Are They Even Listening?

Wednesday 4 July, 2001

Saw Sunil off early and went back to bed – I am very tired today and irritated. As the day wore on my irritation did not change. I felt uncomfortable in my office and couldn’t help thinking that it was something to do with Kuldip being in the next room. I had no energy to do anything. Just before lunch Kuldip asked me how I deal with anxiety. My heart sank because he was, yet again, looking for someone else to give him the answers instead of working through and sorting it out for himself.

[Karaj: You had the right feelings. Act upon them. Say nothing.]

We talked, and during the course of the conversation I was able to make a couple of fundamental points which helped to ease my feelings of discomfort and irritation slightly – a lesson to me to communicate my feelings. I told Kuldip that not only does he not listen, he also talks over people, trying to defend himself against comments and observations which are, ultimately, made for his benefit.

I stressed that Karaj knows what he is talking about and people need to listen to him. After all, they come here and pay their money, so why don’t they listen? This led on to my other point – that people don’t make much use of the opportunities they have here. It is almost as if they are paying Karaj a retainer for when things go really wrong in their lives, instead of using his vast knowledge and experience to sort their lives out now. I told Kuldip that at the end of the day it is not my problem, unless they make it my problem, which he is doing by being in the house and not listening or taking the opportunity he has been given – an opportunity he has already thrown away once before. We broke for lunch.

During lunch Karaj asked Kuldip to analyse the conversation he and I had had. Kuldip started off by describing what he had talked about last. I found this very strange – as if all he could recall were the last two minutes of a 20-minute conversation. I tried to prompt him but Karaj stopped me. I was glad of this later and anyway it was nothing more than a rescue attempt on my part. I started to get the distinct feeling that Kuldip had not heard me. Karaj continued to ask him for his analysis, but all he could do was repeat elements of the conversation, and this is where I had my insight and breakthrough. Everything that Kuldip recalled had originally come from his own mouth. Not only could he not remember anything of what I had said, he had clearly not grasped the importance of the points I had made. I was shell-shocked. At last I had hard evidence that Kuldip does not listen to the advice he is given. My life just got simpler.

There is no longer any need for me to try and find an answer to why he continues to make the same mistakes over and over again. He will continue to do so until he surrenders and lets go of whatever it is that stops him from listening. This has helped me enormously because I have witnessed, first hand, just what people are like. It puts my own skills and abilities into perspective and it means I no longer need to waste so much of my time and energy on others – they’re not listening.

I could do no more work today so I walked home. I dozed off a couple of times before going to bed for an early night. Robert rang early evening to express his disappointment that I had cancelled our weekend. He told me he was looking forward to it especially considering his work and home situation. The note I wrote to myself read: ‘Robert wants the weekend because nothing else is working’. This is reason enough to leave things as they are. Besides that, I am not right and neither is Karaj.


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