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hearken (2021 “one word”)

by Shawni

My “one word” for 2021 came so quickly and easily this year, and it has still taken me until March to write about it. But better late than never, right?

I opened up my scriptures for our new study of the Doctrine & Covenants back in January, and the first word, written all in caps, was “HEARKEN.” I decided then and there that would be my “word” for this year.

Yes, it may sound a little “churchy” upon first impression, yes?

But you guys, it is such a BEAUTIFUL word! (And really, of course there’s nothing wrong with churchy:)

Essentially, it’s a fancy word for “listen,” but to me somehow it exudes more action.

In the dictionary the three definitions are 1) listen, 2) to give respectful attention, and 3) to bring to mind something in the past.

And those things are exactly what I want my life to be filled up with.

When you truly listen, you are guided. You are humble. You are interested. You are instructed. You are protected. You know where to put your heart.

And what made it even better is that I was listening to a commentary on those scriptures (again, with Emily Freeman who I love) who pointed out that the word “Hearken” just might be even more beautiful written in Chinese:

Because that Chinese character includes the symbol for “ear,””eyes,” “you,” “undivided attention,” and “heart.” And I believe it takes all of those to truly “hearken.”

(Good thing I have all year to figure out how to do that, right??)

It’s a big undertaking, but OH! How I want to hone in those hearkening skills. I want to hearken to my husband and give him my heart. I want to hearken to my children, to my friends, to all those women I love in my church congregation (and to everyone else of course). In order to do this I need to learn to put away things that suck away my time, and learn to concentrate more on what’s right in front of me.

But mostly, I want to learn to better hearken to God. To “Hear Him” in more ways. To take the time to get my mind and my heart more in sync with what’s most important in my everyday life. Oh how I want Him to guide and direct me. I want to learn to listen better and to “do.”

I’ll have to come back to report how it’s going, but for now, I’m still really working on meditation each morning, and working in stillness more into my life. Still enough to be able to give my heart. I am working on writing down my impressions better (I have a little notebook I try to carry around for that).

I have a lot of work to do! But I love having that little reminder to hearken sitting on my counter.

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2 comments

Ciara March 19, 2021 - 6:41 am

I love this! I’ve done the “word of the year” for the past six years after reading about it on your blog. The past few years I’ve been looking at the etymology of “my word” and sometimes I like that even more than the word itself! Etymonline has a flowchart of how the word has changed in its meaning over the centuries, it’s pretty neat!

My word this year is “purpose”.

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Shawni March 19, 2021 - 9:21 am

Love those thoughts, Ciara. I love delving into words. Isn’t language just so interesting? And I love your word for this year. It’s a beautiful one.
xoxo

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