In order to bring love into your life or to improve any existing relationship, it’s essential that the people you want to be closer to understand key events in your life and how they helped shaped you into the person you are today. By turning your attention to your own life’s story, you will gain insight into what you hold dear. By telling your story to those you care about, you will also discover how well you listen.
The art of storytelling is, after all, useless without the art of listening. I remember in the beginning of my relationship with Amy [Zerner], I would often cut her off mid-sentence because I was so excited to share something with her. Fortunately, she was patient with me and would gently (and sometimes not so gently!) tell me to listen without interrupting when she was speaking.
I’ve also learned that it’s very important to really listen and not just appear to do so as you think about what you are going to say next. Whether you are interacting with someone you just met or talking to your mate of 20 years, there are few things as attractive as a person who is interested in what you are saying. Interest leads to sharing and sharing leads to caring.
If we are not interested in what someone has to say, then it is probably not a strong friendship. When we believe that we aren’t being heard, this can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of not being appreciated for who we really are.
Here is an affirmation to help keep you mindful of how you communicate:
“I have the right to speak and be taken seriously because I am respectful and attentive when others speak.”
In storytelling, it is crucial to be aware of your audience. As you share your life experiences with someone who is important to you, remember to ask him or her questions about his or her life with a mind toward finding similar experiences. When storytelling leads to mutual examination and personal exploration, it creates a close bond of understanding that deepens love and begins the work of enchantment.
Monte’s books and tools are available at his Enchanted World Emporium, 8 Main Street, in East Hampton, 631-324-7695.