Trouble Listening to You

Trouble listening to you.

I have trouble listening to others.  I have these thoughts that intrude and shut off my hearing.  I become self-absorbed in these thoughts.  These bandits steal my attention and my concentration.  They rob me of self-respect and the respect of others. 

No matter how hard I try to look into my friends eyes and block out all the  distractions,  the bandit jumps out from behind some of the words I hear to create a thought, a contemplation, a derivative of what I am hearing.   My ears shut off and I ruminate on the distraction.   Then, suddenly I see the eyes before me change in a subtle way and  recognize I was ambushed.

I feel  horribly embarrassed.  I struggle to catch up with the conversation to become knowledgeable enough to intelligently respond.    I have become very adept at giving a nod, a grunt, or “Hmm-mmm” indicating I have heard.  However, deep within the recess of my mind  I know I just got caught again.  I try to hide my embarrassment and confusion from getting to my eyes for all to see.   Yet, I know I was ambushed.

I mask my feelings in a studied concentration.  Oh, what an actor I have become.  Self-discipline, yes but more.   I need a marshall or sheriff to arrest those words that form in my mind before I get distracted.  I need to find a method to avoid being robbed of my attention. 

I have trouble listening.  I know others have similar problems.  I forgive my self and begin again avoid the bandit.
Originally written October 26, 1994

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