Thursday, March 31, 2011

To be heard

I have to be honest, I haven't wanted to write anything here lately.  Why?  Because it seems like for the last few weeks I've ran into more people writing about or crying out to be heard...a theme of not only being heard, but wanting to hear God, each other.  So, why write/say anymore?  Why not

I think it all started with a friends FB status talking about non-verbal communication and silence.  I'm not sure, but whatever it was, I kept running into meetings, conversations, writings and posts about listening...being heard.  So I thought, the last thing I need to do is write something...rather listen to or read another friend's words.  And, to be honest with you, I can be down right passionate about this topic and some of my feelings about it may be jaded and full of pain.  Nevertheless, I decided to write about a few things that came up.

Last week I was sitting in one of our faculty meetings at my physical therapy school here in Denver.  Part of it was a strategic planning meeting and that is when I was impacted the most.  During this time frame, ranked faculty were asked to remain silent and record feedback from affiliate faculty.  It's not often that you fill an entire room full of PhDs and get them to remain silent.  But, it was important for the improvement and growth of the program.  After all, the affiliate faculty are the ones "seeing" a different perspective of the students and how it all plays out in the clinic.  And, the thought hit me that we HAVE grown and improved!  I have watched this program go from a non-accredited status to one of the top 30 schools in America for physical therapy and I believe it's because of this type of "listening" adopted by the faculty.

Then, the sad part of the was announced that one of our faculty members is leaving and moving to Florida.  Sad because she is one that is mainly responsible for implementing this type of "active listening" into our program.  A component that threads Motivational Interviewing(MI) into the curriculum and allows for, what I believe, can be the primary success of an entire program.  I believe MI is what has allowed me to truly listen to my patients and more often than not, have an idea of what is going to help them before I even examine or treat them. 

"Listen to the patient. He is telling you the diagnosis." -Sir William Osler (1849-1919), the founding father of modern medicine.

And, I know some of you are thinking this is a "counselor only technique".  However, I believe it can be applied to ALL of us, not just licensed professionals.  And, if you are looking for a great resource on it for health care, the original MI researchers have a great book about it!  Anyway, my overall point here, is that listening can help any of us in all kinds of areas for growth, improvement...change!  And, not only is it listening, it's active listening or what MI researchers call EMPATHIC listening.  It's important to listen to family, friends, co-workers, patients/clients...AND STRANGERS!  You just never know what you might learn or maybe WHO you might HEAR FROM GOD through!

Just last week, my pastor mentioned he was disappointed in the blog sphere of articles about the Rob Bell situation.  I believe her point was just about all the craziness it caused and stirred up.  Yet, in the meantime, natural disasters and wars are breaking out all over!  Perspective, I guess.  Maybe to encourage us to be careful what we write...what we focus on?  Maybe to be careful to listen first...or better yet, pray first?  I don't know.  I don't know enough about Rob Bell and his new book to comment.  But, I do remember reading some posts about it and thinking some were just getting louder, "wordy-er" and repetitive.  However, I did read a few good posts about it:

IM Book Review: The Language of Science & Faith -Adam Palmer
Grieved by this... - Brian Newman
My 3 cents on Rob Bell's new book - Ellen Haroutunian

Interestingly enough, I think it might all go back to LISTENING rather than talking/writing.  Not only in relationship with each other, but with God.  What is God trying to say to us in all of this craziness going on right now?  We might be best to listen and not say/write anything?!  I don't know.  But, what I do know, is I want to be heard, my friends and community want to be heard and I'm pretty sure God wants to be heard.  Seems to me there are numerous times in the bible in which God mentions, "they did not listen" or "they refused to listen" or even "listen carefully".  The list goes on and on so, I do think listening is important to God.  And HEARING Him should be important to us!

"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words." -Eccl. 5:1-3

"Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." -James 1:18-20

Anyway, these are just some things that came to mind lately with this theme of listening or wanting to be heard.  Just a stirring that I believe He's creating...creating so He can be heard in my life and, so I can grow, improve and change!  And, something maybe He's stirring in others as well...just read another good post:
Listening During Lent - Liz Dyer

Something I think that will be my next read:  planetwalker.  Just one that really caught my attention lately.
Thanks for reading or should I say, listening!

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