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Listening to Love

by Tonya Ladipo

Why is it that it is so easy to hear and accept criticism from people who do not care about us or worse are mean to us?
Many years ago an older, Black woman pulled me aside and very clearly told me not to listen to people who don’t love me. “But I don’t want to reject criticism outright . . . they may have a point . . . I don’t want to be defensive . . . blah – blah – blah” I told her. And again she said, “Tonya, don’t listen to people who don’t love you.”

So I mulled over her comment, not fully understanding how to embrace it, but knowing that I would have to. I am so appreciative to her for saying that to me. They are words of wisdom that I use with my friends, my clients, and I still use remind myself. Don’t listen to people who don’t love you.

People who love us are kind and generous to us. They lift us up and support us while always encouraging us to do and be better than we are. When they critique us they do it with love in their heart and concern for our feelings. When these people offer you feedback, listen!

People who are mean to us, take joy in our pain, and try to break us down are people who do not love us. Do not listen to them. Do not listen to people who do not love you. This is much easier said than done because we are so practiced at listening to the wrong people.

Consider keeping this phrase (“Only listen to people who love me“) in your head for the next few weeks and see if you notice a difference within yourself.

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