Sometimes there comes a moment in life where you just need to listen.
Listen without preparing a reply, listen without being defensive, listen without justification.
The process is not easy, it is actually hard, because each of us has an ego, an ID that is waiting for its "see me, hear me" moment. This is especially true when your voice has been snuffed out through all the isms that plague everyday life. The many controls and manipulations that threaten to snuff out your existence can make the walls go up and the living thwarted.
Hearing, truly stepping outside oneself and stepping into the heart of the speaker to hear the words, thoughts, and intents they are sharing requires a sacrifice many are not willing to pay. It is gutwrenching painful to listen to someone share their story, it is even more painful to learn that part of their story involves some damage that what done to them by someone they trusted. Hearing is therapeutic and triumphant.
Life stories are all everyone has. Everyone has that one pivotal event that could make or break their existence. One of the things that differentiates those who overcome is that they were able to be heard, to get the toxic waste of that offense out of them and release it to the world.
It is a lot like that wonder African ceremony where when someone has done wrong, the village elders all the way down to the youngest baby surround them to sing to them their birth song. In so doing, they are hearing the soul of that person who then releases the toxin of their offence.
Hearing takes many forms, Listen, truly listening is active and engaging. It can be reading the account of someone who can not utter the words, it can be listening to their composition on the piano or violin or gazing upon their artwork that simply takes your breath away.
Humanity would be a little further along if we stopped listening to respond and start listening to receive. It is not easy, the ego must be squashed and we must stand firm to be able to send back strength to the speaker. The speaker can be nervous and a little fearful in sharing their truth, but as they speak in first a whisper and then gain confidence, their cadence becomes stronger and with each word, their heart begins to soar.
When life presents an opportunity to listen and hear, do it, it is healing for both the speaker and for the listener. To be heard is one of the greatest gifts to give.
There are lessons in listening and healing in hearing.