You know that amazing feeling when someone really listened to you?
It's like taking a warm shower where you emerge feeling washed clean of whatever icky feeling was covering your skin. That is what I feel like today after this experience of being listened to.
It's so completely amazing to have had the full attention of a friend or even a stranger who really looked you in the eyes and took in all that you had to say. You could tell they were fully there with you. They might have even had some opinions to share, but they were patient enough to just listen first, because they knew that you didn't want them to fix whatever you were going through - you just wanted someone to witness that moment for you. That is the beauty of listening.
Today my best friend let me just pour my heart out to her as we drove back from an event way far away. It felt like a mini road trip. We were driving along amidst the hum of traffic and she just let me rattle on about everything I have been feeling. She would chime in and add parallel stories, and we kind of went back and forth, working through various scenarios and sharing perspectives. It was wonderful to feel understood and also to feel like I could really open up my heart and let everything out. She held the space for me to feel safe enough to air out all the emotions that had been all clogged up this week and really, deeply listened. It was magical to see how much better I felt. It was truly such a healing experience.
As I spoke, I found myself discovering what was at the root of all of it, and I because I hadn't articulated it before, I hadn't quite consciously discovered what it was that was bugging me. But working through it helped to clarify the problem so that I could do something positive about it. I think constantly complaining and wallowing in victimhood is a rather dangerous habit. However, I do believe that we all need the chance to express ourselves and feel like we are being heard. When you can start to identify what it is that has been aggravating you, then you can move into a new space of transformation where you can start to shift the dynamic of the energy in the situation. Today it felt like something clicked for me because I finally was brave enough to talk about what was bugging me. And my friend held that space so wonderfully. I'm so grateful for her willingness to be fully present and dig in and listen.
And that is not all she did. She also asked me, "Can I give you my perspective?" That question was absolute music to my ears. I loved that she asked me if she could share her opinion. It seems like there are so many arguments around listening. Someone always wants to jump in and fix things, quickly offering solutions to problems before the other person has had the time to really talk about their feelings. It is really annoying! Today that didn't happen. My friend really took the time to listen and then with permission, shared some beautiful insights that helped me to move from problem to solution - when I was ready to go there.
I'm so grateful for this experience today and it's a big reminder to me, especially as a coach who loves to offer solutions to remember, sometimes people just want to be heard. I think that most of us can arrive at our own breakthrough moments by simply being heard. It's so wonderful to offer that gift to someone, to create a safe space for them to express where they are at and allow that process of transformation to occur.
This week, let's try out being better listeners shall we? Let's explore that whole beauty of listening, both to our own hearts and to our loved ones. Who knows, you just may transform somebody's day!
Wishing you great joy and happiness,