Notice the Pattern

photo-1514880448122-7e417213b996We don’t need to accept every piece of advice we get. In fact, we can’t. We have to discern. But often, we don’t discern. Instead, we pick and choose what we want to hear and apply. Anything else, we reject. And we should certainly reject some things, but when we reject them simply because they make us uncomfortable, or making the change would infringe on what’s convenient to us, we are likely in the wrong. We can get frustrated with hearing the same thing from a variety of people – feedback or suggestions or reflections of what people see us doing that might not be healthy or right – but let’s not automatically toss it aside because we don’t like it. When we hear consistent feedback from multiple sources, especially people who we know care for us, we need to listen. We need to consider what changes we might need to make.

Listen for patterns. And watch your own patterns. Perhaps you don’t hear consistent feedback because of the people you are avoiding. You aren’t inviting people who care to speak into your life, because what you know they would say makes you uncomfortable. It’s easier to reject being around those people and the value of what they say than to face what truth they might have for you. Or maybe you invite people into your life on your own conditions, only hanging out long enough that conversations can’t get deep and personal. Or perhaps you do life deeply with people except you sift certain things into the “not listening to” category.

We squirm or get defensive at times. But maybe it’s that very response we need to attend to and consider if there is merit to the patterns of what we hear from others.

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