Listening Inside

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.” Howard Thurman

Perhaps the most challenging listening that we attempt in this life is learning to listen to ourselves. We know our inner voice well in childhood, but often lose touch with it as the opinions of others dominate our life in adolescence. It is tragic really, how we are trained to not listen to ourselves, to believe that other people know what we want to become or do with our lives more than ourselves. Listening for this inner voice is sometimes referred to as listening to our instinct or to our heart. It may be all those things, but even more importantly, it is the voice of what is genuine in us.

Steve Jobs once said “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out you own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” The chief dreamer of Apple products has clearly lived by his own advice and yet why is it so hard for so many of us to listen for and believe what is in us?

In part, our cultural love affair with the mind and all that is knowledge based is to blame. We trust experts of all kinds about our health, our professional choices and even our relationships. Our culture is driven by a colossal marketing/media machine which fills our life experience with noise, all designed to look like instructions for a better life. Many of us never experience silence on a daily basis. In fact a recent study just found that the recent increase in internet social networks has diminished not only time with ourselves but time with our family by over 30 percent.

Learning to listen to ourselves requires many of the same skills as learning to listen to others. In the same way that we give up our own agenda to hear what is beneath the words someone is sharing, we put aside the incessant thinking that dominates our days.

This is particularly true when it comes to knowing the truth of our relationships. It is easy to be confused or distracted by feelings of discomfort that are inevitable while in a loving relationship. The intensity that accompanies the sexual dynamics of relationships is often given more weight than it deserves. Often sexuality is a reflection of the deeper listening and connecting that may not be going on in a relationship. And this listening has to start inside.

The skill of inner listening is the only true guide available to any of us. Without it, we can easily fall into a life which does not feel like our own and spend our lives in relationships that don’t meet our needs. Creating the time and space to listen to ourselves is the first step. Even if only for ten minutes a day, sitting with ourselves, in relative quiet can be startling. Getting a glimpse of dreams unanswered or grievances unaired, may be temporarily disquieting. But following those thoughts and trusting them is a sure route to transforming your life into one of your own making.

Wendy Strgar is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family. Wendy helps couples tackle the questions and concerns of intimacy and relationships, providing honest answers and innovative advice. As her online presence continues to grow, Wendy has become a trusted and respected source of information on lasting and healthy relationships. ďI feel like I am inventing a language to give intimacy back to the people, take the fear away and open a space for physical love to serve as the glue that holds relationships together.” Wendy lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, a psychiatrist, and their four children ages 11-20.†


Voula H.
Voula Hatz7 years ago

Thank you, interesting!

Lynn C.
Past Member 7 years ago

So much we know with inner knowingness, because when I read your articles there is that agreement "yes I know this is true." Thank you Wendy for being the catalyst for these moments of "Ah yes'.

Les L.
Les Lambert8 years ago

Every day (actually several times a day) my wife and I share "what are your thoughts" moments. We truly try to listen with our hearsts. We want to know the joys and the sadnesses of the moment. By the way, even though we own a television, I cannot remember the last time we had it on. We believe that if we need to know virtually anything we will discover this without the bias of the "new" media.

Lady Xanadu
Lady Xanadu8 years ago


js Tar
j l8 years ago


John W.
John W8 years ago

Hi there 'Jewels'.
Thank you for your message of encouragement and support and my apologies for taking so long to respond, "Life", got in the way, as it so often can. :(
In point of fact, it is that support from yourself and a couple of others, that has inspired me to share with the entire Care2 network, a movie that has had an enormous impact on my own thinking.
I am appending the 'link' here to save you needing to search for it if you should choose to check it out for yourself.

Like yourself, it is several years now since I watched any television. In my own case the decision was triggered by my escalating anger at the proliferation of the "brainwashing" in the broadcasts. The subliminal propaganda in favour of the 'Capitalistic greed creed', is no longer even confined to the 'advertising breaks', but is steadily invading and infecting more and ever more of the regular programe material. EVEN, :( the programs for Kiddies. Baaaaaah!

Ok, thats enough moaning, I hope the film works for you.

Bye now.


Diane Wehi
Diane Wehi8 years ago

I have just started listening to my own voice and I have to say it is a beautiful sound. I know I am in a genuine place when I can feel peace and joy within.Thank you for sharing.


To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
e.e. cummings

Jewels S.
Jewels S8 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself. I sum it up in this example: I was watching a documentary about refugees that where living in Taos camps for over 20 yrs, it told of a family who have finally relocated to the US. They asked the husband of the family a yr later how he was doing. He said he missed the simplicity of the refugee camp and was now very worried about his credit score. It broke my heart. I don't watch tv or the news anymore because of this. I now dream every night which I don't remember ever doing on a regular basis. I try to live "trust your nature" now. Viva independent thoughts!

John W.
John W8 years ago

It seems I am far more cynical than Wendy.
In the whole of my 60 plus years of life, still I have more fingers than I need, in order to count the number of individuals I have encountered who ever truly think for themselves.
Worse, the evil media monter that Wendy mentions is now succesfully corrupting even previously innocent primitives around the world, with it's brainwashing techniquesand it's "greed creed" messages!
Untill WE, all of us, priviledged westerners especially. Untill we all learn to ignore the lies of the media and begin thinking AND seeing reality for ourselves. Our chance of averting the onrushing global catastrophe is just about ZERO