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Life is noisy. And part of the art of listening is learning to filter what we hear to make sense of the rest. But sometimes our filters are clogged or otherwise defective – skewing what we hear. We must regularly clean out our ears to ensure we’re hearing and interpreting life correctly.

Perhaps we’re all guilty to some degree of simply hearing what we want to hear. And often this is just our selfishness filtering what we hear – hearing only what helps our agenda and rejecting everything else. And, to be fair, this is not always conscious or malicious.

But sometimes our filter is installed by our ghosts of yesterday past. Here, our experiences from yesterday shape how we make sense of things today. And much of this is just a natural part of learning – building on what has come before. But, when we’re not mindful, we can also easily project and assume that something from yesterday is still happening today when this is not the case. We’re filtering everything from the lens of yesterday rather than seeing clearly today.

For instance, our wife makes a passing comment about us or her desires, and all we hear is disrespect and how much she must be dissatisfied with our life together. This is not what she’s communicating as any objective outsider could clearly see. But our filter is distorted and we’re only hearing what confirms our own insecurities, doubts, and fears.

While we might not be able to perfectly clean out our ears and remove all filters, nor would we want to, it’s still helpful to at least acknowledge their presence. This allows us to make wise judgments – evaluating reality on its own terms while still letting our unique perspectives flavor it.

In the end, it’s okay to filter what you hear as you try to make sense of things. Life is too overwhelming otherwise. But regularly clean your ears out so that you’re not left with many false assumptions and misinterpretations.

Photo by Rob Sarmiento on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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