Hush Your Mouth!

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Shhh! Do you hear that? It is the heartbeat of the one you love. You have not heard that sound in a while, you say? Hmmm.... Perhaps you need to talk less and listen more.

LLike many of you, I love engaging in different political and social ideologies and interacting with a diverse group of people whose backgrounds are often much different than mine. I enjoy deep conversation that forces me to think and consider my own viewpoints. However, I love, on a much deeper level, conversations, discussions and spirited debates that are always wrapped with a spirit of love and understanding even if we don’t necessarily agree on every point.

The beauty of engaging in free debate and open discussion is often tarnished when we feel that we have obtained the right to speak or offer our opinion on every topic in a tone that is shameful, disrespectful and simply mean.

Often, we women build opinions and spew those opinions with very little thought about the impact that it may have on another person. Our opinions are often clothed in judgment and bitterness and ultimately resulting in the destruction of someone else’s spirit and ultimate view of themselves and their overall value and worth to society.

As you scan our country and even around the world, everyone is fighting to be heard but very few people are willing to listen, digest and breathe before they speak.

Our households are filled with a bunch of loud and screaming individuals who simply want to be heard and respected, even if we can’t all agree on the issue and the course of action to address the issue. Many couples are retaining attorneys, attending court hearings and preparing to end their unions simply because no one was strong enough or willing to hush, listen and give the other person an opportunity to speak.

You can even turn on any cable news network and catch a glimpse of our elected officials fully immersed in their business of name calling and character assassination with little focus on the needs of the people who elected them.

As a lawyer, I have spent the last 12 years of my life advocating the positions and opinions of my clients even when I didn’t necessarily agree with them on a personal level. However, it wasn’t through my career that I learned the value of listening and allowing someone an opportunity to be heard before I even attempted to speak. It was through my relationship with my oldest son, Ethan, that I learned this valuable lesson.

My little Ethan is approaching his third birthday. He is a ball of energy and by far, one of the most stubborn and strong willed individuals that I have ever met. Often, the word “no” sends him into a dramatic downward spiral that can be both irritating and hilarious at the same time.

Ethan has taught me that when I truly listen and he knows that I am listening and that he is being heard completely, our days aren’t filled with as many emotional meltdowns and tantrums. He has taught me that my way and view isn’t necessarily the only way and that there must be flexibility and a sense of balance in every productive relationship.

I truly embrace boundaries in my parental relationship with my sons and believe that structure and order works best for my household but Ethan has taught me that he doesn’t necessarily have to go to bed every night at 7:30 and that it is okay if he misses his bedtime for the opportunity for some additional time with his parents as he describes all of the most important events of his day’s journeys.

In the true spirit of sisterhood, I challenge each of us to take the next thirty days and spend a little more time listening and meeting each person at the place where they are mentally, emotionally and spiritually and far less time judging and offering opinions on events and occurrences that often don’t really matter.

I challenge each of us to spend more time and energy focused on engaging new ideas and offering our ideas with a spirit of love and compassion for another’s journey even if we don’t understand it or agree with it.

It is through listening and the ultimate gift of love that we can truly impact and influence others.

Take the challenge. Come back here to let me know what you gain from the experience of listening with empathy. 

About the Author
Diane Sweezer Davis is a wife and mother to two young sons. Diane resides in Houston, Texas but wears the heart and soul of a Louisiana girl. Her faith is her highest priority in life. When she is not engaged in her work as a practicing attorney or her new role as a Sisterbration Ambassador, Diane enjoys capturing all of life’s most precious moments through photography. Diane is “sweezer02” on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. 
Dr. Kim

Dr. Kimberly S. Clay, aka Dr. Kim, is Executive Director and founder of Dallas-based charity, Play Like A Girl!®. On a mission to inspire women and girls across the globe to live a happy, healthy and active lifestyle, Dr. Kim has set out to finally triumph in her own struggle with obesity by creating what she calls her "best me yet" in 2014-15. Sisterbration is the space she has dedicated to documenting the journey and her musings.

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