So far in this series, we’ve confronted the degree to which the way we listen to (and interact with) people is shaped and limited by certain developed filters, and explored some of the most common types of filters. Now, I’d like to take a look at what this all makes available, and how we can “upgrade” our ability to listen.
When we are unaware of our own filters, the constraints on our ability to listen are invisible to us and we are left mistaking “our world” for “the” world. In this condition, we are likely to be ineffective in our actions, not to mention completely confused about the actual source of the problem. So our efforts to change are inevitably unproductive, and sometimes counterproductive, as they are cultivated from symptoms instead of the root cause.
So what does it take to free ourselves up from all this?
The first part is simply to notice it as it’s happening; simple awareness is the access point. See, what we don’t distinguish, what stays hidden in the background, runs us. When we see these self-imposed limits in action, when we see them for what they are, their grip is loosened and we are freed up and able to interact with life naturally and effectively.