Place yourself in this scenario…you are having lunch with a friend. She is in an uncomfortably deep and messy crisis. Her marriage has been difficult for years and she cannot find her way to exit without overriding guilt and remorse.
You quietly tune in and listen. Your desire is to be there for her, not to fix the situation or change her attitude or counsel her on what to do next or make her husband wrong or her right. You sit and listen in compassion for her situation. As you tune into her, you observe her on many levels: energetically, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. She is not aware of your wide-angle view but she knows you created a safe spot where she feels comfortable telling you things she does not share easily. Her angst is relieved by being heard without judgment without pity without clever repartee without having to prove anything without settling on a difficult decision. You part with a solid hug and then you continue to do your compassionate loving work.
When you pray or connect with the Divine, you ask that she find her way with ease. You ask that the family sustain the upsets surrounding them. This is your action, your way to assist without intrusive behaviors. You listened to her and became what she needed – a compassionate trusted friend, one who could hold the suffering she is experiencing with grace.
Here are some steps to listen with compassion:
1. Sit with directed presence as you stay in the moment – remain focused, keep your attention on what you are hearing, seeing and feeling. Eye contact and quiet body movements will keep you in a contained energy field.
2. Drop your agenda – this moment is not about you or your feelings or how you would or would not react to the same scenario. She is not asking for advice, rather, she needs a listening ear and eye.
3. Tune out everything but what you are hearing – if you see a friend walk in the restaurant do not greet them. You are there fully for your friend.
4. Gently ask questions if that is warranted – this is not a therapy session, but a heart to heart and soul to soul connection.
5. Offer your open heart, not head advice – with an aware heart, you can connect in many layered dimensions to keep the moment pure.
6. Give up trying to fix the problem – that is what her therapist is for. You are the compassionate friend with a neutral agenda.
7. Be kind in your words and deeds – if you feel you are getting close to crossing a line of discomfort, back off and take a reflective pause.
8. Evolve with the issue rather than solve it– let her lead the way towards her healing. She is the only one who can heal her suffering. You are a gentle sounding board.
As a compassionate listener you give and receive the energy of the moment with acceptance, openness, kindness, awareness and most of all love for one suffering human to another. It is a tender gift to offer when the opportunity presents itself.
About the Author: Suzie Daggett spins real life advice with ageless wisdom. The result? Life flows, your soul & ego balance, your intuition amps up. Suzie is a speaker, writer and intuitive business consultant. She is the author of From Ego to Soul and PEARLS ~ 52 Contemplative Insights.
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