Experience the difference listening to your life can make

Listen to your life…see it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. 

— Frederick Buechner 

These words caught my attention when I read them. They remind me of the value of reflection and gift we give ourselves when we listen to our life. 

We don’t need to live in a constant state of reflection but it’s good medicine to stop periodically through the day or week or month or year to take notice of what we hear, see, feel, touch, taste, and smell. 

Listen to Your Life and Find Your One Word 

It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget to listen to it. To savor the mystery, be with the pain, soak up the good times, be patient in the mundane moments. 

One listening practice I do every year come up with WORD for the year. I’ve been doing it for several years now and find it a great focusing exercise. If you want to know how to do it, check out this article I wrote a few years ago. 

Having a WORD provides guidance and focus in the midst of all the distractions and challenges we face in our lives. Your WORD can fit the season you are in and be a light to guide you. 

My word for 2022 is NEW. As I listened to my life, I realized I’m moving into a season where new possibilities lie before me. I’m imagining 2022 to be about new relationships, new skills, new risks, new adventures, and new lessons I need to learn. 

Why bother listening to your life? 

The unexamined life is only half lived. 

If you don’t learn to listen, you end up getting stuck where you are. If you fail to listen to your life during a painful experience, you run the risk of failing to process the pain which hinders the healing and hope you’ll experience. 

Some of my greatest learning and growth has come during times of adversity combined with listening to my life. 

As the year begins, set your sights on carving out regular times to listen to you life. Find your WORD. Savor your life. Process your pain. 

Touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of your life.