When I was at primary school, the bell would ring three times to mark a change in lessons. Whenever there was a fire drill, the same bell would ring continuously for a time. If it was a lesson change-over or lunch time you had to line up by the classroom door. If it was the fire drill you lined up at the fire-door in alphabetical order. Sometimes I would be confused and line up at the wrong door. The thing is, I was picked on and called names because of this. Why? My surname began with an ‘A’ so it was obvious I had gone to the wrong place!
Moving forward in time.
At university, I would go out to clubs and pubs. I particularly hated going to night clubs. I am short. All my friends where somewhat taller than me (not hard!). Night clubs are noisy, any conversation took place above my ears so it was hard for me to hear.
Moving forward in time again. I started my counselling training. I seemed to find it harder to hear discussions taking place in a big room more than most. By this time in my life I had realised that my hearing was not as good as other people’s. I had just accepted how things were as I could hear well enough. However, once I was practising counselling skills while training I thought it would be worth seeing if my hearing was actually worse than I had realised.
Guess what? I have significant hearing loss. In truth, this loss had not been a big problem beyond awkwardness and embarrassment at giving the wrong or bizarre comments in conversations. I did not know anything different. I had done well at school, university and enjoyed different hobbies. I had had a successful career as a dentist. I had an eclectic taste in music.
I will never forget the day I got my hearing aids. It was a beautiful spring day. A friend came with me and thought I was hilarious. You see, I did not know that the indicators tick in a car. I did not know you can hear puddles when you drive through them. I did not realise how loud pedestrian crossing beeps are. Every time I had a new sound I couldn’t help but comment on it!
When I got home and opened the car door I froze in my tracks. We have birds that nest in the front garden. The sound they make is beautiful and I have always enjoyed it. This time was different. I had no idea how musical they were. It was astounding! All these notes! It was the most amazing sound I have ever heard and I sat in the car with the door open listening to it for 15 minutes before I could drag myself away.
Over the next few days I found other sounds and qualities of sound. Music gained more dimensions. I misinterpreted less words. Don’t get me wrong – it was strange and took a while to adjust to but there was a new world for me to discover that I did not know existed.
My question to you…
What are you missing out on?
Are you blinded by work?
Are you deaf to the child within you that is pleading to be heard?
Are you overwhelmed by stress?
Have the expectations of others (or yourself) put you in a box so that that is your world?
Perhaps it would be worth spending a little time reflecting, listening and looking to see.
If you would like help to explore these then give me a call and arrange an initial free chat to see if counselling is for you on 07901 218 165.