Most of us have maxed our listening capacity by acknowledging what is going on inside our own heads. There is always so much required of us in all directions of our stressful lives that it is hard to find time to be there for others -- to lower the tempo and really listen. In the worst case, daily stress can lead to stress-related illnesses and force us to use medication to counteract these illnesses, which can lead to troublesome side-effects.
There is a tribe in Africa that listen in a special way. When a woman wants a child, she goes to a deserted place with her closest friends. They meditate to hear the song of a child who wants to be born. During pregnancy, the woman will teach this song to midwives and to elders in her village. The child is bid welcome to the world by the villagers with this unique song.
In coming years, everyone in the village will learn the child's song. If the child falls and gets hurt, he will be consoled with his song. If the child does something extraordinary, like performing certain rites, everyone in the village will sing her song in her honor. When the child marries, everyone at the wedding celebration will sing her song in joy. Finally, when "the child" is lying on her deathbed, everyone in the village will be able to sing this unique song for the very last time.
The song is also used on another occasion: if the person does something socially unacceptable. The person will be seated in the center of a circle of villagers who sing the song. Tribal wisdom says punishment will not work to change the wrongdoer, but a loving reminder of who and what the person is deep inside will work. When the wrongdoer recalls his song, there will no longer be a need to do the wrong things.
Have you heard about the Council of the Thirteen Grandmothers? This international female-power movement travels the world with the intention of re-establishing our balance with and awareness of Mother Earth. The 13 grandmothers are a conduit for humanity (those unable to understand) to allow us to listen to everything that does not speak through spoken language (all living things on earth). The grandmothers listen to their inner voice, to the power of universal love, to earth and to their ancestors.
Most of us have not learned to listen as these grandmothers do. Not many of us have our own unique song either. Still, life has a tendency to let us know when we are truly in touch with our true selves or not. When you are in the flow and life is going your way, you may even hear your own unique inner song resound inside you. When you are dissatisfied and it seems as if everything is against you, maybe you just forgot to listen to your song? Meditation, prayer and dreams are direct routes to the subconscious and the wisdom of the heart -- ways to get in touch with your true self.
When you learn to listen to your own song, you will also become better at hearing and respecting the unique songs of others. A friend is someone who reminds you what your song sounds like at different phases of life when you seem to have forgotten. A friend will help you get in touch with your true self again. It is a wonder drug with no side effects!