Counselor's Corner: Loving and listening

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Fred Cavaiani

 Two fundamental principles for a happy life are to love well and listen well. Both are absolutely necessary. When every action in life has a basis in being loving toward others and toward ourself, we will make good decisions. When I take quiet time to attentively listen to God speaking through meditation or others speaking to me about their life, I will find wisdom and peace.

If I am too busy to be loving, I am too busy. If I become too busy to find quiet, meditative time, I am too busy.

People who are not loving shortchange themselves and discover that they are not a happy person. People who stay so busy so as not to reserve any quiet time, become so internally busy that their mind, body and soul never take a rest and seldom experience life on a deeper level.

All of us will never attain perfection in always being loving and in always listening to God and others. But each of us can consciously make a daily effort to do this. When we do this, we can then recognize when we are being unloving and when we are simply rushing through life.

Most problems in life result from a lack of consciously being loving towards others and towards myself. Most problems in life will also result from not taking silent, quiet time to experience my own inner self deeper and to experience a relationship with a loving God in a deeper manner. If you don’t have a belief in a God, then when there is not quiet time to reflect, you will walk through life deeply unaware of what is going on inside of one’s own inner self or psyche.

To love and to listen slows our inner self down. It also helps us to become peaceful and wise because we are embracing our inner self as we become quieter with our self and with God. In listening we become open to experiencing and learning from others and from our own personal self and of course from God.

If everyone took half a day to be quiet and reflective this world would change very quickly. If everyone backed their decisions in life with an awareness that a decision must contain love and compassion, we would become a world united.

People who made positive changes in each century were usually reflective and caring people. People who made dramatic but harmful changes in each century were people caught up in control, possessions and power. This need for control, possessions and power becomes present in every aspect of society: politics, religion, business, families, and social interaction. Study history and this becomes very clear.

Life is meant to be very simple but we complicate it so very much. So, make it simple. Love and listen. You will be surprised how you will have a positive influence on your corner of the world. But more than this, you will discover a peaceful change within yourself. To love and listen is to keep things simple and profound at the same time. Become more quiet with God and more attentive to listening to others. It will put everything in a much better perspective because you will be on a loving and peaceful journey.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

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