Heavy words

Some people simply aren’t very good at carrying things. Consider if you were going to move. Do you ask someone who is very frail to help you move your big-screen television and your sofa? Of course not. If they try to carry that they will get hurt and your sofa or television might get damaged as well. You’ll probably be sad or angry and your friend will be embarrassed and in pain.

Likewise, if you have emotional things that need to be carried it is important to find the right person. Some people simply cannot handle other people’s feelings. This often means that they also can’t handle their own.  Say you tell someone about something that is very difficult for you.  If the person listens intently and compassionately, then they are a good person to carry this.  If they can listen in a way that helps you and doesn’t harm them, then this is even better.  But if they secretly complain that you confided in them, or even worse, they start to tell you about something worse that happened to them, then you know they can’t carry your problems with you.

The goal of compassionate listening is to carry with, not carry for.  The listener isn’t taking away the problem – they are just making it easier for the speaker to bear their own burden.  The best kind of listener helps the other person feel better just for having been there.  They don’t have to fix the problem, they just have to listen.

If the first person you chose is not up to the task, try someone else.  It is a special person who can listen with you, and not everyone is up to the challenge.  It is OK to seek professional help if necessary.

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About betsybeadhead

Hello, and Welcome. My name is Betsy, and I like beads and prayers. Fortunately those two things are more related than I ever realized. You are invited to “like” my Facebook page titled “Betsy Beadhead” and thus see what I’m talking about in my posts when I try to explain something using beads rather than words. This whole thing started because of that. Then I couldn't figure out how to post pictures so I just started writing. I string together words the same way I string together beads, and both serve the same purpose. I work at a library, surrounded by ideas brushing up against each other. I draw, paint, and collage. I study world religions. In all these experiences I like combining different things and making new things, and stretching my understanding of what “is” and what “has to be.” You are welcome to share my posts - just please give credit where credit is due. I'm anti-censorship but I'm also anti-plagiarism.
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