Heart to Ear Manifesto
Understanding What Manifesto Is
Manifesto: A public declaration of policy and aims.
Derived from latin: Clear or conspicuous.
Religious type of manifesto are considered creeds.
A Declaration of Hearing
When someone thinks of hearing, they think of the ears. They think of the physical act of being able to hear the sounds around them and the brain interpreting those sounds. For many people with various degree of hearing losses, sounds get interpreted into feel, mainly in vibrations and impact. With the cochlear implant, for the older people, it takes a lot of re-training the brain to interpret sounds the way hearing people do.
A solid basis for a community of people working so hard to hear is acceptance. To me, that is an acceptance of God. To many, it is the acceptance of self. Accepting that you must use tools given to you in order to hear. Accepting that you have a lot of work ahead of you. In this acceptance, I have established a manifesto.
This manifesto, this public declaration, is truly an establishment of spiritual awareness in listening. This manifesto says that hearing should not always be a physical act, but a spiritual one. It is a promise that the best endeavor is in listening with your heart. When you do, God speaks. When God speaks, the ear upon your heart should be ready to listen.
This is the policy of a spiritual ministry that would become Heart to Ear.
Listen carefully, my child, to the master’s instruction, and attend to them with the ear of your heart…
1. Re-Interpret The Way You Listen and Hear
This is the ultimate act of doing the re-interpreting yourself what it really is to listen. To hear. This means that you do not simply settle for attempting to re-train your brain to sounds. Be eager to re-interpret for yourself what those sounds are.
Be eager, also, that God has purposed you in His way. So when you hear and re-interpret those sounds, be open to His interpretations of what you must hear.
Note this says "the way". Each person has the capability to carve out methods and techniques for listening with the cochlear implant. Some of the most helpful things are visual cues in alignment of sounds.
When you focus on your heart more than your ear, on opening yourself up to spiritual guidance, the real interpreting work comes from that. Be empowered to open up all the ears you possess, to pick up methods and guidance, to re-define to the world what it truly is to listen.
2. Redefine Hearing In Your Own Way
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
When I think of "in your own way", I think of your way following after Jesus' way. Jesus knows what you hear, how you hear. And you yourself know that how each person hears is different. Each hearing loss is different. Each reaction to the cochlear implant is different. That is common knowledge.
When you not only re-interpret what you hear, you also re-define what it is that you're hearing. Tell me -- what are you hearing? When you listen with your physical ear, what do you hear? When you listen with both, what do you hear? Define it, capture it into a defining moment of what that sound is.
Now, if you are completely deaf, you hear nonetheless. Because nothing is ever silent for the world of man. Your own voice inside your head as you speak inner thoughts all day long. The blood rushing in your head is clear. But the best moment comes in when there is far more inner dialogue, real definition of your heart's words.
3. Hold Every Form of Communication Available to You
My biggest beef is that people believe that implanted children would never truly learn to listen if they continue to depend on visual cues like lip-reading, sign language, and notes. They say the same of deaf people. And they go on to say the same of CODA.
I declare that people hold every tool and every communication available to them. I still request interpreters, I still depend on lip reading, and yet I hear quite well with the tool given to me. I speak with my voice. I speak with my hands. I am eager for the world of communication and I don't hold myself back from what is available to me.
God has entrusted to me to communicate with what He has given me. I recommend that you, and your children, do the same. In Heart to Ear, I will explain why this is so important. One key note of that explanation will be that the more tools you have to communicate with, the less this harms your interaction with the world! It is backwards and illogical to believe otherwise.
4. Understand That You Are Different and the Same
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful
This is all amazing to remember.
- Each person's reaction to hearing and listening is different.
- Each person ability to hear and listen is different.
- Each person hears and understands differently than others.
- However, we are all in the same boat of learning, of making mistakes, and sometimes being outcasts in different cultures (deaf, hearing).
5. Stories Do Not Begin in the Ear, but the Heart
Stories, spoken or signed or written, all whispered to the heart and the mind. Perhaps, your physical ear catches them first. But your physical ear does not do the grasping, the full understanding, as your heart does.
So, remember that when you create stories -- a chapter of your life beginning, or a poem you are writing -- they came from your heart before they ever reached your lips. Before they ever reached another person's ear or eyes.
This is the best analogy of why it's so much more important to listen with the heart.
A mystery thriller that includes cochlear implant user, along with intriguing questions.
6. Find Support in this Journey of Hearing
Do not go alone. Solitude is good -- for clearing your mind, for a moment to self. But God is with you always in those moments.
Everyone needs support in the family, with their friends, in a ministry, in a church, with their group of religion or designated spirituality. Lack of support is a lonely and heart-rending path to take. Reach out your hand and know this is what my ministry is for. I reach out mine in the name of Christ.
7. Do it all prayerfully, with our hearts open.
Listen with the guidance of God and Jesus.
Open your hearts to His words.
Pray for the support, strength, understanding, and hope it takes to go on this journey of hearing.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
- John 10:27-28.