Listening to Abba: February 2013

It Feels Like Home . . .a story for my coaching friends


Leaning against the doorway of the kitchen as my mother washed the dishes, I prattled on about my school day. But mom had no use for third grade anecdotes. She turned her head toward me and with a sneer on her face said, “You talk too much.” 
Bam!  A lump the size of a grapefruit formed in my throat. My chest tightened and tears threatened.  Taking my cue, I left the room.  The serpent took his cue and whispered to my heart, “You’re stupid and uninteresting.” 
Some of my soul withered that day.
At the tender age of 8, I stopped sharing my life with mom, and became guarded about what I shared with others. That pattern continued well into my adult years.
But everyone longs to be heard. Including me. To be heard is to be valued. To be heard is to be validated and esteemed. To be heard is to be loved
And then . . .I found a way to be heard.  Quite by accident. 
In high school, we had a choice between a science project or oration.  I hated science projects (I mean really hated), so I chose to read a poem before the student body.  How hard could that be?  For the first time in my life all eyes were on me, all ears were listening, and . . . they liked it. I won second place.  Whoa! Maybe I wasn't stupid and uninteresting. My  soul expanded a bit.
Some years later I joined Toastmasters (a communication and leadership development club).  I earned every certificate they offered and received their highest honors.  Trophies, ribbons, and plaques adorned my walls.  They all whispered in concert, “We like her, we like what she has to say.” I felt validated, significant, and loved.  My heart dreamed of larger audiences and bigger trophies.
That was fourteen years ago.  Since then, my interest being a great public speaker has disappeared.  
Jesus showed me what my ambitions were really about. They were about a little Kinsey wanting her mother's attention. Wanting her mother to love and value her.  Oh.
Jesus supplanted that terrible lie Satan buried in my heart; the lie I agreed with for so many years.  Jesus spoke truth to me, “Kinsey girl, I’m  interested in you. You are my treasure.  I want to hear all about your day.  Everything about you matters to me.”  He wiped my tears. I leaned back against His chest and exhaled; I was home. I felt valued, significant, and loved.
So dear coaching friends, I want to encourage you to never underestimate the power of listening.  We are Abba's ears.  When we listen well we create a space for people where they they feel valuable, significant, and loved.  We create a space that feels like home.
How cool is that?
What about you, what stories do you have about the power of listening?