Monday, July 20

*Listening is an act of love*

Yesterday I chose to sit quietly and just listen. Shutting the world out, I luxuriated in omniscience. I spent hours with voices filling me with the most beautiful confessions of love, sickening recounts of ignorance and hatred, and anecdotes of the splendor of decades past. I welcome you to one of the truest forms of love for our fellow man, StoryCorps. This is a project I came across through NPR (National Public Radio) which documents moments of every day Americans' lives. Those seemingly trivial moments and memories which slip away with age, illness, and pain. These are three minute excerpts of interviews between individuals who know each other intimately. I listened in on mothers and children, parents and teachers, sisters and neighbors, laughing with them, sobbing, and learning from them. One of the many that I repeated over and over again is a simple one called "Mom teaches Son That "Love is What You Do." It is from March 5th and the whole episode is about 2 minutes. There are a few things she said to her eleven year old son that were so beautiful to me, I thought almost instantly of how important it is to share them with you. I bring you a reply from a Florida mother to her son's query of her happy and hard times with her husband.

"Marriage isn't always pretty. I think sometimes we act like children and we need to be more mature about it because it is a privilege to be married to somebody and you need not to disrespect it like that, like sometimes we get angry and we do. . .I think your dad has taught me the meaning of love. Love is as much a feeling as it in an action. . . to love somebody is not just how you feel about them, but what you do also."

I am sure it may seem silly how moved I was but these few phrases, but I was struck with images of my own marriage of seven years. How over the years, truthfully, we have not changed. In our actions towards one another for the most part we are the same as we ever have been, but rather now, we have found peace and love through our treatment of one another.

At work, I chat. Clients come in to discuss their personal finances, and because of that, we often diverge onto other matters of importance in our lives. We begin a true conversation of the battles we face "choosing in" to this life day after day. One such conversation was held last week with a stunning and loving client Lillian. Lily is married to her second husband, and she wants passionately to be well matched. She loves him. She wants to be with him, and yet, she often feels a sense of lacking. I shared with her a similar time in my own marriage, and how I was able to escape that empty feeling towards my spouse. I told how there was a time when I just decided to pretend that Brian was the man of my dreams. I pretended that we had a well suited partnership, and that I wanted nothing more than to be in our home together, and treat him as the man of my most intimate prayers. I shared with her that as I treated him as my supreme match and love, eventually, I forgot that I was acting. Despite the years of pain, sorrow, and loneliness, he became that ideal match for me. As I treated my spouse, so he became in my eyes. It isn't that he has changed himself, only that I chose to shift my focus to those divine qualities he possessed rather than those I found fault in. How magnificent to be in a relationship with someone who chooses to see the perfection in us, rather than the failings. After all, that which we seek, will always come true.

Please enjoy listening to this beautiful interview which caused me to contemplate what love looks like in my own life as I am sure it will cause you to do with yours.

StoryCorps website states, "StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening."