Have you ever felt that you are unheard?
Have you ever tried to express yourself but no one seems to be listening or paying attention?
Have you ever felt that you are talking to a wall?
Have you ever felt that you are screaming at the top of your lungs but everyone is simply busy doing what they are always doing and not paying the slightest attention to your screams?
If you answered yes to any of the questions here, I have some good news for you! You are human!
Yes, you are human. Humans seem have invented this idea of a “listening ear” as though we can actually genuinely sit there and listen to someone else and really understand what that person is feeling or going through. We say things like, “I just wanted to vent.” or “I was just letting out some laundry.” or anything else to say that we were just speaking our minds and someone was listening. I cannot deny that some people are very good at pretending to be good listeners able to empathize with you, but they aren’t really listening to you. They are listening to their own voices interpreting what you are saying and not really what you are saying.
For many of us thinkers, we want to express our thoughts and hope and pray that someone will come along to whom we can “vent” out all of our deepest and most precious thoughts, because only then would be feel as though we are heard. Yet, that person that we are waiting for to listen to us is simply a ghost. No one can bear to hear what another really has to say.
Let me give you an example:
A wife who is struggling mentally and emotionally at work comes back home. She has so many responsibilities at home and so many things that she needs to do. Her first instinct, because she cares about her family, is to care for them and not for herself. Perhaps she expects that her loving wonderful husband will be her “listening ear” at the end of an exhausting day of work, an abusive boss, driving the kids around, paying the bills, cooking, and laundry. The husband widens his eyes when his wife tells him that she wanted to talk about something that is bothering her. He prepares himself well to appear ready to be a sincere audience for his wife. Then, she starts. I imagine that one of the following scenarios are going to happen: 1) Husband will stop his wife midway through her “venting” and tell her the solution to all her problems, 2) Husband will criticize his wife for behaving in a certain way that perhaps got her in trouble or how she is just too sensitive, 3) Husband’s eyes glaze until he falls asleep, 4) Husband actually listens, doesn’t try to make any smarty pant comments, and doesn’t fall asleep (the dream!). My guess is that 1-3 are the most realistic options rather than 4.
So, what I am saying is that no one will bear what someone else has to say. The reason is that everyone is carrying a very heavy burden on their backs all the time. Listening to someone with sincere attention and empathy requires that a person completely forgets their own problems and issues and just focus on that other person. Very few people, if any, would be able to do that with a sincere heart. If they do so once, they won’t be able to do it again and again.
I think that all of us could use a “listening ear” to whom we can vent and let out our laundry, but there is no one who will listen. No one is capable of handling such an important and burdensome job. People will more often than not respond to what you say with their own words and thoughts until you even forget what you were trying to say. You end up suppressing your own thoughts and emotions feeling as though you are so alone in this world. People want to listen to their own voices talking with advice, ridicule, or dishonesty, but they are not really interested in listen to another.
This is why no one will listen. But not all hope is gone!
There is One very important person who IS able to listen to you and me and everyone all the time. This One is God. God is with us all the time. He never leaves us alone and He never abandons nor forsake us. He is always ready to come to our aid whenever we need Him. When people fail us and we are left alone, God is there. People is literally neither incapable of listening to us nor offering us any comfort. People need to be listened to, but not talked at. God, on the other hand, likes to listen to us talk. The beautiful thing about conversing with God is that He already knows everything about us and how we feel, and still He likes to listen to us telling Him our stories.
Even though it might seem sad that no human will ever be an honest and sincere listening ear for you and me, the joyful news is that we have God. We are never alone.