When Listening Heals

pics-373“I never thought I’d need to see someone like YOU,” is something I hear from time to time. They don’t expect to ever talk to a “shrink” and they swear they’re not “crazy” but alas, they have a hard time reconciling how they ended up on my couch.

People often seem perplexed and disappointed that, by their description, they’ve arrived at such a point of desperation that they need to consult with a professional. They were confident they could “handle it” on their own and couldn’t understand what went wrong.  Yet only here, in our self-proclaimed progressive society, do we see the reliance on others as a shameful act. So for those who don’t necessarily believe in the power of counseling, it has taken a lot for them to pull together their courage and strip away their pride to see me.

Yet, as I’ve come to learn, listening is an art and gift that has healed over the ages and across many cultures. From etchings of hieroglyphics and those who interpreted them, to pastors’ laying of hands, curanderos’ use of herbs and natural elements, and the sweating out of emotional toxins in temazcals, there has always been some form of storytelling and intentional listening.

The art of listening is not an unusual or foreign practice, and in fact, the beauty of finding healing through someone’s readiness to carefully hold each of our wounds and tend to them, is in our very nature.

7 thoughts on “When Listening Heals

  1. Hey Patty and Ladybug
    I’ve just had time to go back and read all your entries. Perfectly timed, as getting out of bed is harder when it’s this cold, and I always get Vit D deficient in winter.
    The great thing about our extreme seasons is that I like to hunker down and read and write more in these months. The main challenge is to keep up daily exercise. An internet friend started a 21-day happiness experiment whereby you take the Oxford happiness survey, post 5 things you are grateful for, and one thing that enriches you, plus meditate for 10 mins a day. Day 2 -and I feel pretty happy even though the world has room for improvement.
    Great neighbors, loved ones, health, trees, sunshine, friends and colleagues who work to make the world better – I feel lucky.
    Thanks for the reminders.


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