I spent the weekend with many friends, listening. We listened to each other as we shared part of our life story. We spoke in turn and did not interrupt each other, concentrating instead on listening.
Not the sort of listening where you are already composing your retort/reply/next question.
It was the sort of listening that was just that – listening. We listened with our full attention, trying not to fidget or get distracted from the role of listener. It was a very active listening.
It is rare to have that sort of listening these days. It requires discipline and patience. It also requires the listener to put away their judgements and take out their compassion. It humbles the listener to hear a friend share fully their joy and their pain, their mistakes and their learning, their tears and their laughter.
I feel very lucky to have such friends and my heart is full…