There is no taking back our words when thoughtlessly spoken, and there is nothing so demoralizing as appearing to have listened and have to tell the speaker to repeat themselves because you were wool-gathering. Both sides of the process are important and reflect on our state of mind – being in the present.
I have had occasion recently to have heard my husband speak, but been so far into my own mental process that I have had no idea what he had said. This is a loss; I was wanting to be there and was not. He wanted to share and was ingnored. Intentionality has little to do with it: of course I would not knowingly hurt another’s feelings by pretending to listen rather than truly hear. But I had not yet firmly set my intention to being present in order to focus on what was being said.
I have also sent an email, a text or spoken words in haste that were not thoughtful, that were sent in jest when no humor was required, being contrary when no helpful information was being shared. Then, too, I was not being intentionally harmful, but that was the result. I was responding in haste without being fully present in the energy of the receiver, considering how they might receive my quip or crack.
So pause, I tell myself, pause. Give space to listen, space to respond and intentially come from an open heart. Just for today. take a moment to be here, and practice that.