HOW EACH DISCIPLESHIP STANCE FILTERS AS THEY LISTEN TO OTHERS
1. Disciples Who Seek To Perfect: filter for what is right or wrong / correct or incorrect. So, as they listen to others, quite unconsciously, they are often both judging and feeling judged by what is being said at the very same time. Sensitive to receiving, but unafraid of giving criticism, they are listening for the way something “should” or “must” be. For this reason, as they listen to others they may affirm or point out what could be, should be or must be improved upon or made right. This “righteousness filter” in part explains why disciples within stances ONE, SIX and EIGHT can often be mistaken for one another. Each can be drawn to justice & righteousness issues for similar but uniquely different reasons, with stance ONE demanding decency, stance SIX demanding lawfulness and stance EIGHT demanding a voice for the voiceless. However, if the “other” this disciple is listening to is entrenched in stance EIGHT this disciple is likely to hear many things that are not “decent” and miss that they are said or done in an effort to help give the voiceless a voice. They may not in fact be “lawful” either as there are many “unjust laws.” Because, disciples who seek to perfect want to do a good job and get it right, even constructive feedback can be hard to receive as they are often harder on themselves than anyone else could be. They are rule, boundary and parameter people listening for who makes them and who breaks them. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is SEVEN they begin to tune into their own playful ears. They remember the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not take thy self so damn seriously.” And, as this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is FOUR they begin to tap into their own capacity to listen with grace and creativity. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of serenity. They begin to accept the things they cannot change. They find the courage to change the things they can. And they have the wisdom to know the difference.
2. Disciples Who Seek To Connect: listen for how they can help. Listening for how they can stay a part of and sensitive to feeling a part from, they filter for what is caring & what connects. As they listen to others, quite unconsciously, they listen for the other’s approval, disapproval, acceptance or rejection. As they are listening to others they are on high alert for what sounds to them as selfish or self-centered. Needing to be a bit more selfish themselves, they are not quite sure how to do this without an adverse effect on others. Ironically, their inability to set good boundaries and attend to their own needs brings about the very hurt they are trying to avoid. As they listen to others they hear needs and perceive expectations that are not necessarily present. They listen to others with love, compassion and empathy. Yet, this “super power” can create ears so dialed into the needs of others that they become overly prideful in their abilities. This often leaves them deaf to the importance of recognizing and affirming that, for the reason others are the experts in their own lives, they really do not know. They do well to realize that like a stopped clock, when it comes to knowing the needs of others, they can be right twice a day. Therefore, it is important for them to check out their assumptions. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is FOUR they begin to tune into the importance of spending as much time tending to their own feelings and emotions as they do to others. And, as this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is EIGHT they begin to tune into their own internal “BS” meter. Thus they begin to listen to others embracing interdependency as opposed to co-dependency. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of humility. They feel no shame in acknowledging and accepting their own limits, boundaries and needs.
3. Disciples Who Seek Success & Efficiency: listen for action, achievement and accomplishments as they are listening to others. And as they are listening they are mentally or physically taking action. Wanting to be seen as accomplished they will be listening for anything that gives them an indication as to how you see them or that can help them as they steer you to how they want you to see them. As they are listening to others they will show or say something that directs attention to what they have achieved. They may also be planning steps to take in their mind or actually doing something as they are listening to you. They want information that is concise, conclusive and maximizes value. As they are listening to others they are listening for the most effective path to solution / resolution. They listen for what can rather than cannot be done since success comes in cans, failure comes in cant’s. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is SIX they hear ways they might be loyal to their true self and their commitments as opposed to their personas and roles. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is NINE they hear the importance of embracing a relaxed flow as opposed to the unrelenting drive that comes all too natural to them. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of honesty. They know their outer image must be in alignment with their inner image. There is no need to impress. What you see is what you get.
4. Disciples Who Seek To Be Understood: listen for what is expansive, creative and unique. As they are listening to others they are filtering for what has depth, meaning and is in touch with the incredible beauty and the deep pain of humanity. They listen for whether they are understood, seen as unique and accepted as different yet never quite feeling that they are. Much like disciples within discipleship stance ONE they can be a great judge of quality. However, whereas disciples within discipleship stance ONE scan for what is right or wrong, disciples who hold discipleship stance FOUR scan for what it is that’s missing or present that makes something unique and complete. As they listen to others they can sense on a very deep level whether the person has depth, character or potential, even if the person does not sense it within themselves. Within this discipleship stance the disciple can hear and call forth the extraordinary from within the “ordinary”. Perhaps more than any other discipleship stance this disciple can sit within the depth of human pain and despair (their own and that of others) without coming up for air. This disciple understands the passion of humanity both in terms of suffering and drive yet they never quite feel understood themselves. They can listen to others in a ways that instill a sense of belonging in the other. Ironically, as they listen to others they do so with a sense of themselves as a “resident alien” uncertain of where or if they fit in. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is ONE their own sense of being flawed and incomplete gives way to their own inner goodness. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is TWO their ears begin to tune into the ways in which they are connected rather than disconnected to the world around them. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of equanimity. They know deep within their soul that right now they have everything they need to be perfectly happy within the world, nothing is missing.
5. Disciples Who Seek Knowledge & Information: listening for wisdom, understanding, knowledge and truth. As they listen to others they are filtering for what is specific, concrete and informative. As they listen to others they often do so “emotionally flat” as emotions get in the way of logic and less is more unless its data and analysis. That said, what is often missed is their “kindness” filter. Their “superpower” is observation and they can be keenly dialed into whether interactions among people are genuine and kind. Their ability to detach from the moment is both a blessing and a curse. As they are listening to others that detachment allows them to take in more data and make better observations. However, at the very same time their detached listening can make for long conversations. Actually experiencing their experience hours, days maybe even months later, it may come as a surprise to them that others have already moved on. Yet, when they do come back to engage it would be wise of the other to listen and truly take in what they have to say, for it is then that they demonstrate their ability to listen to others on a higher level. They have keen observations and an ability to help others regain objectivity when they have lost it. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is EIGHT they learn how to tap into their own power and authority, negotiating for what they need and letting the rest go. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is SEVEN their ears begin to tune into how to reach out to others in a spontaneous, friendly, playful, and engaging manner. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of non-attachment. Ironically in the emptying of oneself one is filled beyond all measure.
6. Disciples Who Seek Security: listen for what is cautious, consistent and prevents chaos. Often out of touch with their own inner authority they have a keen interest in what the “experts” or voices of authority say. As they listen to others they will be listening for those reference points if the person themselves is not necessarily seen as a voice of authority. At the same time, even if the other speaking is an expert or authority this disciple listens with a loyal skepticism. Underneath an often times calm exterior, their minds can be anxious and spinning out of control thinking of what might or could go wrong. Filtering information through “worst case scenarios” they can be excellent trouble shooters. At the same time lacking or being overloaded with data can create indecision, uncertainty and a fear that leaves them hesitant (phobic) or hostile (counter-phobic). Their work is to listen to their own inner authority so that as they are listening to others they don’t move away from (phobic) or into (counter-phobic) danger as a result of F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is NINE their ears tune into how they might simply allow events to unfold rather than worry about things going wrong. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is THREE they begin hear how an increased sense of inner competence can diminish one’s self-doubt. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of courage and can commit themselves to a course of action even when they feel unsure about the outcome.
7. Disciples Who Seek Options & Possibilities: listen for the positive possibilities. As they listen to others they filter for the “silver lining” behind every cloud. Whereas the ears of disciples entrenched in discipleship stance SIX are dialing into what could go wrong as they listen to you, the ears of this disciple are dialed into what could go right. The mind of this disciple, like the SIX, gets kicked into overdrive. As they listen to others they are opening an unending series of “hyperlinks” that give option after option after option after option for all kinds of playful possibilities. The chaos or catastrophe they are scanning for is the chaos or catastrophe felt when one is limited or has no options. The more possibilities and options the better. So if you are giving them, they are all ears, but if they perceive (emphasis on their perception) you as not seeing them, not taking them or taking them away then beware. Whereas the disciple who holds stance THREE may interrupt or talk over others who are not getting to their point, this disciple may interrupt or talk over the point others are trying to make to point others in another direction. That direction may develop or distract from the point. If this disciple sees the positive possibilities it is usually their intent to develop the point others are making. If, however, this disciple feels controlled or limited it is usually their intent to distract or misdirect. As they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is FIVE, it is not so much what they hear as what they observe that will help them. These observations can lead them to seeing the importance of pulling away from outside stimulus so as to keep their often insatiable desire for more (especially options & possibilities) from derailing them. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is ONE they begin to see that there is indeed joy to be found in putting what you are supposed to do ahead of what you would like to do or the fun thing to do. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of sobriety and begin to take in only as much as is needed and expend only as much energy as is needed.
8. Disciples Who Seek Justice and Strength: listen for strength, resolve and fairness. As they listen to others they do so with an incredible “BS” meter. Their ears are dialed into how persons with power use that power, especially as it comes to the most vulnerable. The more self-aware they are the more they listen to others with controlled compassion. The less self-aware they are the less they control their passion and compassion. Their responses may bring shock & awe but are intended to wake others up so that they are good stewards of their life force. So as they listen to others they can do so with great intensity and focus yet they are prone to lose interest or grow impatient when what they are hearing lacks life, passion and matches their intensity. Much like disciples in stance FIVE these disciples are keen observers of their environment. However, whereas discipleship stance FIVE is like that of the wise ole owl, discipleship stance 8 is like that of the prowling lion tracking prey. This ability to focus on other things happening in their environment and at the same time listen intently to what others are saying seems to be unique to the body based stances of EIGHT, NINE and ONE. So if you think they are not listening, think again. Listening to disciples whose favorite stance is TWO helps them get in touch with their gentler side and tunes their ears into the importance of being more empathic toward themselves and others. And, as they listen to disciples whose favorite stance is FIVE, they learn the importance of standing back and thinking things out before they take action. They hone the skill of developing plans from an unbiased perspective rather than only from their limited personal point of view. And, so in community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of innocence. They come to each moment fresh and without expectations or prejudgments, much like a child.
9. Disciples Who Seek Peace & Harmony: listen for harmony and disharmony. They are excellent mediators, gifted not only in hearing all sides, but also giving all sides the confidence of being heard. As they listen they listen for how they might have or might be creating difficulty for others and adjust accordingly. Their minds are scanning for what they can or need to do that will prevent any anticipated difficulty and “keep the peace”. As they listen to others their energy is contained and their tone is conciliatory…until it is not. They hold lots of energy, thoughts and opinions underneath the surface of their calm, go along to get along exterior. And, when they reach their “tipping point” that energy can be expelled in a way that catches everyone, themselves included, off guard. As this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is THREE their ears tune into what keeps them motivated and productive. And as this disciple listens to disciples whose favorite stance is SIX they learn the importance of taking courageous stands so as to express their beliefs, opinions, and wishes. In community with these disciples, and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they discover the virtue of right action, action which naturally flows from an attitude of gratitude for the reason that it is grounded in their intuition and loyal to their instincts.
Creating compassionate curiosity within a community of disciples who seek to listen to God together helps the community as it seeks to better understand what God might be up to in their midst. Listening to stories about what each disciple, within their stance, longs for and what they perceive they’ve lost (or are afraid to lose) helps hearts align with God’s own heart as it is revealed in Jesus. What God cares about “most” is not fully known in one discipleship stance over another. Rather all are needed to truly discern the mind of Christ.