That is what it meant when my grandmother, a 6th grade teacher, used it. “I reminded you to do your homework before dinner…but my advice to you goes in one ear and out the other.”
A few days ago Laura in Seoul South Korea posted in the Listserve. Her insights took the old idiom of “in one ear and out the other” and turned it into a ZEN POWER for living in the moment and creating a better future. This is her post:
“Today, let’s talk about how to walk the fine line between being your own person versus being under your parents.
I won’t go into details, but my newly divorced parents are going through a rough time in light of a staggering revelation. I love my parents equally, but it’s really hard to take when they are both throwing out terrible thoughts and untrue assumptions about the other. It is worsened by the fact that they both seem to come to me about it, when I am not under their care or protection anymore.
So how does one manage this difficult balance? 3 ways:
1.) By listening.
I just listen, and listen respectfully. There are things that they may need to say, and as hard as it is for me to hear it, it just needs to be said. The point is NOT TO HOLD ON TO THOSE WORDS.* Personally, I do this through my faith in Christ, but the principle holds true. As the saying goes, “in one ear and out the other.” If I were to hold on to those things, it would absolutely destroy me, which is not fair.
2.) It’s their problem, not yours.
I have my own life to live (of which I’m starting a new, terrifyingly exciting chapter), so I need to just let my parents deal with these things on their own. Of course it hurts me to see their hearts breaking, but I can’t carry this for them. They’re adults too, and while I love and respect them, in the end, it’s THEIR ISSUE, NOT MINE.
Thank you Laura!
Her first point: As the saying goes, “in one ear and out the other.” If I were to hold on to those things, it would absolutely destroy me, which is not fair.”…jumped off the page. It is awful when someone close to you makes up their mind about someone else you love in a negative way. It hurts to hear it. It’s hard to let it go and leave it in the moment. Sometimes people stew and chew over this stuff for years!
A silent affirmation of “I let this go in one ear and out the other” will help you stay centered and keep you from turning defensive and arguing, which is usually a big waste of time and energy.
Maybe you don’t realize there are things you are holding on to about what other people said or did that are causing havoc in your mind and future. Learning the Zen Power to let things go “in one ear and out the other”, is a catapult towards creating a future of better health and greater happiness today! The more I listen the more I realize that there are plenty of conversational moments, gossip and intellectual decrees that will be shifted by this simple affirmation:”I let this go…in one ear and out the other”.
The bonus is an energy shift. When you adopt this affirmation it gives those people close to you and who are saying destructive things the space to show up differently.
I find this works because I am no longer holding them to their word, whatever it was…