Being heard is rare and healing, and might just be what we need to connect as humans, as friends and as a community. Both being vulnerable and supporting someone being vulnerable is equally healing.
So, don’t forget to listen.
As the Holidays begin, and remind us to give thanks for what we have, what we are blessed to enjoy and what gives us peace I also want to remember that many of us are also struggling.
There are internal battles of self-love, financial frustration, self-image, family dynamics and health behind most every smile. The enlightened ones of us are pressured to be uplifting and choosing to verbalize a positive spin on everything. But as energy workers, practitioners, and friends, don’t be so quick to offer the right answer, maybe it is better to listen.
Listen to the story without needing to add a happy ending, just listen. The struggle is real, the pain is felt, and by the time someone wants to talk the logical mind is worn out with the responsibility to fix it. What is left to share is the emotion of the moment. The fears that won’t go away even when it’s irrational. Even if it isn’t right, there is still anger, guilt and frustration. Who has not been in this place? What helped you?
Your greatest gift is to give the quiet space for someone else to fill. Yes, it might be messy, and if you care about them they might show the cracks and broken dreams. But the healing will start when they are heard.
Listening to something you don’t understand or agree with might be the one thing that makes a difference and creates a shift. Let this loved one share it. Maybe it really is as simple as listening, holding a safe space, feeling no responsibility to help the other person solve the problem. They are wise, and they know in the heart what they are going to do.
Just listening without adding an informed mantra, a quote, a resource or a solution is the acknowledgement that you trust the sacred inner wisdom that they possess. This is the deep connection because we all possess this wisdom.
It will make the difference we all want to make in the world. And by supporting this in another, you support it in you. Our Spiritual Adventures for Women retreats add this component of holding a space for others and find it the most important part of the experience.
I recently had dinner with a very dear friend, and I was struggling with a highly personal challenge. I was depressed and scared and she asked me to dinner. I didn’t want to bring her down so I almost said no. I’m so glad I decided to take my flaws and show up for dinner.
My friend was so wise. She simply left the space open for me to enter, and held it with love. I knew if I asked her to help she would. She didn’t give me a quick fix, or a scenario or case history of someone else, or an assurance that all would work out as it is meant to be. She let me verbalize my pain and fear and work my way back to hope on my own.
I felt so good when I left her and it was several hours later that I really knew why.
Originally published at teresamaron.us on November 24, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com