Monday, January 25, 2010

Owning the journey …

012310 clouds “I need to talk to you.”

“Can I come over?”

“I need to be in your space.”

I imagine we all get those calls from time to time. A friend who needs an ear, a troubled soul who needs a hand in sorting it all out, a hurting friend who needs a hug.

A good friend called me and said I was the only person he could talk to. He said that I was the most grounded person he knew; “wise” he said.

In my younger years, that would have inflated my ego and I would’ve puffed up thinking that, with my help, my friend’s problems would be solved. Thankfully, getting older also includes getting wiser (I hope!) and releasing that puffy old ego more and more with each passing year. I was touched that he reached out to me, but I know that I can’t solve anyone’s problems.

I can listen, though. I believe I’m a good listener. I’ve even taught workshops on “Active Listening” as part of a previous job. I’ve probably mentioned that I had speech problems as a kid, often so embarrassed that I just tried not to talk much. So I listened. I looked a person in the eye, moved my body to face him or her, and listened attentively with my whole body and mind.  I’d note the inflection of speech, the body language, the facial expressions; all deeper clues to what the person was trying to convey than the actual words they were saying.  (Speech therapy classes taught me some of these skills.) Even before I knew the expression, I knew how to be fully present to another.

I don’t usually give advice, though, even when the inevitable “but what shall I do?” is asked. (It would probably be my own ego talking.) I’ll share my own thoughts and experiences, but I really make an effort not to tell the other person what I think they should do. Instead, I’ll ask questions (speaking to their higher self) to help the person consider their options in a healthy, constructive way and determine their own next move.

Each person owns their own journey. I constantly remind myself of that. I can listen, I can hold a hand, I can hug or cry or laugh; I can share and encourage further thinking. But I can’t own another person’s journey or solve their problems. Each of us owns our own journey. No one else is responsible for solving our personal problems. No one else is responsible for making us happy. Each time I get that “I need to talk to you” call, I remind myself: Each of us owns our own journey – and I try to get my self out of the way so I can be fully present for the person calling.

I am praying for my friend, praying that his talking/my listening helped him in thinking through some things. I pray that his journey improves and that his heart and spirit move into a healthier and happier place. It’s up to him. I wish him happiness and lightness of spirit.



Stacy Wills said...

you are a wise and compassionate woman, indeed! beautiful post, rose.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You've got good boundaries!

Caroline said...

Each person owns their own journey. Brilliant. Listening is such a beautiful quality...and what an honor to be called upon from a friend in need.

Daisy Cottage said...

So very true Rose...

And so very wise.
You are a wonderful friend and I am sure you helped him immensely.

I will try to remember that each person owns their own journey too.
Thank you for sharing that and now I will take it to heart.


Jan said...

Rose, so lovely. A listening heart, there is no better gift. Everyone wants to be heard.

Sending love and hoping your job is going ok? I've been absent for a while so I am a bit clueless how things are....Blessings.

Cindy said...

excellent Rose! I get what you said! In the past 2 years I've been able to get my ego out of the way, and since doing that, I listen So much more than I talk! I learn and grow most when I listen too! Great post, it will stay with me today!

Laura Hegfield said...

Well said Rose. Listening means listening. Not fixing. Just being present as a witness is often enough for most people to figure out what they need to do/be. When we sit and listen with attentive presence it allows our loved ones, friends, clients, colleagues to open to their own intuitive wisdom.

LoveCompanion said...

Rose, this is so beautiful and what beautiful truth is shared here today. Thank you for this lovely reminder that we are each responsible for our heart's journey and are simply to be a pure reflection to one another from our illuminant Source. ;) I know I've found myself say "well, I think,.. before and I'm trying not to do that.. I'm learning to give more sacred space for each person to live it out and even when they ask, to not give the kind of answer they think they want, but as you said speak to their Higher self. This is so beautiful! thank you for this visit! hugs, Jenn

Anonymous said...

Hi Rose,
You ARE wise, that's why I am happy to know you. Funny...I've been approached/been in contact with probably 4 women in the past month that I've listened to, and they've shared their hearts and hurts with me. I've encouraged, listened, and thanked God that I was in their path and could possibly (?) lighten their load. Two weeks after listening to one friend, she asked me about how some things with me were going, and she added the most empathetic comments and support I could ask for. What a wonderful circle of friendship we have! Have a blessed Sunday dear friend.

Carol (stewcarol)

Connie said...

You are right - we each have our own journey. I am just glad that God allowed our paths to cross in this life time.

Love you,