Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Getting Past My Cochlea

These are the times I feel trapped in my body - or, is it that my body is trapped in my experiences, and unlike my mind and heart can not escape?

She talked along. She talked a long time. I listened. I am sure that I listened longer than she talked. She was having fun talking, and unknown to Einstein was the fact that fun is the ingredient which compresses time. Fear holds the power to stretch time - especially the fear of being trapped in a monologue disguised as a discussion.

Along came another talker. Different than the first, but not different enough.

Now I was looking out through my eyes. I listened, but I wasn't really hearing. The words which passed beyond the cochlea, and into my auditory nerve were random snatches of the monologue. "I'm having a hard time with...unfair to treat me...smells bad...don't you think?" I was thankful that monologues have rhetorical questions. If you occasionally nod your head, you can appear to be paying close attention.

Actually I wondered if I really appeared to be paying close attention. The monologue became white noise. The white noise became unsufferable. My whole body was screaming at me, and rebelling at the fact that I remained in the presence of this incessant static. I wondered if the screaming of my mind was visible on my facial expressions. How long would it be until my body started shaking? I was beginning to feel the subtle body quakes of pent up tension deep inside me.

Many people say I am a good listener. Why was my listening being shortened? Why was I unable to hear all that was being said? Is there something about a monologuer which compresses the listener in me, and shortens my patience? Or could it be that I am still struggling with the stress of past treachery? Could it be that the failed, and lying leadership I have had to submit to and endure has caused me to struggle with listening for this season while I recuperate?

This Why Man Blog is all about questioning these personal responses and asking myself how they relate to my experiences in the last year. The extension of this questioning is to ask how abusive leadership effects myself, and perhaps the church as a whole.

I know I am a good listener, but it is not as true now as it has been in the past. I am sure it will return. The stress of this season is the primary reason for the difference in my attention span and patience. So I ask myself, "Could it be that Christians are not good listeners because their leaders are know-it-all blabber-mouths who speak without knowing, and judge without inquiry? Do conclusion jumping Christian leaders bring stress upon the church? Does that stress create a congregation of bland-minded, short-tempered, poor listeners who can not handle anything which does not fit their enjoyment experience?

I feel less the listener today than a year ago, but I am committed to being a good listener. I know my mind will stop screaming soon enough, and I will begin to hear a large percentage of the words once again. My monologuer is not the problem. I am, but the problem I am has been stretched by the abuse we've endured. Or so methinks for now. If you disagree, I might not hear what you have to say for a few more months.


Agent B said...

Yeah...I think you're on to something with the christians being know-it-all blabber mouths. They never know when to shut up.

After 7 years in this agent gig, I finally realized that I was placed in this gig because I listen.

...and not because I'm a good listener. But because I'm a lousy talker. I rarely have anything sensable to say...

Listener by default...

Agent B said...

And btw - just why the hell would you leave a gig after 30 plus years? I mean sure, Mick and Keith can be jackasses. But, it was a solid, steady, almost timeless gig?

MM said...

I think when you've been through something that is world-shatering and a major upheaval in your life it can seem like others are concerned about petty little things and just talkin' trash. Kind of like complaining customers. ;)

Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break. You'll get through it and you'll get your perspective and listening skills back.

Pastor Phil said...

Others concerned about petty things? No - tell me it ain't so!

I don't have other gig plans. Hmmmmmmm...I'm wondering whether I really have plans, or I am just going it day by day. No wait - a full day is far too long a time period to plan for. I'm just trying to figure out the next word in this line - no sentence - yes, sentence is a good word, it is like a play on words because it is used for the term of imprisonment as well, and of course we all know that when we feel like this we are captured by our own petty feelings - no, but not me, cause everyone else is the problem, and I never talk too much about my problems, I only listen to others' problems, and that is why I like the word sentence, but then the word line could be a better word because it reminds me of an alcohol test. Touch your nose, count backwards from 100, walk the line.... And while people are going on about their problems it seems that I am losing my balance, because it's not like I don't have my own problems, but then I never talk about them like other.... Oh, am I talking too much? Whoops. ;-)