Are You Listening…?

I always thought I was a really good listener.  I love talking to people about their lives – one of my favorite questions to ask when I meet someone new is: “What’s your life story?”  There’s an ice breaker…The long version?  The short version?  Doesn’t matter – whichever you’re comfortable with, I’ll listen.

Turns out, as I have learned over time, there are certain things I have always thought I was great at – and guess what – I’m human, so sometimes I’m not so great a listener after all.

Now I won’t tell YOU my entire life story yet – just know a couple of key things: I grew up a smart kid, a perfectionist… thought as a kid that I could do anything and everything I wanted.  I sang, I played three sports, got straight As, went to Harvard… changed careers a couple of times along the way – from counseling to HR to Technology.  In life – I’m married, and mom to a 5-year-old boy.

Three or so years ago, I went through a reawakening of “my passion” when a soccer injury prevented me from playing my guitar for 6 months or so.  No playing out, no performing.  No fun.  My husband noticed how much I had been missing it and, once I was healthy again, encouraged me – a brave thing to do – to spend more time with my music.

Here’s the thing.  I am pretty good at listening to other people, but less so with listening to my own inner voice.  And here – in that moment – I started listening.  It was this small act that helped me to start writing music – expressing my own inner voice – and to love the process along the way.

Over time, I have found myself listening in a different way – to my son, to my husband, and to the world around me.  And I can’t tell a lie – it’s not that becoming a mom caused an immediate awakening.  For me, it was a slower, more organic and natural process.  And it is so very, very far from over.

This week, as I’ve been thinking about Father’s Day, I want my husband – a fantastic stay at home dad – to know how much I appreciate his noticing and listening to my inner voice.  Without support like that, I might never have listened to it myself.  And it can come from anywhere.  When you really listen to someone –  it’s a true gift you’re giving, even if no one else knows it but you.

Are you listening?

Kim Jennings


One response to “Are You Listening…?

  1. I’M listening… great job. Great points. Thought provoking — simple and to the point, yet much deeper if you read this more than once. Excellent!!

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