Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Peace Through Listening to Feedback

Two days ago I posted a blog that addressed a contentious subject. It was a subject that I wanted to tackle because of a series of distinctive, but yet connected, events in my life. Life can sometimes purposely draw our focus like that. I knew there would be comments as I had chosen a focal point that was itself militant in its honest, heartfelt expression. I hoped this focal point would solicit responses across the spectrum of opinion, and indeed, it did.

A spiritual lesson was revealed as I struggled to answer the many good comments to the blog. As the subject was emotional, straddling the dynamics of a heritage and the practices of individuals, there was a diverse reaction. This is good. I would expect this, as we react from our own experiences. I found myself writing, and then deleting, paragraphs from my replies. This occurred when I forced myself to LISTEN to what a person was really saying. The listening was conditioned by the knowledge that each responder was coming from a place of personal integrity. In some cases I was tempted to react with "yeah, but what if" type questions. This urge passed when I realized that the challenge on hand was not one of their being incorrect. The issue was my own experience not being synchronous with the solicited feedback.

I took some minutes to listen to the heart of each comment. I had a busy morning (smile). When a person comments, providing feedback, they offer up a part of themselves. Those who request feedback have the responsibility to react appropriately to these extensions of personality and experience. As I said, some feedback motivated me to asked too-pointed questions of rebuttal. I sensed this was inappropriate, as none of the feedback seemed to be geared to a poisonous intention. There are those who put barbs on their feedback, coating the words' destructive edges with intentional toxins. None of the replies I saw matched this least-desired form of feedback. Instead, I saw honest and heart-felt expressions. I knew there was truth in each one. The expressed feedback may not have matched my view of the world, but this is just one of the things of life. The comments were the speaker's truth, and hence, they deserved my respect and contemplative listening.

The attitude of listening worked. I found something educational in all the feedback. Sometimes I had to listen, re-listen, and then check again to discern the compassion behind the more unsynchronized remarks. It was worth the effort. In the end I had peace and learned much about the human state of claiming power. Each person who chose to respond was claiming their power, and by extension, supporting the power of others. It was a beautiful thing to realize. I put the reactive paragraphs aside. They were not needed. Listening, really looking into the heart of the words, showed me the bravery and compassion behind everyone's statements of belief.
Tags: feedback, listening, truth

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