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....I'm not listening

Some to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings...
Miles Franklin...

I had an epiphany today......I have a much loved friend who has a difficult life....she lives in another state...we talk on the phone every now and then and she tells me the story of how many things aren't working in her life.....because I want her to be happy, I offer up advice...solutions that might make things better, and she offers up the reasons that what I share won't work for her. When we hang up I feel sad and frustrated and I doubt she feels any better. I often dread the next call because we will do the same dance. I love her and it is painful to hear her unhappiness.

I am part of a Sacred Circle...a brand new seed of a Circle...we are just now putting it all together, the ritual, the guidelines, the mission statement. We are using the book Sacred Circles by Robin Deen Carnes & Sally Craig. As I read the book for the third time trying to really understand what a Circle can give back to the women who show up so willing to tell their stories, and I think that it is the gift of being heard...to have another human listen deeply to our experiences.


Have you ever been telling your story only to have the listener, shuffle papers or look at the clock or multi-task? Or they miss the joy you are sharing because they aren't tuning in, somehow making the story less? Or they try to fix things for you when really you only want to tell....it is in the telling that we so often find our own answers.


I know sometimes when I'm the listener, like with my friend, I am forming my opinion, judging her, coming up with a plan, rather than simply giving her a place to be heard...I can't fix her situation and thinking about it now she hasn't asked me to....she is just telling....and most likely all she wants me to do is deeply listen, and let her know that she is being heard
...and that's my epiphany.


I realized I want to hear her voice and know how she is doing but I don't have to put on a Miss Fix-It hat...
I just need to give her a safe place to share.... I can be fully there for her...just listening deeply....connecting
...I feel better with that realization.
I have lifted the pressure off of myself
....I will be able to hear her with my heart instead of my head.
By listening with empathy I give her safer place to share.....and by letting go of my belief that if only she would listen, and DO what I suggest, everything would be good.... that's a pretty crazy ego thing... and I think I do it a lot... think I can fix things...


When we don't listen fully to each other,
when we don't revere the Spirit within others that's trying to talk to us,
we destroy the connection that wants to be made between Spirits...

5 comments:

Regina said...

One heart listening to another...just listening is sometimes all that one heart needs to know it's loved and cared for and that life will be brighter!!

Hugs,
Regi

ladybug said...

This is such beautiful truth and wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing it. What a gift you've given me today!

Snowbrush said...

It's not only hard to listen well, but sometimes it's hard to really want to listen well.

merci33 said...

Hi Julie
I was just revisiting a comment that you left on my blog back in April...I was so moved by the way that you listened that I popped over to say hello...and here you are sharing the importance of a gift you teach so well.
Thank you for a lovely and thoughtful reminder.
And I celebrate your Circle...so creatively empowering!!

Cindy said...

I need to read this every day until it is etched on my own soul...I cannot fix everything for everybody....then maybe I should just listen....without judgment...without even wanting to fix it...we all have our own mountains and valleys...and we have to learn our very own lessons. You are so very wise Miss Julie

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