all the tasks we are striving to complete.  Here are some thoughts on how we can make sure that we stop to truly hear those we love most:

  1. STOP – When those important to you are having a conversation – truly stop and listen. There is nothing that can stop the sharing in your family quicker than you being too busy to listen.  Take it from me – I have learned from this mistake.
  2. Make sure you hear the whole conversation – Many times our family members, especially our children “test the waters” with a conversation about a safe topic. This allows them to see if you are listening, judge your reaction and decide if they will share a deeper need.  This will establish you as a safe place for sharing their deeper needs.
  3. Create a time each day to focus on those most important to you – When you do your daily schedule make sure you are carving out time to connect to those most important in a personal – individual way. Take a look at the last month’s calendar and make sure your main thing was the main thing.
  4. Delete the unimportant activities for the important people – We can attend events with the world – but we only open our hearts to those we trust and love. Make sure your calendar prioritizes those you value.
  5. Make sure you have a listener in your life – We all need feedback, correction, and confirmation in this journey of life.

May you be gifted with many opportunities to hear the heart of those you love and may there be those who will stop and listen to you.