My daily walks, are becoming a window to my soul. As I get to share with my partner John how, my second call of the day felt like a deepening to the first call. I go into describing what was emerging for me and, linking it to the feeling I had to something I read a couple of nights ago. Which in one hand I could see the intention of the writer and yet it was unsettling for me to read it.
As I was scanning through the social feeds to see what is in people’s mind these days, I noticed a share that read along the lines of “Feel your feelings, there is no bad or good feelings, just name your feelings and be with them, no need to disregard them or ignore them”, and in other times, I would have probably said the same, however the therapist in me, found myself asking questions such: who are we soothing? who are you being with now?
I was wondering, if the person giving such advise, knew much of attachment styles when inviting people to feel their feelings. If they knew that our current sense of feeling safe or not is connected to earlier experience of safety of our caregiver. more and more questions kept coming.
I go about sharing with john, how confused and sad I felt and still do, when seeing people continuing to advise and reading these general statements, as it doesn’t honor the individual experience of the collection crisis. Those general statements feel like a violation and not compassion to ME.
He pauses and shared his perspective; he tells me about the journalist in a British show who was interviewing a scientist about the current COVID-19 situation, and as the scientist trying to explain his point of view, the journalist kept interrupting him, contradicts, playing the devil advocates, as if he is interviewing a politician.
He goes into say: I just wanted to tell him, would you JUST LISTEN, YOU F…….. IDIOT.
As he said that, my mouth dropped open and yes JUST LISTEN, felt like what I was asking.
As I write I am reminded of a beautiful poem, that I came across in the work of Non-Violent communication.
When i ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why i shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something, to solve my problem, you have failed me
Strange as that may seem….listen! all I ask is that you listen.
Don’t talk or do-just hear me. Advice is cheap; and I can do for myself; I am not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel.
No matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand whats behind them.
perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people-because God is mute and he doesn’t give advice or try to fix things.
God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn-and i will listen to you.