Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just Listen

The Path We Walk Is Our Own Creation (c) Trisha Leigh Shufelt 

Over a year ago, I took a group class taught by my Reiki Instructor that focused on listening.  Our little group met once a month for a year and we read from a book called, A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer.  Each week, we would review a chapter, break off in solitude to answer questions in our journals, and then return to the group to give out thoughts.  We were then asked questions.  The questions could not be leading in nature, and as the person answered our questions, we had to simply listen to their response.  We were not allowed to offer advice, a tissue should there be tears (which there often were), or fix, save and rescue.  Eventually, we learned the art of true listening.

Since then, I've tried to apply the techniques I learned when having conversations with others. It is fairly easy with strangers, as the natural boundaries often apply.  When it comes to loved ones and friends, well, that is a different story.  I've gotten better at it, but don't know if I will ever master the the true art of listing.  I think each sex has their own tough time with it.  It is hard for women, as it is in our nature to nurture and heal.  Men always want to fix, save and rescue.  However, I think it important to realize that the most important thing we can do for another person is to simply listen, and remove ourselves from the desire to fix, save and rescue.  It is important to realize that this person you are listening to is walking their own path.  It is their journey, not your own.  Once you begin trying to fix, save and rescue, you take on the burden of their karma.  It now becomes your own and this is something you do not want or need.  As an empath, I am unlearning this habit.  It is not easy.  If we are to grow as individuals and learn our Soul lessons, we must allow others to make mistakes, have triumphs of their own, and walk their own journey.  Of course, if you see someone in a dangerous situation, it is wise to offer guidance, but remember that even if you do, they may not always heed your advice. Sometimes they will fall regardless of your help, but hopefully in the falling they will have learned a very valuable lesson.  Sometimes, you will see those you love get stuck in self-destructive patterns.  This could be on the work front, in personal relationships, or within themselves.  It is difficult to watch someone go though these things, especially when it affects you directly.  Our instinct is to try and help, perhaps get angry and project our own fears, or become passive aggressive.  I've been there, and the only thing I could do was realize this person had to work it out for themselves.  I asked questions that would allow them to think about the situation, but not offer advice on how to fix it. When I did this, I found that the person eventually began to see these patterns themselves and work to fix them on their own.  Eventually, they realized their hand in it all. Situations are not simply happening to you.  We all have a part to play in what is going on around us, and patterns will continue to repeat until we realize the lessons we need to learn.  Once we learn, the patterns stop.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you want to fix, save and rescue, try to just listen.  Ask non leading questions (questions that do not project your emotions of how you want the person to respond).  It takes practice, but over time, it will allow the person you love to evolve into their best and highest self.  After all, this is what we all want and need.