Listen and Learn
I’m practicing the discipline of listening.
It’s a new thing for me. I’ve tried all the techniques, and the reminders in my head, and yet I often get excited, and struggle to keep my attention on what my conversation companion is saying.
Like we do, I find myself racing to the next thought, the next comparison. Like all I want to do is connect the dots of what this person is saying with something similar I’ve experienced.
Friend: “So I’ve been taking this class and I’m really discovering
that I’ve really been holding myself back from letting myself perform…”
Darcy (interrupting): That’s amazing! I just had the same
experience! I took this hoop class last weekend and just
really connected, you know. Like I finally really get why
this is my thing…I’m sorry. What were you saying?
(silently beats inner self about the head and neck with a
rubber chicken for being so insensitive and self-
My colleagues swear that this behavior doesn’t bother them, or that they don’t notice, but I just feel this slime oozing out of me and I feel like the talk-monster, come to devour all that is relationship.
So I’ve started experimenting with curiosity about what the other person is saying. Follow that curiosity and ask a question or two and suddenly this thing happens. It’s like they’ve been asked to lead a tour in a gallery of high-end art and someone asks to know more about their artwork. Beautiful.
It hasn’t been easy to switch those gears, but I’ve discovered that it is, indeed, a habit, and can be adjusted.
What I’ve noticed is that people bloom when they’re heard. When people are witnessed they emit a glow. The relief at being known by another is palpable.
And deeply humbling.
I woke up today thinking about a couple of my friends on whom I’ve recently practiced this listening thing.
These friends are each from different quadrants of my life to whom I feel a powerful connection. In the past few weeks they have each expressed a deep appreciation for the time we spend together.
I had heard these same friends say this before, but in actively listening to them I received an unexpected reward. This time something new landed.
“I MATTER.” I heard myself say inside.
This time there was no echo of Yeah, yeah. But really people are just humoring you when you reach out to them. You frighten them, really. And you really do go on about yourself…
Instead, only yes, you do.
There was no doubt, no shame, no bafflement as to why they hadn’t seen through to my grasping, self-deluded, love of hearing myself speak.
In fact there was nothing but a delicious, warm glow in the center of my belly.
Naturally I burst into tears.
The glow I feel isn’t a radiating glow, though. It’s an inward-sucking, needing glow. A yearning that I recognize as the great gaping hole in me I try to hide from, I try not to expose.
Because what would happen if someone found out I couldn’t do it all myself? People would know I was broken…
Only this time “broken” was gone, and the need was sublime.
If I matter, then my needs can be met. I am not alone AND I matter.
And suddenly everything was alright.
I have paid lip-service to the notion that we are not meant to do things alone. I believed it, but I didn’t really know.
Now I’m going to get sixteen emails from people telling me how much I matter to them, trying to convince me all over again, but I know. I know. I matter now and I always have and always will.
The need for each other is there to keep us alive. If we were meant to do It alone there would only be one of us, and if you think you’re lonely now, just imagine…
We are here to reflect and share aspects of the divine with one another. We are here to be mirrors of the miracle. What we have to give is not anything we can come up with on our own. It’s a pure frequency, a complete and perfect aspect that only we carry and I know I thirst for it.
I know I need my RDA of your good stuff.
And if I need yours, you must need mine (if only we weren’t one and the same being, really…)
I knew, from the looks on my friends’ faces, from the tears in their eyes that the divine What-Is flows right out of me to fill that gaping hole and that fills me right up. And all I did was listen.
We are not. Meant. To. Do. This. Alone.
We are meant to need one another. So what if you can’t pay your bills, can’t walk, can’t drive, can’t afford a house, a car, don’t know how to cook, don’t know how to love yourself. It. Doesn’t. Matter.
You. Do. Period.
Take a breath.
We are taught that not being able to take care of oneself is worse than death, and in fact has led countless souls to take their own lives, or the lives of others.
But it’s a lie.
A lie that sustains us. Fears about money are often fears of having to rely on others for our well-being. And what if there’s no one there to catch us when we fall?
You matter. Breathe. You matter. You are loved beyond measure.
We’ve never felt safe being vulnerable. We’ve never felt safe in our need. We spend our whole lives trying to be “worthy” of the love that is already our birthright because we believe we will always need “fixing”.
I wonder if it’s so much easier in conversations to wait to say something that might prove to ourselves that we matter, than it is to just gently hold what’s being expressed, and in doing so achieve that very end.
We’re not broken. We’re needy. Breathe. And it’s not a bad word.
Because once you know you matter, you can
You matter to me. Utterly. I’m so deeply grateful to you for sharing your shining light with me.