I remember a session on listening which went very wrong and right at the same time. The trainer made an error of judgement when he asked a participant to share something personal about himself. The rest of us were asked to listen and then make suitable empathetic responses. The participant began to share. But what he shared was deeply personal and full of emotion. The trainer turned to us, a group of ten odd people, and asked us to respond empathetically. People tried to respond, but their responses sounded so trite in light of the depth of his emotions. A friend and I had no response to make. Too moved by what he shared, we chose to remain silent.

At the end of the session, we gathered courage and went up to him to explain how we were silent only because any other response seemed trivial. He told us, that our silence was the only response he truly appreciated!

Listening is an act of love. It demands that we be completely present to the other person. Most often, that means a meaningful silence, a hug or an arm around the other’s shoulder. When we truly listen with our hearts, we make space for the other to be herself or himself.

I’m convinced that if every one had at least one person that listened to them without judgement and made space for them to be themselves, the world would be an infinitely better place.

Do you agree? 

listening is an act of love

When Someone Deeply Listens to You
When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.
When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.
– John Fox

Today I am rather belatedly writing for the 1000 Voices of Compassion (click on the link for more posts and read about it below). The theme for this month is ‘Listening’. You can also find #1000Speak on Facebook,Twitter, the blog or the hashtag #1000Speak on social media. I am proud to have written for #1000Speak on the topics of Compassion, Bullying and Acceptance.

I’m also linking in to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings post.