Listening to Another’s Soul

Much of the spiritual work we do is learning to listen to and connect with our own soul. Through this connection we are able to reach a deeper place of peace, happiness, and fulfilment where we can embrace all that life has to offer. In this way we are able to connect with the truth of who we are and the deeper meaning and purpose we see, and connect with our inner wisdom, even in the midst of a busy life.

But can we also learn to listen to the souls of others? We are poor observers of our own behaviour and often even worse observers of those around us. We are also generally not very accurate at interpreting the motivations behind other people’s actions, and often mistakenly assume that we know why people do what they do. When we encounter someone doing something that makes no sense to us, our first impulse is to make a negative judgement. We may think they are selfish, lazy, or hard-hearted. Rarely does this kind of judgement lead to a positive change in the other person’s behaviour or in our own. Instead, we seem to point the finger at others and feel bad about ourselves, just as the other person feels bad.

The disconnection we feel from others is one of the most powerful features of the human experience, and the inability to ever fully know another person is one of our greatest challenges. We can make assumptions about how someone else feels, what their intentions are, or why they have acted in a certain way. But these assumptions are always based on our own experiences and our own interpretation of the situation. In our efforts to help or assist others, we often make the mistake of jumping to conclusions. Rarely do we take the time to really look at the situation and really understand what is going on. Instead, we adopt our own interpretation of what happened or, even worse, we adopt someone else’s interpretation.

No matter how well-meaning we are, the reality is that we can never fully know what is going on inside someone else. But when we assume we do not know the whole story, we are forced to look for more information and connect more with the person in front of us. We open our awareness to the whole picture and not just the picture we want to see. In this way, we can learn to listen to another person’s soul if we remain open to possibilities. We will never be able to know for sure what another person felt, what their intentions were, or why they behaved the way they did. But we can be certain of some things. We can be sure that each person has their own motivations and intentions. We can also be sure that each person has their own interpretation of what they are experiencing.

To learn how to listen to another person’s soul, we must be willing to accept the mystery of another person’s experience. The truth that lies deep within another person is often very different from the challenges we see on the surface. We have to be willing to accept the possibility that we could be completely wrong about that person, and we have to be willing to accept the possibility that there is another way of looking at that situation that we may never have considered. One of the most powerful ways to listen to another person’s soul is to listen to their hopes and fears. When we listen to another person’s hopes and fears, we are listening to the part of the person that is looking for answers. We listen to the part of the person who is trying to find meaning and purpose in their life.

The only way to understand another person’s truth is to understand their own interpretation of their reality. If we can understand what is most important to them, we can better understand the unique perspective they share with us. We can find a bridge to their soul, their inner wisdom, and their truth. In this way, we can see behind the masks of their ego and self-centred desires and find the deeper truth that lies within us all. When we are able to connect with others in this way, we have the chance to understand them in a deeper way and help them come into alignment with their inner wisdom. We have the opportunity to support them in living a more fulfilling, meaningful and purposeful life.

Download your free 21-day course in The Path of Mindfulness. In this life-changing 21-day mindfulness journey, Dr Allan Kilner-Johnson guides you through a series of self-guided mindfulness exercises and shows you how and when to bring mindfulness into your daily life. 

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