Though thinking ahead isn't actively listening, it doesn't bother me nearly as much as when someone hears something other that what I am saying. Like for instance, I have had a few people refer to how difficult it must be to have my husband unemployed. But I never said he was unemployed. What I said was that he is working on getting his new business off the ground. Grrr...weren't you LISTENING?
And as I have mentally been allowing myself to get frustrated when I am not listened to, and I have stopped offering deeper conversation to those who don't hear it anyway, I have found myself guilty of the very thing that drives me batty. Yesterday Hubby was telling me a story about his day. Mid- sentence I interrupted him to ask if the new bottle of Advil on the computer was from his parents. I saw the look. The flicker of disappointment cross his face and then the conversation coming to a close because he didn't want to talk if I wasn't going to listen.
I thought back through the last month how many times I have seen that look. I was crushed when I realized that I was a person who wasn't listening well. Not only was I guilty of not actively listening and not being fully present, I was guilty of those things with the person I love the most. I'm thankful for grace. I'm thankful for perspective. I'm thankful that Hubby was gracious and forgiving when I pulled him away and apologized for not listening well. And I'm thankful that today is a new day and another chance to be fully present with those I love.
"The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator." ~Jane Eyre