Thursday, November 12, 2009

Listen and learn

It's another wild and windy day here. The Harbor had been whipped into a frenzy by strong north east gusts. It's another day to stay inside, sit by a fire, read a book and nap. But that's just in my fantasy today because I'm at work.

I'm glad that I got moving and went to the noon meeting. The topic today was "listen and learn". There were a lot of good shares. It seems that I hear what I need at just the time that I need it.

I know that I'm a good listener. In fact, I prefer to listen rather than talk. I listened over and over to what the alcoholics in my life told me--"I love you and won't do this again." "I am so sorry to have hurt you." "You do know that I love you." I listened to all these words and believed them. I believed them because that seemed to be so much easier than the alternative of reality.

Today I still listen, but I have a filter for the words. I believe that actions speak louder than words and that deeds provide the truth. I have learned a lot since being in Al-Anon. The words spoken in meetings are something that I can think about, try out, and see how they fit.

Every word that comes out of a person's mouth may have the intent of truth. I still want to believe what people tell me. But now I hear what's spoken and then see what my gut reaction is. I listen to the voice within. And when I'm out in Nature, I listen to the voices that God has provided. They speak through the wind blowing, waves crashing, leaves rustling, bird songs, and other sounds of God's creations. I hear more truth in them than I do in many human utterances.


  1. I prefer to talk. You prefer to listen. We'd make a great pair!

    I make myself laugh. I always like my own jokes.

  2. Syd, the last sentence really got me - becuase I too feel this way.

    I have also learned to watch deeds to match words being spoken and sometimes that does not always happen.

    I hope your fog is lifting soon. The picture is really great for my mood the last few weeks.

  3. yep. actions do speak a lot louder than words.
    words are overrated :) silence can speak volumes. it is the quality of attention, the gentleness and steadiness of attention that strikes me first. not the words.
    but even the most skillful people are capable of delusion and weirdness. So you never actually 'graduate'.
    there are no days off :) you have to keep paying attention every day. which is a shame if like me you are a bit of a mental loafer :)

  4. Actions do speak louder than words, but words also effect us... words and actions, this has been a topic around here for a week or so... I know I have to choose my words carefully when I am upset and remember that my actions speaks volumes, I am grateful this program has taught me how to act my way into right thinking...

    oh and HNT just on our own sites? You can make a new site if ya want to... I am so bad at managing multiple sights, I have facebook blogs and myspace... lol

  5. "Actions speak louder than words" is a well known saying because its so very true. I prefer to listen to and have learned that listening with my gut is always best when dealing with anyone - addict or not. Thanks for all the great comments you left for me!!

  6. Aww shucks I do both!! BUT, I do it very differently now. One scorned, twice shy... whatever that saying is, it escapes me at this moment.

    When you have been hurt in relationships whether personal, professional or a marriage, you learn right quick to gaurd yourself.

    Little hairs on the back of your neck, a statement that makes you want to speak right away, gut instinct... call it what you will. But, Listen to it!!
    Hugs. Tammy

  7. "..the intent of truth." A great phrase and oh, so true. It reminded me of what Harry says to Erica in the movie, Something's Gotta Give.

    "I have never lied to you. I have always told you some version of the truth."

    I trust my gut today too!

  8. Having to listen to a lot of words often shuts me down. I prefer to listen and when speaking say the most with the least amount of words.

  9. In sobriety I have found that over time I learn to listen to the whole person -- actions, body language, smiles, the consistency of what is said. It is much harder 'listening' online but most posters I have met in real life are just the same as they are in their blogs.

  10. What you said about being out in nature and hearing the voices God provides really struck me. I remember when that was me regularly, before my substance issues developed.

    Today I am more in tune with the actions matching the words in others but more importantly in myself.

  11. I try to be a good listener and I ask God to give me discernment.

    Great post. Thanks Syd.


  12. More than once in my life I've found myself wishing I could cry out " me! I'm talking too much and I can't shut up!!!"

    I aspire to be a better listener and learn to hear better what people mean.

    Blessings and aloha...

  13. Yes, I too agree that actions speak louder than words... one of my favorite all time sayings. The sound of nature really calms me and helps me to think more clearly.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving your comments... much appreciated, Syd :)

  14. i love wild and windy. i'm a listener myself. didn't used to be though...

  15. Nature has this effect on me as well Syd...

    "And when I'm out in Nature, I listen to the voices that God has provided."

    I love that!

  16. How true and right this feels, listening to actions as readily as words and trying those words and actions with intuition.

  17. I wish that my husband had lived long enough after I got sober to be able to attend Al-Anon. I know it would have been a new life for us. Thanks for all your input.

  18. Great post to start my weekend. I love your wisdom.

  19. This illustrates a theme in my life. So often I am faced with negotiating not only with the reality that is before me but with my memories and sense of self in my own history. Whether it is alcoholic I see every day or the alcoholic/addict of my childhood, the only answer for me is to remember who I am, that I am not alone and that there is a way. Thank you so much for this blog--it makes a difference in my life.

  20. "I listened to all these words and believed them. I believed them because that seemed to be so much easier than the alternative of reality."

    Thanks, I needed this today to remind me to see the reality, and not believe the words just because it's what I want to be true.

  21. first of all, wishing you a wonderful weekend!!
    I prefer to listen than speak, but at times can need to tell myself shutup and listen..

    well done is better than well said, HUGS

  22. I think when you as a person speak the truth, you automatically assume others do also. I feel I'm easily duped this way, but on the other hand I don't want to be someone always mistrustful of others.

  23. About 90% of what people say, aint comming out of their mouths. jeNN

  24. i have a son in recovery from heroin addiction...i'm ready to see proof of his commitment to recover and no more "lip service". I've talked, listened, and now I'm exhausted. This is an unbearable event in our lives but I couldn't survive without Al-Anon. thank you.

  25. I really liked what you said about actions speaking louder than words.
    My husband is going in for his 8th detox and is very remorseful about what he has done. Everytime his back is to the wall he does this.
    Thanks to al-anon I can now get through this without having my heart ripped out.


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