A meditation from Inward/Outward hooked my attention this morning, and I lingered with it.
We tend to turn off the people we most need to hear. The people to whom we are least attracted often have the most to teach us. If we identify those to whom we are least drawn, we can make a special effort to listen to them attentively…. Answers can shut down growth; good questions encourage growth. Answers sometimes terminate our listening; questions stimulate further listening.
– Listening Hearts, Suzanne Farnham
A few hours later I came upon a quote from the gifted American writer Joan Didion who, describing the value of journaling, suggests that sometimes the voice we try to avoid is that of our own past self.
I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.
It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you.
Whose voice are you tuning out?