When listening to someone, especially in situations of grief or emotional upset, confusion and pain, can you sit in their presence without needing to interject?
Without thinking about the next thing YOU want to say?
...changing your facial expression?
...reaching out to touch or hug them?
...rushing to their 'rescue'?
How many of us have been stopped in our own tracks when talking to someone about something painful, or confusing, or grief-full, and the other person suddenly scrunchies their face into a pained expression? Or stopped by their rush to 'hug' us?
Realize that our nature is to respond to someone hurting.
It is natural. It is a function of the mirror neurons in our brains.
We are compelled to want to make it better somehow.
We are feeling our own discomfort at their discomfort.
Sometimes suppressing our own pain, sorrow, confusion, anger, etc at our own circumstances...brought vividly into view by the plight of another.
Sometimes time traveling in our minds to a time and place, past or future, when we too have and will eventually face these moments of emotional volatility.
What would happen if you could be sad in the presence of another without having them try to talk you out of it? Hug you out of it? Or tell you by body language and expression that you are making them uncomfortable?
Would you? Might you? Be willing to allow yourself to fully feel and express, in vulnerability and availability if you could be seen and heard in exactly the moment you are in?
How might we engage with one another?
How might we see and love and feel and experience each other when we are allowed to be our authentic self?
This week I invite you to explore the idea of being fully present with those around you as they talk. Even if they are simply talking about the weather.
What do you feel and sense, see and hear about who they are as a fellow human being on this planet at this time?
If you feel the urge to fix or hug them....pause....then ask what they need. They might not know. That is ok if they don't. If you feel you need to hug them....again....ask. "May I hug you?" not "Would you like a hug?" Come from your authentic self.
Let them know that you 'see' them. That you 'hear' them.
And....if you are the one in need of being seen and heard without someone rushing in to fix you????
Ask another to be with you, see you, hear you....even if you say nothing.
Ask if they will sit with you in the quiet spaciousness of two beings together.....breathing in all the gift of beating hearts and and bone and blood....saying "YES!" to life.....
...in all of it's expressions.