If there is one thing my husband says all the time, is that I never listen. I myself proceed to turn it into a spirited discussion which ends up proving his point. The idea of listening is one I have struggled with for a long time. I never listen to my body when it pleads with me to slow down, until it forces it might on me. I clearly never listen when told I don’t listen. I also do not listen when people speak as I have the tendency to finish up their sentences for them, often without their permission. And I never listen when my mother or mother in law tells me I am wrong. They raised me, so of course I’m always wrong and trying to prove otherwise. I share all this to say listening is my least favorite thing to do. Until now.
I have spent the past year, deliberately listening to myself, one keep, at a time. The point of these keeps are not simply to list everything that is going on in my life, but to more clearly uncover things about myself, that I had no idea existed. Every keep makes explicit in one way or the other, every fear that lurks in my mind. They have become an outward and visible way of listening to myself. A road less travelled, a bend in a fork, a clearing of a fog, something unattainable, like Frankensteins unknown or lessening of tensions, whether with work, people, or with my children or myself. But of all this, they have helped me listen to my fears.
When you look closely at fear. When you try to uncover why it even appeared, you’ll see the words ‘ear.’ It’ll appear to remind you that in the end, even your fear is based on what you choose to hear. Choose fear, and you’ll become fear. Hear fear, and your become it too. Talk about fear to anyone, and all you’ll say is what fear is and not why it appeared. You hear nothing too, when all you do is talk about your fears. But listen with your ears. Try to listen to your fears for yourself, wonder too at what your fear is seeking, and you’ll see that all your fears are based on what you choose to hear. Choose then to let it go, however you choose. For me, one thing to keep at a time, helps my fear at any moment disappear. Imagine then your fear leaving, however you choose. Imagine as it slowly walks away, slowly leaves, until you hear the door gently close behind you. Listen as all you fear, slowly disappears. Imagine as all you heard about what you feared, disappears. Choose to listen with your ears. Choose to see it in the rear, behind you, your fear, slowly disappearing. And when you do so, when you listen, even your fears, will disappear.
This keep list remains a gift that keeps giving because it allows me to listen to my fears, allows me to even see as they disappear. And even when they reappear, as most fears do, I always come back to the art of listening. I come back to seeing for myself, why the fear reappeared again, and this time slowly work to let it disappear through words I choose to keep. Words I choose to hear. Words I choose to use to let fear move once more to the rear. There will always be fear. It’s sole purpose is to appear, bearing gifts that lurk in minds afraid to steer clear from its insincere veneer. But the moment you listen to your fear. The moment you choose to hear for yourself why it appeared or even reappeared, is the moment life becomes clear. The moment life becomes like a Zaire, a river that swallows all river. A fear that swallows all fear. Keep listening to your fear and you’ll see how it swallows itself too.