Are you truly listening? Will you try?
Galatians 6: 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
By Celestine Davis
Are you in position?
I remember when a particular video went viral of a precocious child trying to get a cupcake was hilarious. Most people thought it was hilarious as he tried unsuccesfully to convince his mother, who he called Linda, to get him the object of his desire. He used every bit of his persona to get her attention and consent. He shamelessly used his tone of voice, body language, and several persuasive arguments. However, in the real world of adults, most women in need of a safe place to vent may not that be as bold about things that trouble us. Even the boldest Sister may revert to a small voice because of prior hurt, so we need big sensitive ears and less of a mouth to truly hear them.
As Sisters who care about each other, we must learn to provide mature, nonjudgmental support that we all need as we go through the challenges of life. Although we are covered, our walk is not one decision but a process. As listeners, we can imagine ourselves in the shoes of our siters. However, we must realize that it’s not our job or position to walk in their place. They must do it for themselves. Together, the sharer and the listener will prevail (unlike the child) as we each position ourselves to share each other's burdens with the right mindset.
Can you be more helpful?
Next time you find yourself in any of these situations remember that there is a process of healing and decision-making that we all go through. Say words that acknowledge that you hear them. Don’t rush to fill in the silence. Be still. They may need time to think. You can give great comfort if you would just listen! Don’t try to pour your feelings into their bucket. Focus on what they are saying before you try to talk to them. Sometimes, it’s not the words you say, but the timing of your words. Although we all have our own trials and tribulations, let’s learn not to pour everything out onto others when what they really need is a listening ear.
So, I ask you…
Can you listen to someone’s story without making it about you?
Can you process what they’re saying they feel without telling them how you'd feel if you were them?
Can you listen to their story without imposing your opinion like it’s a fact and without telling them what you would do?
Can you listen to someone’s story without sharing it with anyone else that they didn’t share it with as an “undercover brag “to show how close you are to them?
Let their story be their story. It’s NOT your story just because they share it with you.
Copyright 2017 by Celestine Davis... All rights reserved.