What gets in the way of my ability to be a good listener? 

I am taking another go at this timeless question. 

I am relating to this question as

an exploration,

an inquiry,

 a wondering,

an opportunity to confess, or

complete not listening,

an opportunity to get to know myself.  

Rather, I am yearning to relate to this question as an exploration like I am in Chile heading to Antarctica and I have never been here.

I can take this question and think something new, something I have never said can be said.

What gets in the way?  How to even answer if I don’t know what listening is in the first place?

What gets in the way?

Some sadness and separation from others gets in the way.

Then there  are times when I am so listening that I just want to kiss the other person, I love them so much,

Or at least put my arms around them.

Maybe being sober gets in the way/  or at least being too put together gets in the way.

Not sober like not drunk, but sober like subdued, restrained, not intimate, not  getting in your business.

At least one step separate,

Close but not all the way.

What gets in the way is the thought that you don’t like me.

Also boredom gets in the way.  Or frustration with the other’s lack of listening.  In some relationships it is one-way listening.

We have yet to discover who we are!

What gets in the way is the thought that I don’t really understand, am not smart on the topic being spoken.

I had a teacher once who asked for questions and comments and challenges to what he was saying.

I have this idea that listening is a blank slate with no questions, comments or challenges.  Maybe even passive.

So what gets in the way is a lack of intellectual effort on my part.

Another teacher said don’t tell me you loved the book

Tell me what you loved about it

And tell me what you didn’t.

So be a thought partner, a thinking partner is what listening could be.

Sometimes, when I say my questions, comments or challenges, the other gets their feelings hurt,

Or tells me I don’t know how I am coming across.

Listening and building on what the last person said takes discipline.

Rather than waiting to say what I thought of 2 paragraphs ago.

So listening and speaking go together.

What does it take to be in a conversation, in a dialogue could be the inquiry?

Disappear myself and become the dialogue.