How I learned to listen without giving advice or my agenda (I’m still learning)
Learning to listen is one of my greatest challenges. As the old year wanes and the new year waxes, the best hope I
have for listening is written in the light of the moon. The unknown is illuminated by a distant yet bright hope, sometimes hidden by passing clouds. I may not need to know, I may just need to wait for clearer skies, but oh, the waiting. It is challenging to wait for an answer, to sit with the unknown and be uncomfortable and sometimes it pulls me right out of my body and my sensations, drawing me up and out into the cloudy sky.
Over the years, I have developed a greater capacity to listen to my mistakes, missteps foibles, and unknowns. I grew up not knowing how to listen to my body or my intuition. I am grateful for the people and animals who have taken time out to teach and continue to teach me the art of listening. One of the greatest teachers I’ve known, held me and all of my mystery, even when I had trouble holding myself. Her listening created an expansive and safer environment so I wouldn’t feel desperately alone. Whenever I would ask for advice she would simply tell me that she was here for me, that she trusted me with my own wisdom and if prompted, would share about her own current of unknown. Not present in her telling was advice or superiority under the guise of, “I’ve been there, done that” often present in the shadows of storytelling. Her ability to listen was one of the greatest gifts of my life, one that continually serves me and allows me to create a space of connection in the mystery.
Having a person listen to me, without advice, opinion, fix or agenda has made it possible for me to start listening and trusting myself. It is a great service in this loud world to be still and listen. Not only does listening serve the self, it serves the community.