Our listening creates a sanctuary for
the homeless parts within another person.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
Sometimes the aching “homeless parts” of us crave only a quiet listening ear.
How many times have you been upset and just needed someone to hear you--not to fix, not to solve, not to rescue-- needed someone to simply hear your words and to echo them back with hushed attention, so that you could find some peace within yourself. “Someone cares about me enough to be still and to hear me.”
Listening is a tremendous gift to give to another. Being attentive without offering opinion, guidance, solution, advice, without launching a criticism or a differing point of view is a priceless gift.
Why is it that we so seldom find this sanctuary for ourselves or offer it to another?
Perhaps, asking another to “simply listen” is all we need to do, or all we need to offer. This refuge, this oasis of listening nourishes and refreshes us, and often when gently given, amazingly enables us to solve our own problems, because we have been heard.
Sadly, sensitive listening is rare; we live in a world of fast communication, quick solutions, and instant access to every satisfaction. We are accustomed to hurrying through life, getting to the next item on our list and the next and the next…
And listening takes time. Real listening means not thinking about what you want to say next or how you can speed this process onward, it means quietly concentrating as another person shares their deep concerns.
The next time a friend needs a sensitive ear; don’t rush to find a solution. Believe that the solutions lie within the capabilities of the person experiencing the problem. Give them time and the gift of simply listening, with an encouraging remark or an insightful question.
You will be “offering sanctuary to the homeless parts within another person.”
The next time you yourself need sanctuary, ask for it directly from a trusted friend, who knows how to listen in stillness.
Note: If you want to learn more about the wise and talented Rachel Naomi Remen, click here.
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